Study space = prime real estate

You wrote:

I have some ideas on the topic of reserving study spaces (particularly the study carrels. I’ve noticed that people will often leave for one, two, and sometimes three hours, but leave their books behind to hold their place.

In my opinion, if you plan on leaving for more than 20 minutes or so, you automatically forfeit your place.  The carrels on the 3rd and 4th floors are prime real estate, especially at this time of the year. It is both inconsiderate and rude for people to leave their  belonging behind to reserve “their” carrel. The carrels belong to the library and cannot be reserved while you go out for Tim Horton’s break…

I’m not really sure how the library would go about enforcing this, since moving personal belongings is a very touchy subject. A publicity campaign is a good start.

Thank you for writing in.  You’re right, in both libraries, study space is at a premium these days, but the issue of moving personal belongings is indeed a very touchy subject.  In fact it has come up before in the Suggestion Box.  The Libraries now have a policy regarding belongings left unattended at computer workstations.  I do not think that we have the human resources necessary to implement a similar policy for study carrels.

That said, I appreciate you taking the time to write to us and I encourage others to let us know what they think of the situation.

6 thoughts on “Study space = prime real estate

  1. Anonymous

    Does the library have a policy on what students can do? In other words, if I see a carrel unoccupied, can I move peoples stuff and take a seat? Or is that against library policy?

  2. Anonymous

    IMHO a one-hour allowed “downtime” is tolerable so we can grab a snack and have a chat OUTSIDE the library. But more is abusive.

  3. libsuggestions Post author

    First of all, in answer to your question, if you take a look at the Suggestion Box’s editorial page (, you will see that comments and suggestions *may* be posted. Although I read and act on every single comment I receive, I do not have to post it all.

    In the case of the comment that you sent on December 4th, I wanted to check with my colleagues to make sure that I would be giving you the correct information before posting it.

    Yes, we do have a policy regarding space. It is in our Code of Conduct ( Users are asked not to occupy excessive space, and not to leave personal effects unattended in the study areas, so that all can find a place to work in the library. However, the Libraries do not have enough staff to monitor this. For example, the Webster Library can have up to 2000 visitors at a time. We simply do not have the resources to check on unattended seating at such a scale.

    I also do not recommend that you take matters into your own hands as you may be liable for damages or theft.

    Thank you for your question.

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