As a Masters student, I tend to spend a good chunk of time researching in the library. Unfortunately, a chunk of my time is also spent trying to actually find a computer to work on. This is absolutely ridiculous, and almost as infuriating as the new ‘printing’ system (but that’s another issue on its own :)).
Traditionally, my one haven in the (downtown) library has been the small lab near the reserve room. It’s quiet, out of the way, and fantastic for working for hours on end. What has happened recently is that the lab is taken up by ‘library workshops’. While I realize this was the original intention of the lab, this is completely unjustified in light of the reality of the paucity of computers. I cannot begin to tell you how infuriating it is to run around trying to find a computer, and pass by the lab, barred to regular use while four and a half students rapturedly listen to the evolution of citation styles, in a room that has over 30 computers.
In what way is this justified? When a workshop is in session, we aren’t allowed in even if the room is three-quarters empty. If we are able to block out the noise and won’t disturb, this type of monopolization should not be allowed.
I was absolutely increduled to just come from seeing the lab completely empty but locked, with the time slot 10-4 blocked off. I was told that due to there being numerous workshops, it was locked “so that the librarians won’t have the unpleasant act of kicking students out”. So for that reason, perfectly functional computers are barred from use. I find this the unfortunately typical type of response in the library- I suppose it would not occur to anyone
to simply put up a sign saying, “please note that in 1.5hours, there will be a class and you will have to leave?” This would save the librarians the burden but enable people to at least get some work done. Whose interests is this intended to be for?
I’m actually counting my lucky stars that I actually found a computer, as this is a rare find
these days. Please take this (extremely frequent) concern/frustration/injustice into consideration- we have legitimate work to do, and the location that ought to be most conducive to encouraging it, is simply not.
Thank you for your email. I have forwarded it to the Director of the Webster Library.
I understand your frustration, however, I can tell you that LB 203 *is* heavily used for instruction sessions. That’s what it is there for. Until a few years ago, it was exclusively used for that purpose. Also, staff has told me that, unfortunately, *some* students are extremely unpleasant when they are told to leave the room when it is needed for a class.
As for your suggestion to allow people to use the room while it is in use for a lecture, I think that would be highly inappropriate. It would be very disruptive to the lecturer and to the students in the class to have outsiders there. Imagine such a thing in any of your own classes? How would you feel?
Unfortunately, until the Webster Library undergoes its major renovations, students will have to look at the room’s schedule, which is posted on its door. You can also call the Information Desk at 514-848-2424-7700 to find out that room’s availability, before leaving home.