In Depth

Librarians Strive to Overcome Rule Enforcement Struggles in Pursuit of a Solely Studious Environment

Librarians stressed their mission to provide an effective study environment for students, although they often find it difficult to enforce the rules. “Sometimes we hear kids say they can’t come to the library because it’s too noisy,” said Instructional Librarian Sara Ciaburri. “It’s not really a new policy so much as being consistent with the policies in place. Kids were getting mixed messages,” she continued. “It’s reasonable to request that we have one room on campus where folks who want to study in a quiet environment can do so and when [library faculty and staff] try to maintain that quiet, we are treated with respect, which more times than you’d think we aren’t,” said Instructional Librarian Sally Twickler. “It’s not…a fun thing to do, although it does fit the stereotypical librarian impression,” Ms. Twickler also said. Twickler is new to Andover this year and mans the help desk and occasionally Garver Room. “Most of us don’t mind enforcing [the rules], as they seem to be effective,” said Acquisitions Librarian Lisa Robinson, who works at the Circulation Desk. School Archivist and Instructor in Art Ruth Quattlebaum, who works in the library, said, “It is difficult [for the librarians] to find the right balance between a welcoming place and a respectful study zone.” “It’s not Ryley,” said Academic Support Specialist Deborah Olander, who is also an advisor. Ms. Olander agrees that things have occasionally gotten out of control, yet she feels that the library is an important space to socialize as well as work, especially for day students who don’t have dorms of their own to return to. “I see them using [the library] as a home base and getting work done there as well,” she said. Ms. Olander believes that there is a difference between the way in which the library should be used during Conference period and study hours. During Conference, she believes, it should be a place to socialize and potentially get some work done as well. As an advisor, she found that some people last year would sign out to the library since studying during study hours was more strictly enforced in the dorms. Ms. Olander said, “As an academic community, we need to be consistent in our enforcement of certain rules. If you’re not allowed to play computer games in the PACC, you shouldn’t be allowed to play them [anywhere] in the library; if a quiet atmosphere is enforced in the dorms, it should also be insisted upon in the library.” The new rules being enforced have been relatively effective. Ms. Twickler said that it has been more crowded in Silent Study now that silence is actually being enforced. According to Ms. Olander, the furniture on the second floor of the library was rearranged to create a more studious atmosphere, so upstairs has been mellower and quieter. As difficult as it is to refrain from falling into old habits of using the library as a place to hang out, students are managing to abide by the new rules for the most part.