Library snoozes cause enforcement confusion


Kelly Smiley

Students hard at work in the Malcolm A. Love Library.

by Paulette Villicana, Staff Writer

Security concerns about how to enforce a policy against sleeping in the Malcolm A. Love Library are an ongoing issue.

Kinesiology senior Jacquelyn Ponce said she sees people sleeping in the library regularly.

“I see people taking naps at least every day when I’m in the library,” Ponce said.

The library’s code of conduct, accessible online, says: “Sleeping by students beyond a short study nap is discouraged due to safety concerns. Community users are reminded that the library is open to them for research purposes; sleeping is not allowed.”

William Staninger, the library security coordinator, said that because the policy states short naps are OK for students, the issue becomes establishing what is a short nap.

“I have had students in the past in the 24/7 area (who) were coming in every night and they were just going to sleep,” Staninger said.  “Now that, they can’t do. Basically they’re using it as their home.”

Journalism senior Stephan Early said he is in the 24/7 area often and takes naps when he has to pull all-nighters.

“During the day, I see people napping all the time but in these late hours, definitely,” Early said.

Early said he lives near campus, but comes to the 24/7 area for computer access.

“For me personally, when I take a nap, it’s for the sake of saving time,” he said. “I could go home and come back but that’s 30 minutes I could be working on something.”

Staninger said that he avoids waking people up intentionally.

“If I notice someone sleeping a lot, I’ll wait until they’re awake, I let them know our policy that we don’t allow people to sleep in here for long periods of time and usually that’s the end of it.” Staninger said. “Very rarely has it gone beyond that.”

However, there have been concerns with non-students sleeping in the library — homeless people in particular.

“We are open to the public, and it’s really hard to not let someone in because of the way they look or the way they appear,” Staninger said.

He said because it is a public library, they cannot deny people access to the building. As part of their code of conduct, if non-students are sleeping or bothering people they can ask them to leave.

“I can’t say ‘you can’t come in because you look like a homeless person,’” Staninger said. “Unless you started checking the IDs of every single person, then you’re kind of discriminating at that point.”

After the library closes at 10:30 p.m. SDSU students can stay after hours to study while all non-students are asked to leave. On occasions, the library staff will make exceptions.

Staninger said specific requirements regarding non-SDSU students permitted in the 24/7 after-hours is unclear, but that because SDSU students are paying for the facilities, they want to make sure that the 24/7 area is strictly for SDSU students after-hours.