University Library to put locks on quiet study rooms

Use of the rooms will be limited to increase availability to students


Jacob Peterson

Third-year business major Hailey Neves studies on the second floor of the University Library on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Neves said making more study rooms available would be good for those looking for a secluded place to study.

Jacob Peterson, news staffer

The quiet study rooms on the fourth floor of the Sacramento State University Library will be changed from first come, first serve to keyed rooms over the winter break, according to library administration.

The library’s Associate Dean for Academic Services Nicole Lawson said the change is being made to meet increased room demand. While Sac State has over 30,000 students enrolled for the fall 2022 semester, there are only six individual study rooms available on the fourth floor to accommodate private studying.

“The fourth floor has always been popular, as have those rooms, but we’ve just really noticed that the demand has increased so much more,” Lawson said. “The first-come first-serve model really just doesn’t work and it’s really limited.”

Lawson said enrolled students will be able to get a key from the front desk on the library’s first floor and stay in the rooms for up to four hours. She said students will receive a notice if the keys are kept out after 24 hours and charged the price for a replacement if not returned. 

The story continues below the image. 

The lobby on the first floor of the University Library on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. After the fourth floor study rooms have been keyed over the winter break, enrolled students will need to come to the front desk to get access to a room. (Jacob Peterson)

Lawson noted the rooms’ popularity with students who study at the library, due to their quiet atmosphere. One student who finds the study rooms helpful is third-year finance major Karan Kaur.

“People aren’t talking to each other or anything, so I’m able to focus in there and get more done,” Kaur said.

Another student who appreciated how quiet the rooms are is Shalei Biggs, a first-year child and adolescent development major. She said she understood the reasoning for the changes to the rooms, but did have concerns.

“I just worry that the process would be too complicated for some students to actually go through and make use of the rooms that way,” Biggs said.

Some students like third-year civil engineering major Sam Leveck said they personally didn’t make use of the study room, but thought limiting the time for them may be a good idea based on issues with group study rooms on the third floor.

“I’ve noticed a lot that people reserve them and then no one shows up,” Leveck said. “So no one can go and use them because they’re just reserved; you can’t go in there.”

The story continues below the image. 

Students studying on the third floor of the University Library on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022.The Library’s Associate Dean for Academic Services Nicole Lawson said the study rooms on the fourth floor are popular because of how much quieter they are compared to the third floor. (Jacob Peterson)

Lawson said there are multiple faculty rooms on the floor as well, but whether these can be converted into student rooms depends on demand from faculty.

“If we notice that the usage by faculty changes, then we may look at changing some of those rooms into student use rooms,” Lawson said. “I will say that the fourth floor rooms that are designated for faculty are the most popular.”

Biggs said she would like to see more rooms available if it is possible. Hailey Neves, a third-year business major, said she was also supportive of more rooms being added.

“The biggest thing a lot of the time for students is finding a secluded place to study in, so I think it would be a good idea,” Neves said.

Lawson said the Zoom rooms on the third floor are an example of conversion, having been faculty rooms before it was apparent faculty weren’t making use of them. She said they would be monitoring the rooms on the fourth floor in a similar matter.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve the student experience here and to meet the different kinds of ways the students want to use the space and to interact with each other or not interact with each other,” Lawson said. “We try to hear what people are looking for and meet that need where we can.”