As of two-to-three weeks ago, a majority of the cubicles at the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library were locked due to renovation. Now it prevents all from utilizing the study space unless they have an appointment.
James Tasato Mellone, interim chief librarian and library chair of Rosenthal Library, spoke to The Knight News about the situation. When Mellone was asked about why a registration system was implemented he said that it was “due to long-term usage, many have damage to desks, walls, carpets, lights, and so on” thus making them “unsuitable for student use.” He also mentioned that they must also be “thoroughly cleaned” to restore the cubicles to their former state.
About the specifics of what this new registration system looks like, Mellone said, “The library is working on better signage that will indicate current availability and Quiet Floor usage guidelines of the carrels (cubicles) for studying.” He also added that they “plan to explore a registration system” indicating that the library faculty are actively working out the details on how to operate the cubicles going forward.
The new system itself will take effect “post-renovation” as the library faculty are currently working with Building and Grounds to renovate the cubicles and are currently in the process of doing so. Mellone expects the renovations to “continue into the Spring semester.”
Additionally, the important question of whether or not the cubicles were going to be used for other purposes than as a study space for students was also asked. Mellone noted that they “expect the carrels to remain available only as student study spaces.”
Mellone also suggested that students should check the Queens College Library website for “carrel availability updates” and that he and the rest of the library faculty are “glad to take student feedback into consideration” as they move forward in developing their management plan.
When Khadeja Asif, a student majoring in biology, reminisces about the cubicles she often recollects the benefits that it brought students. Asif said herself and many other students were able to “get away from everybody’s prying eyes and focus on our work.” At the present moment not many can do this.
So, like most Asif says she has “nowhere” to sit. Currently, many sit outside the cubicles because other students are constantly acquiring the few remaining cubicles that are left open. However, this does cause walkways to become crowded and that isn’t allowed by faculty.
Asif notes that this recent change could be communicated in the emails that are sent out with information for the week. Especially because she also feels that the cubicles are “a big part of the culture in the school.”
Collis Watts, a computer science major, reaffirms when asked if he uses the cubicles often that, “Yeah, I try to.” Watts acknowledges a need for the cubicles because of the quietness that exists in a closed off space to help him concentrate on his studies.
Both faculty and students look forward to the future in which said cubicles are used appropriately. Likewise, both are trying to keep the cubicles a clean, respectable, and continued space for all. The Knight News will follow this story as it develops.