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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: Main Library not serving students to full potential

A few weeks ago I walked into the Arizona Health Sciences Library at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

I was confused because I saw books on shelves, and lots of clean desks. There weren’t any trash cans overflowing with garbage or desks full of stains that have been there since the Clinton administration, and there wasn’t any whispering chatter, which is always significantly louder than a regular-toned voice.

If I believed in Heaven, this is what it would look like. That was also the day I decided to never step foot in the UA Main Library ever again, unless I absolutely had to.

The Main Library is larger, is on campus, has way more foot traffic than the medical library and is an utter mess. From sunrise to sunset it’s simply gross. While custodial and maintenance make an effort, the appearance of the Main Library is simply upsetting when one considers its use.

The appearance and state of the library are a disservice to the students who use it and steps should be taken to improve it.

They need to revamp the no food policy as well.

The University Libraries Code Of Conduct states that you should plan ahead when possible and eat before you come to the library. It also recommends avoiding messy foods and to clean after yourself, or as they put it, “Leave No Trace.”

For the Main Library, that policy needs to go.

Don’t let any food in. People ignore trying to be clean and they bring in bags of chips, they bring in fast-food from joints close by and nobody washes their hands afterward. The food remains cover the desks, which seem never to get cleaned at any point during the day, anyway. The stains remain and so does the mess and smell.

I understand that it’s difficult being a student with a full schedule, but if you can’t avoid making a mess, just don’t bring in any food at all. The medical library has the same policy and yet, every desk is virtually spotless and scent-free.

It’s hard to study when you are surrounded by crumbs and stains at every corner. The talk at a low-volume policy is also obsolete. Students will instead put their phones on vibrate, which is just as loud as a regular sound notification. They act like they’re not going to check their phone every three minutes anyway, and the sound distracts everyone in the room.

You could literally hear a pin drop at the medical library. No phones, no useless chatter. Instead all you have is the faint sound of people typing on a laptop computer.

The Main Library has become a hot-spot for people who love background noise and ambient distraction.

I once saw somebody in the medical library take a call, out in the hallway, where they’re instructed to. At the Main Library I saw somebody take a call a few feet away from her desk, down one of the shelved book hallways, and it was just as loud as if she had stayed at her desk. I guess she didn’t realize that sound travels.

The whole point is that if students can’t not make a mess, take away their food privileges. If they can waste hours getting distracted on their phones, then they have enough time to eat before they get in the library.

School is where you’re supposed to learn and studying in the Main Library is worse than studying on the Mall; it’s unproductive and distracting. The medical library is a dream come true for people that want to focus and get work done, and policy changes should be enacted to improve the conditions at the main library.

Follow Daniel Geffre on Twitter.

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