Library spaces too small, impractical

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NOT+ENOUGH+SPACE.+The+library+spaces+at+St.+Paul+Academy+and+Summit+School+lack+the+space+necessary+to+be+productive.+The+tables+are+way+too+small+for+productive+work%2C+junior+Erik+Quillopa+said.

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NOT ENOUGH SPACE. The library spaces at St. Paul Academy and Summit School lack the space necessary to be productive. “The tables are way too small for productive work,” junior Erik Quillopa said.

New year, new students, new spaces. With the addition of a dozen new teachers and multiple new classes including Competition Robotics and Computer Science, new doors are (literally) being opened to allow students to pursue new interests. The repercussions of these new opportunities is the apparent expansion of curriculum without the expansion of the school.

The addition of the new Robotics lab has greatly cut down the space in the lower library, reducing the “hangout” spaces for juniors and seniors. In the future, with the addition of the Schilling Arts and Science Wing, this may not be an issue, but until then,  students will have to learn to deal with the changes that have been made in both levels of the library, creating a lack of student space for quiet studying and socializing.

It is the epicenter of student socialization and studying. As the school continues to change, it is necessary to adapt and change with it.”

Late last year, many of the tables located in the ‘sophomore’ area of the upper library were removed. This year those tables have been replaced with high top chairs and coffee tables. The changes are no doubt in an attempt to beautify the space, however it has also become less practical for the use of students.

“The tables are way too small for productive work,” junior Erik Quillopa said.  In response to the lack of space in the lower library, Quillopa suggested that some of the bookshelves downstairs be moved to the upper level to more evenly distribute the space to book ratio between the two levels.

Quillopa’s suggestion delves into something even deeper. Why have the books at all? This is not to say that the books are useless, but the fact is that the vast majority of the books are never used and only take up student space.  When writing papers, most students choose to order books from other libraries such as the University of Minnesota. These larger institutions provide a wider variety of books, making it more likely for students to find what they need. Although this method takes time, it has become a staple in science and history papers, often a requirement by some teachers. The library continues to add books, however it may be beneficial to instead thin the books already there, or at least condense their storage, in order to combat the issues of space and functionality.

The library is at the heart of St. Paul Academy and Summit School. It is the epicenter of student socialization and studying. As the school continues to change, it is necessary to adapt and change with it. The library, on both levels, has become impractical and has consequently begun to drive students away from such a beautiful space. Making the library space both a place for books and a place for students is the only way to maintain its charm even with the new developments.