New UCSB Library is a Major Space Hazard

Robert Perez/Staff Illustrator

Miguel Rodriguez
Staff Writer

Libraries are often places of solace, quiet zones in the hectic storm of the rest of campus. A place where you can hunker down and do hours of homework, write an article for your newspaper and do all the late night studying you can handle.

Well, maybe not so much on that last part.

Students and basically everyone that’s been around for its construction have walked in and out of the library since its grand opening in mid-January,  developing their own opinion on the renovated structure. Most have enjoyed the new addition, celebrating the plethora of computers at the students’ disposal, the sleek, clean aesthetic of the new study rooms as well as the new, small cafe near North Hall. Some are just glad that they can cut through the library and save a minute walking to classes on that side of campus. However, where some people have their praise, other people have their complaints.

While the general consensus of the library’s aesthetic is positive, some have complained that the outside design of the building is gross, and the line where old and new library meet is disgustingly obvious and rather like two faces spliced together from different eras; it is as if the Starship Enterprise and Victorian England had a baby and called it a library. Others are just disappointed, acknowledging the new additions as useful but nothing else being really spectacular or interesting. However, the biggest issue that has come to peoples’ attention is the late-night study — or rather, the lack of it.

Before and during construction, the first two floors of the old library were open for late night use, and this was a godsend for night owls or anyone who’s trying to last minute cram for their midterms. Since the library’s reopening, this late night studying has been confined to a small area, and the old library is shut down during the night. This is rather inconvenient, bordering on ridiculous, especially given the number of people that like to go to the library for that very purpose. The space of first and second floor old library was reduced to merely half of the new library, and for the 100+ students that are looking for a quiet place to study, this was not a good thing. With so many people packed into the same tiny space like sardines, it becomes more difficult to study at the library than it would have been staying at home, or even the beach. At least there, you have quiet and can relax as opposed to rubbing elbows with someone on your left and right at all times.

Furthermore, some people consider the security to be rather excessive, as guards ask to see your access card and are adamant about not letting anyone in without it, which is rather inconvenient if you’re living on campus, but for those living in FT or Isla Vista this can be a huge hindrance to their time table.

Thankfully, after receiving enough complaints about the new library protocol, the administration is now (allegedly) working on a solution to these issues. It shouldn’t take them very long to find a solution, as the answer to these complaints is basically straightforward: Open the rest of the library. People need to study.