By Francesca Miller, Staff Writer
To say I spend a lot of time in the library is an understatement. Like many other West Liberty students, I attend English classes in the basement, study and type papers at the computers, and take naps on the comfy couches.
I always thought of the library as a pleasant place, a place where I felt comfortable spending most of my academic time. As a result, I gave the library the respect it deserved. Never did I play my music loudly, nor talk on the phone. Little did I know the rules had changed, and my perception of the luxury of the library was about to change too.
It was an early Tuesday evening, and I had a paper due at the end of the week. Like so many papers before, I decided the best place to work on it was the library. I gathered up my laptop, books, and last but certainly not least, a plastic water bottle to quench my thirst during the hours of typing ahead of me. When I arrived, the first floor was empty; maybe two other studious individuals occupied the other tables. Picking a table closest to an outlet, I began to unpack.
While my laptop was starting up, I took my books and water bottle out of my bag, when I heard a voice behind me. She said, “You cannot have that water bottle outside of the food and drink area. It needs to go back in your bag.”
I stared at her with disbelief, and without saying a word, I begrudgingly dropped the unopened water bottle back inside my bag. Finally, I mumbled “Ok,” and I was left alone to my thoughts. I had not started my paper, and already I was distracted. My mind buzzed. I actually just got reprimanded for having an unopened water bottle in the library. Even better, I was not allowed to have an unopened water bottle around my own laptop and books. The incident proved too distracting. I typed about a page, and retreated to my dorm room defeated.
My incident is not the only instance of students being reprimanded for water bottles outside the eating and drinking area. Generally, their reaction to the new “rule” is the same as mine- ridiculous. A student should not have to abandon their favorite study spot in order to sit in the eating and drinking area because they want to sip some cool water as they cram for an exam. A bottle of water may be one of the safest beverages to bring into the library. It is simple; water dries quickly and does little damage. I completely understand if the library staff does not want beverages around library computers.
I even respect that the library staff would rather students keep their Taco Bell contained in the food and drink area. But students should be allowed to keep a bottle of water close by as they study. I do not think this is an extreme request, and most students probably agree.
What rule will the library staff enforce next? Couches are for studying and not sleeping? Insanity!