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Students ditch cafeteria to eat lunch in library

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Students ditch cafeteria to eat lunch in library

Students enjoy their lunches in the library.

Students enjoy their lunches in the library.

Priya Gregerson

Students enjoy their lunches in the library.

Priya Gregerson

Priya Gregerson

Students enjoy their lunches in the library.

Priya Gregerson, Staff Reporter

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The palpable silence sits heavy in the library, broken only by the turning of a page or the subdued whispers spoken behind cupped hands. But as soon as the shrill of the bell fills the halls, the library is filled with students flinging lunch boxes on tables, chairs scraping against the floor and shouts echoing off the high ceiling.

 

Every lunch, around 100 students choose the library as a spot to eat to socialize with friends, play cards, use the computers, study for an upcoming test or read a good book while they eat.

 

“The library is student centered so having the library open for students to bring lunch is important,” Head librarian Zandra Lopez said. “When I was thinking about re-designing the library, I created focus groups and asked students how they felt about food in the library. They all liked having the opportunity to eat and work. They did comment that at times there is a lot of noise, that is why I created the Quiet Zone, no one is allowed to make noise in this area.” Instead of saying no to food in the library, I believe that by giving students the choice to eat lunch in the library we are giving them a voice,” librarian Zandra Lopez said. “We are empowering them to make choices about how they choose to spend their time and I’m thrilled that so many of them want to spend it in the library.”

 

After a stampede of students exit the library after every lunch, the librarians have to clean up the area.

 

“Clean up is an issue,” Porter said. “The kids do a pretty good job of cleaning up after themselves but Ms. Sullivan, Ms. Lopez and myself have to go behind and pick up trash, put chairs back, things like that.”

 

Seating and available space is another problem. The seats fill up pretty quickly and often times people will have to stand or sit on the ground. Sophomore Lizzie Wright and her friends go to the library for PIT every A day and then stay for A lunch.

 

“The seats definitely fill up pretty quickly,” Wright said. “Sometimes you have to kick people out of the tables for larger groups to sit.”

 

The library allows students to work on whatever they need to. Even if students don’t come to the library to work, they are still welcome to eat and socialize with friends during lunch.

 

“[The library being a lunch spot] is good for [students] to get to know me since I’m a new librarian here this year,” Porter said. “It’s so nice to get used to seeing familiar faces.”

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Students ditch cafeteria to eat lunch in library