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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    This or That: UA Main Library hours — inhibits access or stops improper usage?

    This or That is a weekly feature in which members of the Perspectives staff weigh in on a campus-related topic and issue their final verdict from two options. This week’s question is “UA Main library hours – inhibits access or stops improper usage?” Recently, University of Arizona Libraries instituted a policy that cuts back on the the Main Library’s public hours. The library is still open 24 hours from Monday through Thursday, but the public hours end at 9 p.m. instead of 1 a.m. Some have complained that since the library is a public building, non UA-affiliated persons should be permitted inside during all of its hours of operation. On the other hand, there are those who believe that it’s a public university library and that its access should favor the UA community. Another element taken into consideration is the improper usage of library resources and the seemingly heavy presence of homeless persons inside the library.

    Michelle A. Monroe

    Verdict: Stops improper usage

    I was shocked that the library was open 24 hours a day Monday through Thursday when I first came to campus. Who goes to the library after midnight? The crazies. And that’s true in more ways than one. Students who spend all night in the library are nuts. But at least they’re there to use the library for classes.

    A quick survey on Sunday at 8 p.m. in the computer lab showed 13 older men playing computer games such as Runescape and Adventure Quest and using Yahoo Mail. Eleven of them weren’t students and six defined themselves as homeless.

    Is this what university resources really need to be used for? No.
    A library employee said that there were “a lot of problems with non-students, and so students asked for the public’s hours reduced.”

    They’re the University of Arizona Libraries. “University” is in the name, and students and faculty are the libraries’ target audience. If the main users are uncomfortable and ask for a more “student friendly” environment, they should get it.

    Joshua Segall

    Verdict: Inhibits access

    The University of Arizona is without a doubt inhibiting access by shutting the library down earlier to the public. The library is state-funded and open to anybody for the purposes of studying, learning, or collaborating with others.

    We all know there are obvious issues with the library that include homeless people and improper usage of property. These are important issues that plague and deteriorate the library. Instead of closing the library early, UA should put better restrictions on how its property is used. Those who violate library policies should be removed and banned from further usage of the library and its facilities. We all have a sense of public decency that includes wearing clothes and not looking at pornography on the computers. Library computers are not meant for gaming either.

    The university should recognize that students see the library as a priceless resource. It isn’t fair to punish everyone because certain members of the general public mistreat the library. Simply better enforce the already-existing policies to ensure a safe, stench-free library.

    Jacquelyn Abad

    Verdict: Inhibits access

    Who knew homeless people had Facebook accounts? Walking down from the first floor of the library into the Manuel T. Integrated Learning Center, there are a handful of homeless people. They’re usually occupying 2 seats, one for them and the other for their belongings. I’ve seen homeless people in the library since my freshman year. They never bothered students and the library is a cool place for them to escape from the hot Arizona heat.

    As the library adjusts its hours, it denies people access to its resources. The UA is a public university which makes its library a public entity. Unless the homeless are a disturbance, they have every right to be in there with the UA students. However, it is uncomfortable if they are using the equipment inappropriately; for example, if they’re using the computers in the ILC for gaming or watching pornography.

    Students, faculty and the homeless should have the same expectations in the library. Restrictions should be made to the computers to block websites that may disturb people in the library. It is not the hours that need to be changed, it’s the freedom of access granted to anyone using the public computers. Adjusting library hours to prevent homeless people from entering is a form of discrimination.

    Kelly Hultgren

    Verdict: Stops improper usage

    The establishment and enforcement of the new public library hours ultimately prohibits improper use for the sake and benefit of UA students. The rule isn’t unjust or cruel to homeless citizens. It’s still considered to be a “public library” because it allows non-UA students to use the facility from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The library makes itself more accessible than other public libraries in the state. If you look at other public libraries in Arizona, their hours of operation range only from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The Burton Barr Central Library in Downtown Phoenix, maintains these hours and it too is a public library. Even with the new hours, students might have to battle for computers throughout the day — it’s inevitable. If it’s such a problem, then the university should switch it to a private library, remove the “public” label and make it exclusively accessible to UA students.

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