Staff Editorial: Library study rooms limited

This semester, the library reduced the number of rooms available for group meetings. Previously, the library had a total of six rooms reserved specifically for group meetings. These rooms require two student I.D.s to get the key, meaning that they could only be used by groups, not individuals. The library now only has two of these rooms available, leaving the other four as open study rooms.

We disagree with the decision to open these rooms up as general study areas. The study rooms are prime places to have group meetings, especially for larger projects such as capstones, and they allow for groups to converse in a quiet area without disturbing the rest of the library. With the loss of four study rooms, however, it gets harder to find an open room in a quiet place to hold a large group meeting. As the semester goes on, places to work get scarcer, but the library almost always had a room capable of holding a group. The mad scramble for study rooms becomes problematic towards the end of the semester as deadlines approach and meetings get longer. Here are some tips from The Poly to help find space:

If you’re a freshman or sophomore, or happen to live on campus, residence halls have plenty of space for your team to get together for a few hours. In particular, Barton Hall has ample study rooms and white boards, and each the Freshmen Five has a couple large study rooms on the third floor.

Another strategy is to find an open classroom and use it for a few hours, provided nobody has it reserved. This only really works during the week, but there are a couple buildings that you may have access to during weekends and odd hours. Russell Sage Laboratories is great for this, and almost none of the classrooms are locked. If you’re a GSAS major, you can make use of the classroom and lounge on the bottom floor, which are set aside for you.

Another possibility is making use of the rooms and lounges owned by your major. Computer science majors have access to the CS lounge in the bottom of Amos Eaton; ITWS majors can use their lab space in Lally. If you’re in a high level class, there’s a good chance you’ll have access to the building and classroom it’s in. In particular, engineers may have access to the design lab in the Jonsson Engineering Center.

Of course, you can still use the library; it’s just harder to get a room large enough for four or five people with laptops now. Showing up earlier in the morning when people are still getting up is a good way to guarantee getting a study room. If you’re a single person going to the library to study, we would like to ask that you don’t take one of the larger study rooms for yourself. There are many smaller rooms throughout the library with views just as good, if not better, and plenty of tables scattered throughout the building.