Elis, officials formally discuss Bass

Although Bass Library has been open for seven months, students sat down with University officials for the first time last night to formally discuss the library’s functionality.

On Thursday evening, 10 students met with Danuta Nitecki, associate University librarian for public services, and University Planner Laura Cruickshank in Sterling Memorial Library’s lecture hall to discuss the benefits and problems with the former Cross Campus Library, which opened its doors as the renovated Bass Library last October. Topics discussed ranged from the availability of study space, the library as a social center and the Thain Family Café.

Students came to the meeting expecting that administrators would value their thoughts on the Library.

“I know a lot of student input went into the initial planning of Bass,” said Yale College Council Vice President Emily Schofield ’09, who attended the forum. “I knew when I came here tonight that the administrators would value student input [in the continual] improvement of Bass.”

The meeting’s participants said they enjoy Bass Library’s comfortable study environment — some even joked that the seats are too comfortable, to the point where they fall asleep studying — and commented that they regularly study at Bass because of its welcoming feel.

Many students said they were confused about when they could and could not use the study rooms, for example during the so-called “graduate-only hours.” Nitecki assured students that, unless reserved, all library spaces are available to all students during the Library’s hours.

She added that there are six classrooms on reserve in the library for group study sessions or presenting projects. By and large, participants were unaware of these spaces, and agreed that administrators should publicize them better.

Nitecki told participants that she and Cruickshank are trying to encourage more student events to take place at the Café. Certain students suggested the library could host new events such as “Sophomore Night” and periodically hold poetry jams.

Nitecki said library administrators are even brainstorming ways to draw massive crowds of Yale students to the library, similar to when Bass opened its doors with a midnight gala event in October.

“We’re game to have an event comparable to our opening,” she said.

Several students said they appreciated the addition of the Café, which doubles as a social location and a hot spot for cheap, $1 coffee.

Participants expressed concern that it would be easy to take books from the Café without having checked them out. Several said that security guards had not thoroughly inspected their backpacks when they exited, which made them wonder why the library even has guards in the first place. Nitecki explained that the detectors students pass by as they leave the library will go off if students leave with books, and the security guards are simply a secondary deterrent.

Nitecki said the talk allowed her and Cruishank to directly receive student feedback about the library.

“We had a good turnout, and very thoughtful, helpful comments,” she said. “People like the library very much, [but] there are some areas we can give some specific thought to.”

Students said the meeting was a good opportunity to interact with University officials about their feelings regarding Bass Library.

“I think its great when they ask for student input and sit down and explain why they’re doing what,” Nathan Burow ’11 said.

“I know [Nitecki and Cruickshank] care very much about student opinions, and they showed that tonight,” YCC Treasurer Harrison Marks ’10 added.


  • Anonymous

    Is there any possibility of a second bathroom in the cafe? The current one is always occupied, and then you have to go past the guard to use the bathroom, and then you have to get all your stuff checked on the way out, and it's a pain.

  • Anonymous

    what about the temperature? i know lots of people, at times myself included, who find it too cold to study in Bass. Especially since some of the air vents are located directly above the sofas and chairs where students read for long periods of time.

  • Anonymous

    poor hours - why is it closed most of the weekend?

  • Anonymous

    Hours! We need more hours!

    For starters, it should be open as late on weekends as it currently is on weeknights. Second, it should be open 24 hours/day, or at least until 4.

    If Yale wanted to avoid a 24 'library culture' problem where some students sleep in the library and never leave, they could close it for one hour (say, from 5AM-6AM) each morning in order to kick everyone out and make them give up their weenie bins and go home.

    Also, I think that the extended hours should stretch 3 or 4 weeks farther back from the end of the semester. This would be a windfall for seniors writing senior essays.

  • Hieronymus

    To # 4:

    Um, students' Labor-lovin' ways are sure to conflict with your entirely reasonable request that the University pay greater homage to its STUDENTS than its oh-so-oppressed WORKERS.

    Can't have it both ways, bro.

  • Anonymous

    What students are you going to hire for 24 hours? No one likes working that long. SML's the one that needs longer hours…

  • Yalie

    "If Yale wanted to avoid a 24 'library culture' problem where some students sleep in the library and never leave, they could close it for one hour (say, from 5AM-6AM) each morning in order to kick everyone out and make them give up their weenie bins and go home."

    Not a bad idea, but wouldn't it make more sense to have showers in the library for students who have exams or papers and do not want to leave the library every day to shower? It would not be necessary to have a lot of showers, obviously the library is not supposed to be like a gym, but just 4 or 5 showers would make all the difference during crunch time.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with poster #2…the library really is too cold. I try to come prepared with an extra fleece, but I always end up coming home thoroughly chilled anyway.

  • Anonymous

    The reason the library is so cold is because it's set at a temperature that's ideal to preserve the condition of the books.

    Also, I don't like the idea of the library being open for longer hours because then the student workers would be required to work many more hours. They have to do their own work too. Work in your college libraries or in your rooms.

  • Anonymous

    Showers? In a library? Then any Richrad Thomas or Harry could come frm outside and use them. You gottaq be kidding!

    Actaully CCL was much better ; its "harshness" was conducive to concentrated studying and the vending machines provided more than adequate nutrition when needed.