Leftover mess leaves library off-limits


Morgan Hykin

The library will be closed for students to eat in during lunches until Monday Jan. 27.

Liz Schasel, Editor-in-chief

Students looking for a safe haven from the bustle of the cafeteria have to find a new location to eat, as library lunch privileges are being revoked until Monday, Jan. 27.

“A huge change in the way we had operated the library was to allow kids to come up here and eat,” Cybrarian Mitzi Allen said. “It gave them a place to hang out with their friends, and it started off going very well with them being very good about cleaning up after themselves, but it started going downhill fast.”

At the end of C lunch, the library staff would find mounds of trash and food that students failed to dispose of covering the tables and chairs, despite the abundance of trash cans available.

“We specifically worked with facilities and they brought extra trash cans up here because we wanted to have the library open to the kids for lunch,” Allen said.

Since the problem didn’t surface because of the availability of trash cans, it may stem from the student culture.

“I mean people leave trash in the cafeteria all the time, so I think it’s just kind of that mentality that carries over,” junior Jake Larimer said. “Also, there’s people in the library throughout the day, like for independent study and stuff, so those people eat in here too and leave trash.”

The trash wasn’t the only problem. Students would rearrange the furniture to make larger tables.

“There are signs on the table saying please do not move the furniture and yet they would continue to move it, then we have to move it back,” library volunteer Jane Schiller said.

With classes coming in and out of the library all day for various reasons, the lunchtime mess created a disconnect with the educational environment.

“This library is not a cafeteria. We have carpet on the floors, we have nicer furniture up here,” Allen said. “This is a place for all the kids to come, and it’s a work space. After lunch no one wants to come in and step on food or put their things down and get them all sticky and nasty.”

Moving forward, the library will reopen on a day to day basis, giving students a chance to improve their eating and cleaning habits.

“If they want to come up here they have to treat it with respect,” Allen said. “We love to have them, that’s why we did it in the first place, that was purely our initiative, and if it’s clean on Monday it’ll be open on Tuesday. If they trash it on Monday, it’ll be closed on Tuesday. This space is for the kids. We try to make it as kid friendly as possible. Nevertheless, they still have to treat it with respect.”