The library made changes in the first floor and basement in both their structures and facilities in March this year to open up more space in several rooms.
The renovation took place in order to create a complex space for education, research, and culture for all Ewha members, and to provide greater convenience for students.
“The library’s facilities used to be very inconvenient with the hard wooden chairs creaking every time someone moved, which bugged me when studying,” Kim Hyun-jin (International Studies, 1) said. “But now, the library is cleaner and more comfortable to use.”
However, students have differing opinions on the newly opened library with doubts on the practicality of the renovation. Worrisome voices of students are heard as the number of seats available for the students in the Reading Rooms has been reduced from 936 to 471.
“The main purpose of the library is to provide students with a quiet and pleasant place to study in,” Im Ji-young (International Studies, 1) said. “However, the library seems to be focused on secondary things such as beautifying the campus. Although it is pleasant to the eyes, both the students and the school should remember that a library is a library, not a café.”
According to the survey conducted by Woori Ewha, the 45th Student Government Association, among 1,534 students who responded, 53 percent disapproved of the renovations, owing to the reduced number of seats in the Reading Rooms. Forty percent of the students were satisfied with the new facilities while 7 percent had other opinions.
“Although the lighting is brighter than before, it is inconvenient that the number of seats has decreased greatly,” Kim Eun-seon (Environmental Science & Engineering, 3) said.
The main concern students have is how much effect the eliminated seats in the Reading Rooms will bring during the exam periods.
“There are too few seats,” Choi Ha-yeon (Mathematics, 3) said. “It is not even the midterm exam period yet, but the seats are already often full.”
The Ewha Womans University Library responded to such concerns by saying that the renovation was based on students’ former complaints on the shortage of rooms for cooperative works.
“The renovation was carried out after we looked into the statistics of student usage of the Reading Rooms, PC Lab and Laptop Computer Room,” said an official in the Ewha Womans University Library who wishes to remain anonymous. “Unlike the Reading Rooms in the Ewha Campus Complex, the ones in the library were not used as much except during the exam period. Moreover, with the loosened bag keeping system in 2012, more space has been available as the number of Reading Rooms in the upper floors increased with 1,200 seats in total.”
The library further commented by providing an alternative solution.
“We recommend students to utilize the seats in the Ewha-Shinhan Reading Room as it is also open 24-hours during exam periods,” the official said.
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