Empty seats hard to find

You wrote:

This afternoon, after my class, it took me 40 minutes to find an empty spot to work. This is not me being selective. There were simply no empty spots in any
zone. I explored every corner of the library.

However, there were easily 50 spots (without exageration) that had peoples’ stuff, including unprotected laptops, coats, books and more, but nobody
there. When I asked people nearby, some were gone for well over 20-30 minutes.

The library NEEDS a policy on unwatched stuff.  Students are not learning based on the signage, and are only looking after themselves. I know it’s midterm time, but that’s all the more reason to have a policy so students can benefit from the only quiet space on this campus.

Please. I’m begging you as a Concordia student to stop with the signage, and start actually acting on rules. I need study space, and I’m so tired of everytime I come here having to put up with tons of noise, or simply nowhere to study. It’s seriously damaged my impression of Concordia and my ability to recommend the school as an excellent institution of higher learning.

Thank you for your comment.  This issue comes up often in the Suggestion Box (previous post), and it is one that we have struggled with for some time now.  It may be surprising to you to know that this is quite a complex issue and any kind of action on our part would be very difficult to implement.  First, there are literally thousands of people that use the Libraries on a daily basis.  To keep track of tables left unattended for a few minutes versus those that leave for hours would be a difficult task.  Then, there are challenging logistical questions such as: what are we to do with the stuff that is left behind?  How do we know that the person claiming it is the right person? 

People have asked for some kind of action.  What do you specifically suggest?  We would love to hear from you.

4 thoughts on “Empty seats hard to find

  1. Anonymous

    My suggestion would be, per the library regulations, that unattended belongings be moved to a “common table” on each floor since the library is not responsible for lost belongings.

    At the same time though, students should not be leaving their belongings unattended for 5 minutes or 25 minutes. Security, for example, should simply go ahead and remove unattended belongings unless a student nearby explicitly says that the student just went to the washroom.

    This is particularly better since it will avoid confrontation between students if a student goes ahead and removes someones belongings (and places them on the floor, for example). As well, it will also make students think twice since the chance of an item being stolen would dramatically increase if it’s in a highly visible public area.

    Of course this is a hard line approach. But during busy seasons, this is a serious problem, and when study space is limited, students cannot reserve seats for the entire day. I realize that by coming earlier, the chance of getting a spot increases, but often students will have other exams or classes that prevent this.

    Finally, if you want to “phase-in” this rule, you can start by placing a printed note on unattended belongings warning students that as of April X, their belongings will be moved per library regulations.

    Hopefully some of this feedback will be useful. I understand that it is never pleasant to deal with confrontational situations, for both staff and students alike; however, it is necessary to do something since I guarantee it will become a problem again in just over 2 weeks.

  2. Anonymous

    parking ticket people “mark” the car tires with chalk, right? maybe you could put a little tag that says someone from the library was here at say 3:15 and if the next library person sees the tag at 3:45 you know there may be an abandoned bag.

    I don’t think 5 minutes or immediate removal is fair. Although I don’t smoke or have to pay for parking, I do understand that someone might have to go downstairs for a smoke or to put money in a parking meter. It isn’t fair to ask them to give up their study space because of it.

  3. Anonymous

    I disagree. When seats are in such high demand, you get to use it while you’re there.

    If you park your car at work, but over lunch, need to run to the bank for 5 minutes, you don’t get to reserve your parking spot. It’s as simple as that. You gotta share people.

    I like the parking ticket though… Start teaching students that to move forward in life, you can’t just think about “me”.

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