The Signpost’s editorial about the library renovation disappointed many students. The main disappointment was the gratuitous sensationalizing of a topic many distinguished faculty and Honor Roll students take seriously and have been discussing in a civil manner. The editorial was unnecessarily incendiary and full of misinformation. The Signpost mentioned “the deserted library” as a reason for why a café, testing center, and other social aspects of the planned restructuring should become a reality, because students “need incentives to go study there.” These incentives are already in place, but the Signpost has missed them: the quiet study space and the academic atmosphere. The “haunting silence” of the library does not mean it is under-used. Large numbers of students study on the third floor, and appreciate the silence every day of the week. We all have been able to join honors societies, receive scholarships, earn international undergraduate research grants, and complete internships. We attribute these successes to having a great place to study, research, and collaborate.
It is important to stick to the discussion topic, something the editorial failed to do. At January’s Faculty Senate meeting, Provost Michael Vaughan said the top three concerns were compact shelving, the size of the collection, and a testing center. Neither the administration or the senate discussed moving Weber FM in the library; does the Signpost know something the rest of the student body does not? This is unlikely. When the author of the editorial was asked about his fact-checking, he said that editorials are held at a different standard than journalistic articles. The Signpost has a responsibility to fact check and not pull information out of thin air. We asked two department chairs and multiple faculty members to comment on the possibility of the proposed testing center in the library being open on Sundays. They said there was no more guarantee that having a testing center in the library would extend access to testing on Sundays while the library is open any more than other testing centers. The Shepherd Union testing center confirms this: the Union building remains open on Sundays, yet the testing center is closed.
An important issue that has not been in the public forum is the possibility of more ebooks over physical books. The Signpost said it is important to not change the spirit of the library, and we could not agree more. The spirit of the Stewart Library and Weber State alike is that they are open to the community. While studying, we have had the opportunity to meet professors, alumni, community members, and students visiting from other schools, all of whom have been able to pull the research they need with little difficulty. This is because of helpful staff, inter-library loans, and a diverse collection. With the rise of technology, there also needs to be a rise in awareness that community members may not have access to many materials in the library. If we want to bring the community to Weber, the library should be a focus of those efforts.
We need to discuss opposing viewpoints/opinions in civil discourse . It is equally important that the Signpost print articles that have been fact checked and do not sensationalize, and seek to inform readers, not divide them.
Alpha Kappa Delta
President, Sociology Club
President, Phi Alpha Theta
Vice-President, Anthropology Club
Former U.S. Senator intern, Washington D.C.