Library etiquette fails at FAMU


Okay, I admit it. I was running late and desperately needed to print out a last-minute assignment. 

So, I figured I would make a quick stop at Coleman Library. My game plan was all laid out.  I would run in, print off my homework and make it to class just before that pesky quiz hit my desk. 

But my fellow Rattlers, God bless them, had different plans for me. 

When I entered the library, I discovered that all of my high-heeled running had been in vain. I glared at the back of dozens of heads as students casually browsed their social networking pages, played online videogames or gawked at the latest headlines from and 

I wondered how many times Tisha “Cantnobodydoitlikeme” Jackson could tweet in 15 minutes.Then I realized that I would be, #lateforclass. 

 “Club Coleman” certainly lives up to its namesake. However, students need to use library facilities for schoolwork and save the social networking, loud talking and rude behavior for the dorm room. 

There are students who rely on these resources to complete  school work and studying, the primary focus in a university setting. 

 I do not know any such student personally, but I am guessing that most of them have access to a personal computer or a cell phone, a device that allows them to tweet their hearts out and check their Facebook pages at all hours of the day. 

Why someone chooses to play Farmville on the school’s computer is beyond my comprehension. 

Some of my classmates are really bold and their clear lack of concern for those around them translates into blatant disregard for others’ eardrums. 

While I’m thrilled to know that my peers’ vocal cords are working properly, I really don’t need to find out who did what at the Mint Lounge last night or who little Keisha’s real daddy is.  It seems that many students have forgotten the golden rule of library etiquette made famous by the overzealous ruler-wielding librarians seen in movies: quiet! 

Common sense would dictate that using our “inside voice” is standard practice when students step off the Set and into the library, but my beloved classmates seem to let this concept slip their minds from the moment they walk in. 

They barrel through the double doors, letting the massive wooden slabs slam behind them. This sound is only offset by the bass blaring through their earphones as they make their way past the front desk and around the main floor. 

The music is playing so loudly, I scan the room for a D.J., search my purse for my I.D., and check my wrist for a band. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love “No Hands” just as the much as the next person; I just don’t like it to mix with my economics lesson. It’s distracting. And the person blasting “Flockaveli” always manages to slide into the cubby right next to me. When I finally do manage to concentrate, a random creeper asks to use my student ID to log into the school’s wireless system. 

How do I know you again?

Alas, my fellow students and I will probably be forced to endure this abuse until our colleagues begin to consider the feelings of those around them.  I know that’s hardly anyone’s first thought when they casually log on to their social networking accounts, but it is something that should be considered every time someone uses the resources we all have to share. 

My trips to Coleman have gone from every day to once a week. The library simply isn’t what I envisioned when I entered college, a sanctuary for scholars who just want to get their work done and leave the foolishness on the streets. I know I must sound like a shrewd bookworm, but in reality I’m just a regular student who takes her work seriously. And like all serious scholars, I need the peace and quiet that is a mainstay in basic library etiquette. 

Turning Coleman into your personal playground is rude and inconsiderate. With a record number of students enrolled at FAMU, resources are stretched thin enough without being used for personal, trivial uses. Some of us have work to do.

As much as I’ve griped and complained, there is not much I can do about this problem. I cannot lawfully break out my riot gear and drag my peers away from their Tumblr accounts kicking and screaming. 

That duty lies with library officials themselves.  Perhaps social networking sites should be blocked on a large number of the facilities computers.  Perhaps loud-talkers should be heckled into silence by library workers.

This could help curb the petty use of library resources in the future, forcing students to go elsewhere the next time they need a Formspring fix.