The Babson Library has seen an increase in its usage recently, as the Springfield College student body wraps up the remaining days of classes and prepares for finals within the next two weeks.
The library has become so busy that a security guard has been added to handle the extra traffic beginning at 5 p.m. each day until the midnight closing.
However, that isn’t the only change Babson has seen this week.
The Babson Library has always been open to Springfield residents and the community, but a decision, which went into effect on Monday, Dec. 3, has limited the community’s usage to school-owned computers.
Anytime after 4 p.m., the library will not give out pin numbers, which up until this point have allowed people access to the computers, including non-Springfield College students or faculty.
This is an attempt to give Springfield students more computers to work with during finals’ week. According to the Director of Babson Library, Andrea Taupier, the library and the community and its residents have maintained a strong relationship, and this is only an academic reason.
“The reasoning had to do with students needing more computer use, especially during finals,” said Taupier. “By turning off the computers for the community, they are open to Springfield College students to use.
“It’s definitely a balancing act. We want to honor our Humanics philosophy. And if it’s not going to affect our students and keep them from using computers that they need to use, then we are glad to invite the community in.”
According to Taupier, this is simply a trial run, and it has yet to be determined if this will carry over to the spring semester. She is also looking for student input to see if they like this change.
“Once we get through finals we’re going to re-evaluate them,” she said.
The Springfield community can still be in the library after 4 p.m., but the latest a Springfield resident can be on the computer is 5 p.m. The pin numbers only allow computer access for an hour.
“They can use the computers all day,” said Taupier. “That’s over 60 percent of the time we are open.”
Despite rumors circulating around campus, the limitations on Springfield residents’ usage of computers at the library has nothing to do with this semester’s pair of on-campus crimes.
In early October, in a span of less than 20 minutes, two students had cell phones stolen in other locations on Alden Street. The first robbery took place outside nearby Weiser Hall, followed by a second one that occurred down the street outside the Allied Health Science Center.
“I have had a couple of students speak with me, but they understand that it is a private school and that they are here because we show outreach to the community,” said the library’s director.
Taupier also stated that the Babson Library staff had briefed the community on the upcoming rule change. Starting on Nov. 26, residents receiving pin numbers from the library desk were given a flyer explaining the impending change. Taupier also mentioned several local city libraries where residents can attend, such as ones in Mason Square, East Forest Park and Forest Park.
Babson Library plans to re-examine the change after finals week.
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