Desks and chairs at the Ewha Centennial Library purchased in 1984, when the library opened, need to be replaced to provide a better study environment, according to complaints on Ewhaian, the online community for Ewha students. Most campus reading rooms are filled with students until late at night, especially during exam season or at the beginning of a semester. It is these times that the inconvenience becomes more evident.
Lee Hyung-hwa (Law, 3), who is studying for the national bar examination, quit using the library reading rooms after finding the desks and chairs there uncomfortable. She prefers the study rooms at the Law Library in the Law Building.
“When I used a reading room in the Centennial Library, uncomfortable desks and chairs spoiled my plan to study for many hours,” Lee said. “They caused backache after just a few hours. Since then, I have never used it at all.”
Lee, who decided to study for the bar exam soon after entering the College of Law, did not take a temporary leave of absence to study. This leaves her no choice but to study at school. The school provides and reserves seats in special reading rooms for students preparing for state examinations, but access is granted only to those who pass a special entrance exam. Since Lee failed, she uses other reading rooms.
In Centennial Library, 82 desks that hold six people each sit in reading room one. Reading room three has eight and reading room four has 32. The desks remain as they were when library administrators purchased them in 1984, except for now some creak or move back and forth whenever students move.
“Because the old chairs make creaky noises when I move, I can’t concentrate on my studying and I’m bothered by other students sitting near me,” Han Na-hyun (Social Sciences, 1) said.
Complaints about the problem are increasing, and many students demand that the desks and chairs be replaced.
“Chairs in the reading rooms at the Centennial Library are uncomfortable because they are hard and stiff,” Lee Yeon-joo (Social Sciences, 1) said. “I want them to be replaced gradually.”
Ewha Centennial Library officials have plans to build a new library or renovate the existing one, including replacing the desks and chairs. However, it isn’t easy. When construction began on the Ewha Campus Complex, the department of Information Services had already asked for support.
“Because our school president and the chairman of the board might put priority on buildings that more people use, the request got pushed back on the list. It was moved back due to construction of the ECC and another campus in Paju,” said Lee Kyeong-jae, a Centennial Library official.
“Only when the university supports us financially it is possible for us to provide students with better studying environments,” Lee said.