Walking in, you expect a kind of sanctuary in Odum. It’s a college library meant to foster the study of each one of the students in attendance at VSU. Instead, fights are occurring, computers are being taken up, and every once in a while a screaming kid runs in-between the book stacks.
Let’s be clear, it’s nothing against the Valdosta community, but we just feel that the library should be reserved for student use only. Not only do all the students finance the library with student fees, but it should ultimately serve as a sanctuary where students can go and be able to solely focus on their studies. The Valdosta community has its own resourceful public library that is funded by their taxes and that they have regular access to.
Another reason that the Odum library should be void of locals is that the student population is growing vastly from semester to semester. With the student body growing so much in number, the library will need all the spare room it can manage to create.
As a solution we can take from examples like at Georgia State University where they require the students and staff of the school to swipe their ID cards to gain entrance into the library. They are still open to the public during business hours (8:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.), but during the week before finals and through finals week the library is completely closed to the public.
This is the type of policy we think the VSU academic community could benefit greatly from and it would help for students to be confident going into the library that they will be have more freedom from distractions and be able to focus more on their academic pursuits. We also suggest if a resident of Valdosta visits Odum that they have an area of the first floor sectioned off specifically to the public so that we can also avoid the issue of the computers being used by the public and not being available to members of the VSU community.