It took years, but the new library was worth the wait. We know, the brick looks a little out-of-place next to the stone of Old Warner and the other buildings of Main Campus, but the inside is so roomy and functional and the view out those huge windows is so good that we hardly mind at all.
There’s something else different about the library this year: it sounds like a library. Looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows of the two upper levels, the contrast between the visible noise of blowing trees and moving vehicles without and the silence of the standing bookstacks and hushed carpet within is striking.
Will this still be true as the semester starts in earnest and we students take over? Not unless we all make a break from tradition and learn to be quiet while in the traditional home of learning.
In the past, the way the library was treated was simply embarrassing. Cell phones rang – and were answered, study groups were more like dorm parties, and fast food was eaten next to the computers. One could hear gossip so personal, it should be kept locked in dorm rooms, or jail cells, or deep in the Eighth Circle of Hell.
This is disrespectful, not just to the other people in the library, but also to the building and the University itself. The library is where knowledge is stored. It is where studying should be done. The whole idea of a university being a place for people to learn is at stake when even the library is just another place to hang out.
The library is not a place for cell phone conversations. It is not a place for eating. It is not a place for giving high-fives to long-lost buddies. It’s a place to whisper, when you must.
The University has built us a library worth talking about. That makes now an ideal time to stop talking once we’re inside it.
Inquiring Minds is the collective opinion of the editorial staff and not necessarily representative of the entire staff. It is written by the managing editor and the editor-in-chief.