Thursday, June 17, 2010

Must Study....

We now see a second instance in what may be a trend of students responding to the UC budget crisis and reduced library services by making a demonstration about the library as place. In February, 2010, UCDavis students protested university budget reductions with a weekend sleepover in which they remained in the library from Friday until Sunday afternoon. Now, the L.A. Times reports that since June 1, Cal State L.A. students have been running a "People's Library" by setting up in front of the library doors when they close at 8pm and continuing through midnight.

Initially, the idea posed safety concerns and maintenance tried to drive away the students by shutting of their electricity. But as a result of discussions, the use of electric cords and other safety issues have been worked out, and the People's Library thrives. Organizers say they are surprised at the large turnouts on cold nights. Participants cite the need for electric power and quiet for study that are not available elsewhere for them. The library administration expressed sympathy but claimed that if the library were to extend its hours to accommodate students, services would have to be cut some other way to meet budget goals.

This protest and the similar one at UC Davis speak to the campus roles of libraries and seem to roll back attempts to minimize the importance of the library building as a part of its services.

Rivera, Carl. "Cal State L.A .Students Want to Study Past 8 Pm." Los Angeles Times 2010.,0,1873030.story