Op-Ed: Policies repel students from library

Joe Harned
Feature/Entertainment Editor

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Although the library serves its purpose, it is everything but inviting. Fault doesn’t lie with any one person or system, but the school as a whole.

The ideal library is a welcoming space where students can study, rest and print when they want. The library offers next to nothing when it comes to that; its two main services are as a computer lab and a class for independent periods. The main reason: Passes.

The pinkish passes, which have probably been on countless bathroom floors, have caused nothing but annoyance for the students.

Students need a pass to print single pages of paper or check out a single book. The goal of limiting students in the halls may have been accomplished, but requiring passes has been a net negative for students.

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If students want to skip, they will do it whether or not it’s in the library. If a group of students is being loud in the library, the librarian has every right to kick them out.
Liz Forderhase, head librarian, said the decisions are made “by the Administration… they told us ‘no student should be in the halls without a pass.’” While this policy is very effective at keeping students safe and in the class, it limits the freedom that students have to use school resources, such as the library.

During a test of the policies administration, it took an average of one minute for four subject students to be asked to leave the library. This applied to two students who were reading books without passes and a student who did have a pass, but was looking at a cellphone.
This raises the question of if schools should base their policies around misbehaving students or behaving students.

On one hand, policies like the pass policy limit skipping and roaming the halls, a rule that targets misbehaving students.

The problem is that the policy negatively affects the average, behaving, students. When policies are formed around misbehavior, not behavior, the potential of the school is limited.
The results of this are evident. Senior Jonas Oesterlei described the library as, “strict.”
Senior Emma Norton said she “never goes to the library, besides for English class.”
Once again, the problem is not with the library.

Forderhase was eager to share about the new private spaces that the library had installed and the new furniture that students could use.

As long as students view the library as they do now, however, these spaces may be hard to fill.


Joe Harned- Feature/Entertainment Editor

This will be Joe Harned’s first year on ECHO Staff. He also made several contributions while taking journalism class his freshman year.

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