In the Feb. 21 edition of the Collegian, Mr. Garrison Grisedale used hyperbolic language to address the claim that the library is no longer a quiet place to study. His piece, however, came across as the venting of an exasperated student, rather than a thoughtful piece that put forth solutions.
It’s possible I don’t spend enough time studying in the library, but I have never heard screeching, yelling, or noises that are comparable to that of an “explosion.” In my experience, boys don’t run around chasing each other like they would in a dorm. Common courtesy has not fallen so far. The vast majority of Hillsdale students refrain from letting out a screech for theatrical effect.
Besides, what’s so bad about the library as a place of community? It is warm, it is welcoming, and whoever you are, there is at least one person inside who you can see and chat with.
Hillsdale is a rigorous school. We all fight and struggle to balance all sorts of challenging academics and time-consuming extracurricular activities. Considering this pressure, I would find the library much less appealing if everyone were only intently working and stressing over the next project they had to finish. People need to talk out issues and let out pent-up aggression.
Students would not want to study if librarians were constantly patrolling, shushing, and warning them to be quiet. But the librarians create a welcome atmosphere for all who walk through their doors. The openness of the library is a blessing or curse according to whomever you ask, but it would be a greater shame to limit students to quiet whispers and hushed conversations. There is so much more to that building than just study rooms and shelves of books.
Mr. Grisedale said there are alternatives where people can go to be rowdy, but that can also apply to those trying to study. There are several places around campus for people who really need to study without any sort of distraction from noise: classrooms, off-campus houses, dorm rooms. For those who don’t want to change buildings, the library has three levels, two of which are designated quiet areas for students. There is no need to burst your eardrums with Tchaikovsky music. And as one anonymous first floor regular said, “If you don’t want to listen to us talk, go to Hell. ” To study, of course.