If you are going to one of the most expensive colleges in the United States, you expect to get a lot out of it.
Although Drexel University offers many scholarships and a lot of aid, it increases tuition every single year as the application pool gets bigger. Parents pour in money every quarter and just like every other student’s parents, mine asked me about the library the moment I began my freshman year. At that time, I didn’t pay much attention to the space, so I told them it was adequate and cozy and filled with friendly staff. But every quarter, the library seemed to get smaller.
It is very small for a college that has approximately 25,000 students. Some may argue that Drexel has the co-op program, so only half the population would be utilizing the space at a given time. However, the library wouldn’t even fit 13,000 people. It consists of only three floors and the first floor is already occupied with an office space and a cafe that doesn’t even have food. There are approximately 10 tables and several couches with a center table. There are a few study rooms, but that’s about it for the first floor. The basement has many study rooms, computer labs and classrooms, and almost double the amount of tables, as does the second floor, though it has a lot more shelves of books. The third floor is usually reserved for law students and is open for a certain number of hours. Anyone can easily say it’s not enough for 25,000 people.
On a regular day, the traffic of students is not that bad and finding an empty room or table isn’t a problem, but right before midterms and finals, students, including myself, waste a lot of time just searching for a table — often with no success. Even if they do manage to find a spot, it’s usually in the basement where the noise level is really high. The study rooms which can host four to six people will be occupied with just one person, while a whole group keeps looking for a place to sit and study. And at the top floors, where the noise level is much lower, the tables will be occupied by students who seem to never leave.
Once you manage to settle down and finally start studying on a normal week day, it will close at 2 a.m., while on the weekends you have to be out by 8 p.m. It does remain open 24 hours during finals week but during mid terms it can be a challenge studying in the library. Talking to a lot of people and experiencing the ordeal myself it is very annoying and tiresome to have to search for a study space, which is not a lobby or a common space in some dorm or a coffee shop. For students who live off campus and have to walk for a while to go back home, it can be a huge problem as the shuttle loop stops at 8 p.m. every night and the library closes at 2 a.m.
Drexel does have other academic buildings with several places to sit and study, but those buildings close around 10 p.m. and do not have the library atmosphere.
In conclusion, students, who are coming to one of the best colleges in the states and from all over the world to one of the most expensive schools, should not have to stress about finding a place to study. Drexel should really think about expanding their library space to improve the lives of all its students.