It should be clear to any member of the Drexel University community that its libraries are not representative of a Top 100 university. However, before addressing library collections, operating hours or lack of space, the library’s state of repair must be explored.
While I commend the just-completed renovation of the basement restrooms, and the planned renovation of the first floor restrooms and removal of a few bookshelves, this does not cover the bare minimum of what needs to be done.
For how long have the outlets on the tables and floor of the Bookmark Cafe not functioned? Many outlets on the second floor are broken as well. Countless pieces of furniture are dilapidated, and many group study rooms still feature dusty chalkboards. Not to mention the rest of the restrooms, which are equally in need of renovation.
Unfortunately, the aforementioned concerns cover only state of good repair. As a Top 100 university, we should hold our library to a higher standard, which brings me to the dwindling selection of periodicals. We have lost all local newspapers and Consumer Reports. Even The New York Times was cut, although that subscription has since
What kind of library has difficulty maintaining its subscription to The New York Times? Unfortunately, for the other cut periodicals, the library has not fully replaced the print subscriptions with online access, so the content is lost.
Let us not forget that one of the greatest problems facing the library is lack of space. In 2008, Drexel took a quarter of the Hagerty Library away, and turned it into the law library. Since then, all non-law students continue to use the library in great numbers, and we are left to make do with the remaining space.
While non-law students are allowed to use the law library after 6 p.m., they are never allowed to use the group study rooms or even allowed access during law student exam weeks. These policies cause the remaining sections of the library to become overcrowded during the day, let alone law student exam times. It’s hard to accomplish much in a library when you can’t
find a seat.
In response to the loss of space, Drexel opened the Library Learning Terrace near the dorms. Obviously, this small space does not make up for the entire third floor of the Hagerty Library.
While this might seem like a minor issue, given all the others, the Hagerty Library closes rather early on Fridays and Saturdays. Staying open a little later would be an easy way to make our library not
Recently, in its monthly newsletter, the library explained its efforts to replace burned-out lightbulbs in the Center City library. Patrons were complaining that the burned-out bulbs were causing the library to be “too dark.”
Any institution that must make a special effort to replace lightbulbs has sunk to a new low. Drexel’s leadership must take action and improve our library. It is a drag for the rest of the institution
Brandon Marder is a finance major at Drexel University. He can be contacted at [email protected]