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The Sentinel

The Student News Site of St. Luke's School

The Sentinel

The Student News Site of St. Luke's School

The Sentinel

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Library Crackdown: The New Rules Put in Place

Librarians Mrs. Myles and Mrs. King
Joe Derr ’24
Librarians Mrs. Myles and Mrs. King

This semester, the St. Luke’s school librarians have put new rules in place for the 2023-24 school year. They want to secure the library as a quiet place for students to work after the noise in the library has steadily increased; however, these new regulations have been met with controversy from the St. Luke’s community.

The first new rule put in place by the librarians Hannah King and Jean Myles is that the library furniture is no longer allowed to be moved. Students moving furniture has always been a problem in the library because students rearrange the space to socialize more easily with their friends. 

“The furniture arrangement that we had before was lending [the library] more to socializing, so we really wanted to be intentional about setting the environment in a way that leads to the way we need the space to be used,” said King.

This year, the library’s layout has been changed in order to minimize noise there. The new layout helps enforce another rule in the library this year. Socializing in the library should be kept to a minimum. The work tables have been split in two, and the couches have been shortened to allow fewer students to sit together in a specific area. King believes these changes to the furniture layout will lessen the urge to socialize in the library. 

“We thought very carefully and intentionally about arranging the library in a way that would be conducive to students doing work, so we want to keep the furniture in the intentional groupings that we made,” said King.

The final rule was limiting the number of people who could be in a single study nook. The nooks, also known as the stacks, are one of the most popular places in the library, but this year, only two students can inhabit each nook at a time. 

“I think limiting the stacks to two people only is conducive because it’s a private environment for work and quiet chat, which is difficult to maintain when there are more than two people,” said Jackie Cecil ‘24.

Unlike Cecil, many students are not fond of the new rules put in place in the library. In a recent student body survey, over 43 percent of the students who answered said the new rules did not improve their library experience, and another 28 percent said the new rules did not affect their library experience at all. This means that less than 30 percent of the students who filled out the survey think that the new regulations positively impact the library. 

Joe Derr ’24

“It’s a change, and it’s not what people are used to from last year…. If you are someone who is used to socializing in the library, of course, it’s [going to] feel negative to you that you have to make a change in your routine…. I can understand why it feels negative to have a space where… [it’s] actually for us to do our schoolwork,” said King.

The library is not the school’s only common space. Upper School students have access to many shared common spaces, including the café, commons, and even outside. There are more areas than just the library that are conducive to socializing.

“I sometimes go to the cafe. The views are really nice and… I like going to the commons because there is food there, and a lot of kids hang out there,” said Isabel Loeffler-Kaplan ‘26.

King believes there are many positives to being able to socialize with friends, but she also believes in the benefits of having a quiet workspace. With the new rules in place, she wants to make sure the library is that space for the St. Luke’s students. King is insistent that these rules are here to stay. The library is supposed to be a refuge for students to keep up with the demanding workload of St. Luke’s School.

“We as a school, St. Luke’s, want to help students come to value thinking hard and focusing on their work,” said King. “We want students to recognize the value of rigorous intellectual pursuits like reading, writing, [and] math…. In order to do that, we need to provide a place on campus that students can engage in those intellectual tasks that we’re asking them to do.”

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About the Contributor
Joe is a current Junior at SLS after starting in the 5th grade. This is Joe’s first season as a member of the Sentinel team, and he is excited to be a part of it. Joe is also very involved with the theater department and loves to sail, even working towards getting his certification to instruct sailing. Joe also loves to talk, play video games and hang out with his friends.

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