Screaming for Renovation

A Close Look at the LBCC Library

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Screaming for Renovation


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Long Beach City College’s library aims to begin its remodeling sometime during the fall. Plans have been approved and architectural designs are well along the way. The library plans to bring in a new catalog, Ex-libris (Latin for “from the books of”), and to digitize most of their books and newspapers. Among these new technological advancements, laptops with a new self-checkout system will be implemented as well.

Student assistant Don Jauthier commented that the library was the pioneer of a library online system. It was hoped that the newer system would help students find good resources (whether in print or online) to help them complete their assignments effectively, gain new information and learn. Library assistant Travis Cleveringa expressed this as well saying that the library was a public source of information for students. It informed them, taught them and therefore, should be adapted and changed in order to fulfill such purpose.

“The library has some changes coming with remodeling, furniture and books being moved around,” Judith Toebe, the school’s librarian informed reporters Leslie Figueroa and Sam Monge. 

Justin F., a finance student who did not want his last name disclosed, expressed his approval of such plans. Upon entering the open doors of the library, one notices almost immediately the dirty floors lined with pieces of long withered orange tape. In the very back of the library, a small section was set aside for students who wished to study. The study cubicles have suffered years of tagging and damage. The penciled conversations between a number of unknown students remain on the desks as a testament to their extended use.

“I mean, take a look around,” Justin F. said, sitting down at one of the cubicles, “Clearly, someone felt angry enough to write in highlighter all over the dividers.”

The writing on this divider shows the frustration of a student, recognized by two others, one who says they “sense some hostility” and another who asks for quiet as “mothers [are] trying to study”.

When  asked what improvements he’d like to see, Justin F. gestured towards the empty shelves behind him, “I mean, there is an entire section of empty shelves that used to be appropriated for physics books.” He then proceeded to express his desire to see the library take more advantage of unused spaces such as the above, “Providing honor students with more space to study would be beneficial.”

An additional concern was “foot traffic”, as mentioned by one of the students. Often times, students leaving their classes would fill up the library. Whispers and the sound of feet shuffling were distracting to those studying. Justin F. also expressed this, saying that it would be nice if the library found a way to find the “middle ground”, so that people studying could still be part of the library ambiance without being disturbed in their studies. It is for these particular reasons that more study spaces would be appropriate in considering renovation plans. However, whether or not these concerns were taken into consideration remains unknown, as expressed Judith Toebe (who was mentioned initially).

“The school itself should ask the students for what they want and I hope it’s community based. That it’s more focused on using the building for us,” the library assistant, Travis Cleveringa said. These words can sum up the concerns for a more inclusive and student oriented library.

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