Before leaving St. John’s U for the summer last semester, many of us were aware of the upcoming renovations that were going to be made to St. Augustine Hall, the building that houses the library on the Queens campus.
Like any other student on campus I expected that all the knocking down of walls and what-have-you would be done by the time Fall semester came around, right? WRONG. Instead, I was greeted with a giant barricade and poster board that said CLOSED. I expected the problem to be remedied soon. I mean, after all, how can you have a university without a library?
To my chagrin, the library facilities, with the exception of the cafe on the bottom floor and two adjoining rooms on either side, will be unavailable until the end of October. WHAT?!
This leaves the students with not only fewer options of places to study, but puts a burden on the other facilities around campus. Just a simple stroll through Marillac Hall during Common Hour will tell you. CROWDED. Even the usually quiet and relatively empty Sullivan Cafe is feeling the pinch. For the first time ever, I went in and couldn’t get a seat.
Where does this leave commuter students who, by the way make up a large percentage of the university, who don’t have the option of going back to the dorms between classes? Either jockey for a space to chill or go off campus, or even back home. Unfortunately, for most of us, home is in other boroughs, making that option less desirable and even impossible.
The university is trying to make library materials more available however, with a temporary system which requires you to request materials via phone or online and then you’ll be able to pick it up in the Academic Commons. However, not all the books will be available and students still may have to go to an off-campus library.
Unfortunately, we’re gonna have to make do until the renovations get finished. Hopefully, it’ll be well worth the wait. For all this inconvenience, this library better rival The Library of Congress!