Student Senate to vote on library door resolution

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Caroline Lundberg

The south doors of Karrmann Library are currently off-limits to students.

Colten Bartholomew, Sports Editor

he University of Wisconsin-Platteville Student Senate will be writing a resolution in support of opening the south doors of the Elton S. Karrmann library, which have been locked since early this summer.

Crystal Fix, a business administration major, brought the issue to the Student Senate at its first meeting of the semester, with more than 100 signatures.

“The south doors being locked are an inconvenience for everyone,” Student Senate President Joe Kluever said.  “We are especially concerned for when winter comes and the hills on both sides of the library become difficult and dangerous to walk up.”

Kluever also said that with all library traffic entering and exiting through the north doors, students who are studying and working in the library’s second floor have little to no quiet work space.

Zora Sampson, Director of Karrmann Library, said the doors were locked because late last fall, and throughout the Spring 2013 semester, the library experienced security breaches and vandalism.

Sampson said to the Student Senate at its Sept. 23 meeting that examples of these security breaches included furniture being stacked up on the third floor, sections of books being moved and beef jerky being placed in printer trays.

Campus Police was brought in to install new security protocols in response to these acts, and Sampson wrote in an email that in order to deter these incidents, a desk was installed on the third floor to improve security of those studying on the quiet floor and of the collections there.

“In order to staff these new protocols, with no new staff available to us and with summer work-study funding ended, we had to close the first-floor doors,” Sampson wrote in an email.

When the doors were locked, Pete Davis, Director of Facilities Management, was brought in to ensure that the change did not cause a fire hazard.

“Because the doors are still able to be used as an emergency exit, there is no risk of a fire hazard,” Davis said.

According to the 2011-12 Academic Library Survey of all UW Libraries, UW-Platteville has the second-least number of librarians in the UW system, even though the UW-Platteville librarians must staff a branch library in the Southwest Wisconsin Room and University Archives in Ullsvik Hall.

“No other UW academic library has two entrances.  We still staff two doors in two buildings.  This requires more of our staff to remain in place for security than those on other UW campuses, yet we are not better staffed than other UWs,” Sampson wrote in an email.

Student Senate has sent representatives to Faculty Senate, Academic Staff Senate and Non-classified Staff Senate who are looking into the issue from their own position.

Student Senate will propose that the south doors are open from 7:45 a.m. to 7 p.m., which would alleviate the inconvenience for users of the library, and they believe this would also accommodate for the security issues of the library.Library2

Right now, the library’s north doors lock from the outside at 11:20 p.m. for nightly checks of the building and the library closes at midnight.

The resolution was in discussion in Student Senate on Monday and will be voted on at their meeting Oct. 7. Should it be passed, the resolution will be sent to Interim Assistant Chancellor of Student Affairs Joanne Wilson.

Wilson declined to comment on the issue until Student Senate’s resolution reaches her office.