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Opinion: The Langara Library Needs More Seats

Students having difficult finding a seat to study

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Reported by Amanda Poole

Eat, sleep, study, repeat – the mission of many students – yet a difficult one to fulfill at Langara College.

Finding an empty, quiet place to work in Langara’s library can be as difficult as balancing coursework considering there are only enough seats for four per cent of the 11,000 students enrolled – majority of whom commute from around Metro Vancouver or are international students.

Comparatively, at Capilano University where one third of students reside in North Vancouver and student housing is available, the library can accommodate for six per cent of the 7,000 students enrolled.

Langara’s library has won awards for its environmentally sustainable design, yet the architects failed to prioritize the educational purpose of the building. The college blames an increase in enrollment for the overcrowded library, yet admission levels have remained stable over the past couple of years. Library traffic, however, increased by 40,000 students in 2016.

Library traffic increases each year

The college has offered some temporary solutions by removing outdated books and journals from the library shelves, as well as adding cubicle style framing on large tables to budget space. Unfortunately, many students are still forced to sit on the floor in the library and surrounding halls if they want to stay on campus to get work done. Gone are the days of study buddies – it’s every student for themselves out there.

While Langara has a 25-year Master Plan that promises to develop additional buildings for specific departments, the students of today want a solution while they’re still attending the college. Langara could reconfigure the floor plan to maximize space or even replace some bookshelves with computers, considering most modern students prefer this resource.

With coursework, deadlines, exams, tuition and part time jobs, securing a seat to study shouldn’t be a stressor on students. Especially considering the nature of Langara’s international and commuter population, the chance to work in the library shouldn’t have the same odds as winning the lottery.

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