By Ashleigh Burkhouse, Kapi‘o Staff Writer
We’ve come to expect that a library is a place of silence and isolation, a space in which we can shut out the distractions of the outside world and attack the treacherous academic work loads that we’ve undertaken.
So what happens when a place you rely on for peace and quiet slowly turns into noisy game room?
That is exactly the case at the Lama Library. Where once we might hear an occasional “shush” from neighbors or librarians, we now hear yelps of “Take that!” and “Move over, it’s my turn!” as the number of students playing cards and other games in the lower level continues.
Playing games by itself is not the issue; it’s the noise and distraction that comes from it and the resources it takes away.
Many students come to the library between classes and during weekend hours to research, study, do homework, and avail themselves of computers and/or internet access that they might not have at home.
In recent semesters, however, large groups of students have taken over the back of the library, where many of the larger tables are located, to play games, some of which they bring themselves, some that actually provided by the library. The loss of these tables affects students who may need to meet for group projects or may require extra space to spread out research materials.
Further, the excessive noise produced by excited game players can be extremely distracting to students who are there to study or receive tutoring.
According to library policy, talking is allowed on the lower floor. However, yelling and loud, non-academic conversations violate the spirit of this accommodation.
Simply moving to the second floor is not always an adequate option.
The second floor is much colder than the lower floor, there are no computer terminals, wi-fi connection is spotty at best, and there are few areas that can accommodate group study (unless you reserve a study room).
Finding a quiet place to study shouldn’t be a problem on a college campus. Library officials need to address this issue so that the library can be returned to its original function as an academic haven.