Staff Now Permits Exiting on First Floor by Farhat Batool

A student uses the first floor exit of the Cohen Library. Photo by: Katie Herchenroeder

Students at The City College of New York find inconveniences all across campus. One example many will use is the limited exits at the Cohen Library. The Undergraduate Student Government found this issue to be an opportunity for improvement. No longer will faculty and students have to leave through the second floor. Now, the first floor boasts detectors to allow students to exit easier.

In the past, students could enter through the first floor of the library. The second floor doorway had detectors to alert security of unrented books. Without these detectors on the first floor as well, the library prohibited exiting.

The college installed these detectors over winter break, but technical difficulties delayed them. “They weren’t working until this semester about [three] weeks ago” says Jovan Lewis, a tech center staff member. “They are not metal detectors really, but only to be used for books,” he said. In regards to their purpose, he explained “this was definitely overdue.”

“People want to use the computers fast and want to be in and out,” said a member of the circulation desk. “It’s easier and more convenient because people want to come and get their work done or quickly print without worrying about going upstairs to exit.”

The doorway can be found on the south-side of the North Academic Center. Photo by: Katie Herchenroeder

Todd Pickens, another circulation member, was positive about the use and safety of the detectors. “They’re there to protect us from loss; we could lose books if people just walk out with them. We need them there to prevent people from leaving with our books.” He added that it was a measure of security used by even the largest companies. “If you walk into Barnes and Noble they have ‘em. If you walk into Walmart, they have ’em,” he shared. This change had with the students in mind, as is evident from Pickens’ claim. He added, “We’re buying these things for students to use, for you to use.”

Emily Pagano, a librarian, feels quite differently about the matter. “Unfortunately, I guess it makes sense given the state of the world today,” she explained. “Although I feel, especially around here, it would probably create a lot of congestion and crowding down there, we already have the escalators that don’t work. I feel like maybe that could create more problems than it solves but we’ll see.”

It seems as if convenience is something the students of CCNY have to often forego. Yet, the new detectors on the first floor of the library may afford them a small step towards it. It’s uncertain whether the new exit will cause more congestion at this doorway.

For now, students are reacting positively to the change. Ghufran Khan, a sophomore studying engineering, shared his appreciation. “It’s much easier for me because I mostly use the computers on the first floor to do my work and can exit out onto the elevators instead of having to go back upstairs to the escalators that don’t work half the time,” said Khan.


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