Library etiquette remains on the shelves

The library will temporarily close on Monday, March 16, so SDSU librarians and staff can prepare for campus changes due to the coronavirus.

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The library will temporarily close on Monday, March 16, so SDSU librarians and staff can prepare for campus changes due to the coronavirus.

by Emily Alvarenga, Staff Columnist

The library is a place where many students go frequently. We go there to study and to do homework, while others go just to pass. When we were younger, we were regularly taught the ground rules of library etiquette. We were taught to whisper and be respectful of others who were working quietly around us. Children are expected to pick up their books and clean up after themselves — the same expectation goes for adults. So what happened to all these rules and etiquette we were taught as children?

Most of the time, when one walks into the Love Library, it won’t necessarily be quiet or very clean. Students at San Diego State seem to have forgotten the basic rules of being in a library. It seems as though many don’t even care unless it’s someone else who’s doing the bothering. Students turn to the library when the distractions of their personal quarters prevent them from getting anything done. Instead, they are met with individuals who are there more for coffee and conversation than the actual act of studying.

The Daily Aztec started a poll to ask students what poor library etiquette has bothered them the most and frankly, the results weren’t too surprising.

Thirty-six percent of the voters thought those who talk on their phone in the library are the most annoying. What happened to being able to hear a pin drop in the library? Just because the study area you’re in may be far from the door doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the minute it would take to take your phone call outside.

Being respectful of our peers, and understanding they come to the library to stray from distractions, is the key in not getting death glares.

Infographic_KateLeonardIn second place, with 19 percent of the votes, was students who hog a study room or table. You know the ones: The pair who takes up an entire table with their papers and coffee cups, or the one student holing themselves up in a study room meant for 10. Even during prime library rush hours when it’s packed and everyone’s studying for something, there are still a few people who take up more room than necessary. It’s important to be conscious of your things by not being one of those students who dominates the only open table.

Tied for third place was playing loud music and leaving behind a mess, both with 17 percent of the total votes. These are two of the most important etiquettes one should be conscious of. Just because you have headphones in, doesn’t mean the students trying to study around you aren’t able to hear your music. Be aware of how high you’re turning the volume because even if you’re enjoying it, it may be distracting to those around you.

“I’ve sat by people who are literally jamming out to screamo,” journalism sophomore Brock Wilden said. “I don’t know how he didn’t realize that we could all hear it, even from a table away, but he was in his own little world. I didn’t get any of the work I was planning to do and ended up spending an hour glaring at the kid instead of being productive.”

Leaving a mess behind goes hand in hand with eating in the library. Many may not realize it, but food and drinks, besides water, aren’t allowed in most parts of the library. Even if they are, it’s just common courtesy to clean up after yourself — or so one would think. The janitors aren’t being paid to clean up after students who have forgotten basic manners.

These are just a few ways to ensure respect to and from your fellow peers. There are many, many more rules of etiquette, but if it bothers you, chances are it probably bothers someone else. The library is a place for students to work hard to motivate themselves for classroom success. Think of these manners next time you head over to Love Library for an all-nighter.


*The Daily Aztec polled 264 readers.

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