Opinion

For BU Students Looking to Study, Woefully Few Options

Bartle's study spaces are perpetually packed, and the other options aren't much better.

One often finds oneself walking around good ol’ Glenn G. Bartle Library for longer than anticipated. Ever expect to go to a spot, sit down with your coffee and study, only to find out that someone is sitting in the empty seat you had envisioned? What do you do when people resort to sitting in the aisles, begin their “group meetings” RIGHT next to you, or the worst: when people just can’t be quiet?

Well, my friends, that is basically Bartle Library in a nutshell. It is teeming with students who seem to be lost between the floors, desperately trying to find a quiet place to study or a place where they are allowed to congregate with people for a meeting or study session.

Both are reasonable goals you should hope to be able to achieve within the library. One where you can study in a quiet area, and one which allows you to collaborate with your peers. Unfortunately, these needs are hard to meet when there are people crammed into every nook and cranny of Bartle. The library’s resources are far too limited to accommodate us.

Bartle is open 24 hours Monday through Thursday. Fridays the study areas close around 8 p.m., Saturday they’re open from noon until 8 p.m. and Sundays Bartle opens its doors at noon. This schedule accommodates student and faculty “weekend” schedules, as they most likely do not want to be in the library Friday and Saturday evenings. However, many students take time on the weekends to tend to their studies, especially when they are bombarded with coursework throughout the week.

Fortunately, for those in the know, there are other study resources at our disposal: the Science Library and the University Downtown Center. Monday through Thursday, the Science Library is open from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the UDC opens its doors at 8 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. That seems fair … right?

After all, they aren’t the “main campus libraries,” so we shouldn’t expect them to be open 24 hours like Bartle. Right?

It is quite inconvenient that both are only open until 5 p.m. on Friday and closed on Saturdays altogether. The UDC’s information commons are available to students from noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays, and the Science Library is open Sundays noon to 9 p.m. This requires students at the Science Library to pick up all their belongings on Sunday at promptly 8:59 p.m. to walk over to Bartle, which is packed with over-tired students scrambling to meet deadlines.

This University needs the tools to make sure our students can thrive. Why not keep the University Downtown Center and Science Library open longer to make the resources we need available to us when we need them? We can afford to pay the one UPD officer who is at the door of the UDC to stay down there a little longer. Or here’s a crazy idea: employing our own students who desperately need a job to work at these libraries throughout the night.

Either way, there is a paucity of study spaces open when students need them. There are easy fixes; it’s time for Binghamton to employ them.

Views expressed in the opinion pages represent the opinions of the columnists.