Monday, December 19, 2005

Chaos in the Library!

Here's the tree in all its hand-made glory. Photo courtesy of Kathie Martin.

It's hard to believewe're one day away from the end of finals - the library is packed on Monday afternoon with students studying together, hunching over books on the "quiet floor" and working on last-minute papers. Students are checking out books to read over the break (and, by the way, we have another list of new books up on our Web site), and on the main floor there's a hum of conversation as students study together.

But that's nothing new. A Gustavian Weekly editorial from 1960 titled "Chaos Reigns At Library" complained about the popularity of the library. (Thanks to Mike Haeuser for pointing it out.) "At least fifty percent of the scholars go to the library to 'spend the evening,' and a sizeable percentage of the remaining half engage themselves in a few exceptionally long study breaks. The library has thus become a social center, a condition long recognized but which is now being aggravated even further by the increased number of students streaming into the traditionally quiet chambers."

The authors of the editorial recommended action: "In order to halt the chaos which is now reigning at the library, students must either accept a personal responsibility to retain a quiet atmosphere or they must be reprimanded by a policing system, as in high school." Wonder what this critic would have thought about cell phones?

We're happy they stream in, now, and we don't mind a little chaos. Having designated one floor for quiet study appears to have given students the choices they want, while students who need to work together can do so. In fact, if the library were too quiet we'd have to wonder what we were doing wrong.

Have a good holiday and a pleasantly chaotic new year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Shelve Under Ick

Students who spend hours in the library naturally want to be comfortable, and that means being able to have food and drink handy. We're okay with that. We're not okay with leaving trash around for others to pick up, and we're troubled by the sheer amount of waste involved. The Student Senate and the Gustavus Greens have worked with library staff to encourage students to "Leave No Trace."

Be kind to our hardworking and wonderful custodians. Be kind to your fellow students. Leave no trace.

Public art ... that's our Christmas tree this year. Check out the interesting ornaments created by our students who played with scissors and glue and their imaginations when they needed a break from studying. What an artistic bunch.

Need something to read
over the holidays? We have plenty of new books to browse.

Changes afoot. We will be making a few changes to our Website during January thanks to suggestions made during focus groups with students and faculty. But don't worry - we won't be making any major overhauls in mid-year. And any further ideas, thoughts, or wild ideas are always welcome.