The Learning Commons has removed the films on all their study rooms over the summer for safety issues, student inconvenience, and certain violations.
Previously, the study rooms had films over the windows to give those who booked the rooms a bit of privacy. These had been primarily set up as a result of a faculty senate decision to put films up in the classroom windows to combat safety concerns of active shooter scenarios.
It was believed to be a good idea to put them up in the library too; however, the study rooms are smaller than the classrooms, and being unable to see inside presented some issues over the past semester.
Bill Mayer, the active Dean of Shapiro Library, when asked about alcohol being brought in the rooms, said, “We have reported incidents of that. I have an evening supervisor who has documented all the incidents that have happened in the building throughout the year when the film was up… That was the cause for concern initially.”
However, the decision to remove the films came down to the safety and convenience of the students.
Students would book the study rooms at certain times for themselves or groups, and the films presented a clear issue of moving from one booking to the next.
“I know in a couple instances of speaking with students, they felt unsure whether their time slot was coming up,” said Ed Daniels, the former Dean of the Library.
“Should they knock on the door, should they interrupt what’s going on in the room? They couldn’t see, so I think for moving in and out of the rooms during the scheduled student booking times, it works well to have a clear sight.”
Originally, the building did not have the films in the windows, and it operated for about a year and a half with a clear sight in the rooms.
“It really helps library employees monitor activity in the rooms, as well as lets us see how many people are in the library at a time,” said Mary Newton, a Student Assistant at the Learning Commons and a junior at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).
“Overall, it’s much better that they’re gone since it allows the library to function more smoothly.”
According to Mayer, students would sometimes book the study rooms for video interviews and would get interrupted since other students or library faculty couldn’t see what was going on in the room. Because of this, they may look into getting a specific room to host interviews.
“I’m game for what works for the students to have an environment that they feel comfortable and are safe in on a daily basis,” said Mayer.