By Sarah Eckrich
February 28, 2013
Library—the word brings to mind peace, solitude, comfort, and studying. This is especially true of our beloved Stevenson Library, with its plethora of couches, bean bags, and comfy chairs, as well as the widely-used second floor Wollock Learning Commons. This humble haven is marked by its cubicles of whiteboards and students hungry to further understand. On any given day, you can hear about almost every subject on campus.
Lately though, the only reliable sounds on the second floor are the noises of sawing, drilling, metal smashing metal, and even chainsaws, some would claim. It has become a home shared by tutoring services and ongoing renovations as preparations are made to move Media Services up from the basement.
Luckily for most tutors, the need for verbal communication is almost completely exhausted by whiteboards.
But, this is not the case for your dearly beloved Writing Center tutors. We are not able to simply regurgitate grammatical adages or restructure paragraphs on a whiteboard. Intimate communication is key to learning who people are, what they want to convey, and how they want to express themselves. Every person, paper, and therefore session is different.
We often require students to read their works aloud in order to hear how a piece flows. We have to pose questions, postulate problems, and help students find solutions. What we do is art; no session can be duplicated or fully explained by logic alone. This process definitely needs the peaceful atmosphere characteristic of libraries.
While the movement of Media Services is thrilling, there’s no reason that we tutors or our tutees should suffer. It’s bad enough that we can’t get a properly functioning printer and that the air vents squeak miserably. Though we’ve learned to work around these minor inconveniences, I dare any one of you to sit and listen attentively to a ten-page paper, no matter how captivating, with the sounds of scraping metal, thunking tools, and constant drilling as your backdrop.
Think about it: you wouldn’t go sit at a construction site to study for a test. Industrial noise does not equate to something like a TV in the background, or your favorite music pulsing in your ears. So why would anyone think it appropriate to cloud our hallowed tutoring sanctuary with just those kinds of distracting sights and sounds?
I’m sure at this point you’ve assumed that the library simply doesn’t exist outside of the hours it’s open to students, but it does! It’s actually here all the time, and so is the second floor. There are plenty of hours, including the first and last few of any day, when the second floor is practically empty. There are other times to build and renovate that don’t interfere with the learning we pay for.
So make some noise for peace and quiet in our library.
Sarah Eckrich is a sophomore majoring in English Writing with a minor in Environmental Studies. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.