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E.S. Bird officials to strengthen quiet policies

After reported robberies and student complaints through social media, E.S. Bird Library’s administration is using new techniques to try and close down “Club Bird.”

Many students see the first floor of Syracuse University’s Bird Library as a place to talk and hang out, dubbing it “Club Bird.” The administration will be implementing new rules to remind these students that the library’s primary purpose is academics.

Pamela Whiteley McLaughlin, director of communications and external relations of Bird, said the library staff expects the first floor to be a very active place. She added that since the opening of library café in 2008, faculty members feel like the activity has increased. However, McLaughlin also said the faculty feels that a café in the library is inappropriate.

“I don’t think the atmosphere has changed,” McLaughlin said. “What has changed is the behavior and the attitude of students.”

Because of the recent complaints from students who are trying to get work done, the administration is working to address these complaints and monitor the atmosphere of the library, she said.

Starting this semester, the library is enforcing ID checks. Students will have to show their student ID cards in order to enter or remain in the library after 9 p.m., she said. Also, groups of six or more students will no longer be allowed to meet on the first floor. These groups will have to check out study rooms that are available on the upper levels of the library.

Safety has also been important to the administration, especially after dealing with multiple complaints of unattended items going missing. Complaints about these occurrences prompted administration to take action, McLaughlin said.

These measures are being implemented in hopes of ensuring a safer environment and maintaining lower noise levels, McLaughlin said.

Will Norris, a junior newspaper and online journalism major, said he often avoids going to the library because it’s crowded and loud.

“I really see the need for some sort of control,” Norris said.

He said he thinks the new ID policy is a smart measure because people who aren’t students shouldn’t be in the library after these hours.

Anthony Phillips, a junior television, radio and film major, said he agreed with the importance of the measure, but feels it could be hard to implement.

“If they check your ID to enter it makes sense, but I don’t think they’ll go around checking everyone’s ID,” he said.

Phillips said he goes to the library only occasionally and mostly between classes because he prefers to do his assignments at home since the library is too noisy.

McLaughlin, the director of communications at the library, said a lot of the complaints the library receives come from its social media monitoring.

“The library has a number of tools such as a Facebook fan page and Twitter, and we use a mention notifier to respond to complaints and reach out,” she said.

McLaughlin also said existing campaigns will be brought to the attention of students. One of these is the Quiet Campaign, which encourages students to text a help line if they have a noise complaint. McLaughlin said this campaign has been helpful in the past.

Both Norris and Phillips said the library’s use of social media monitoring tools is a good way to update the library.

Said Phillips: “I think they’re just adapting to social media, and that’s a good way to respond to what students want.”

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