Board is searching for solutions for crowded library

07 Nov 2018

The university board is going to search for a solution for the shortage of study spots during exam periods. They do this because of the extremely crowded library during the past exam period. Especially last Sunday, people had to fight for a spot.

Because of the disappearance of study spots in the Thomas van Aquinostraat (TvA), and the growth of the number of student, the capacity of the library is under pressure. On top of that, the exam periods of Radboud University, HAN and some high schools fell in the same week. This resulted in crowds of people trying to use the library, with a peek on Sunday the 28th of October. According to people who were there, it was hard to find a spot on that day, even short after the time it opened. Furthermore, the wifi connection faltered.

Photo: Kim Wichmann

No space
Kim Wichmann (27), third-year psychology student, was at the library around 10 o’clock in the morning that Sunday, to study for her exams. In spite of her effort to be early, she still ended up standing in a huge line. ‘I managed to find a spot quite easily, but soon after I arrived it was completely full’, Wichmann says. Her friend, who arrived an hour later, could not find a place and had to return home.

Second-year student Tom van Duren (19) did manage to find space, but not the kind of spot he was looking for. ‘I was there at eleven, and walked past all the work stations, and computers in the reading room, but they were all taken.’ Eventually, he found some space on one of the purple couches in the Learning Zone. According to Van Duren, it’s essential to be at the library on time. ‘You definitely have to set an alarm if you want a spot. If you are late, it can definitely be full.’

‘You definitely have to set an alarm if you want a spot.’

The wifi also seemed to suffer under the amount of users. Xiaojun Creemers (19), first-year communication student at HAN, says she could not connect to the Eduroam server that day. ‘I got a guest account at the front desk, but that did not work either’, says Creemers, who had to study without internet for the rest of the day. According to a library employee, who wants to stay anonymous, several students approached the front desk with the same problem that day. All these students used an external log-in, either from HAN or a foreign university.

The situation was a reason for student faction asap to address it during the meeting the employee and student participation had with the executive board. Asap chairman Xander van Ulsen: ‘Many students also have to study on Sundays, so it’s weird that all other locations close.’

The board, through spokesman Martijn Gerritsen, says that it has asked the central library ‘to investigate which possibilities there are to do something about the experienced need for study spaces during the exam period.’ According to Van Ulsen, at least more library locations should be open during the weekend. On Sundays, only the Central library is opened, except during some weeks in December and January. Then, the library in the Grotius building is also opened, because of the exam period at the Faculty of Law.

The Central Library recently said it did not want to install entrance gates. With those gates, the library could exclude high school students or HAN students. ‘These people could be future Radboud students’, said policy officer Gonny Kremers at the time. ‘They might choose to come here sooner if they know the facilities are good.’

The line in front of the central library. Video: Samuel Hofmann

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