Have you ever had someone's luggage on your booked library seat that prevented you from sitting? Recently, complaints about it have been appearing on Cheongram Square.
In principle, users should use the library by reserving a seat through the KNUE Library mobile application. After that, seats can be confirmed through the beacon confirmation system or the kiosk in front of the multimedia room. Thus, a reservation is essential. However, there are occasions when a seat is used or even luggage is placed on a seat without reservation, which we define as personalizing seats.
Students have mentioned personalizing seats at Cheongram Square for a few years, even voicing their complaints on ‘the drum for the people’ of the Ministry of Education. To solve this problem, the library announced that after Sept. 18, they would restrict students’ ability to personalize seats and confiscate personal items that have been left in the library. If the prohibited acts are caught more than three times, library service will be limited for three months for graduate students or undergraduate students and will be deprived of membership for general members. Restrictions included leaving luggage on the unreserved seats and placing personal items throughout the library. According to the library, the confiscation began on September 18, and the situation of seat reservation is captured on cellphone to leave evidence of judgment when the personalizing of a seat is caught. Besides, during the confiscation process, photos are taken so as to prove there was baggage left, and warning signs are left. Users who are caught must sign a warning list when getting their belongings back.
What do our students think about personalizing seats and restrictions of the library? A survey of 87 people found out that 62.1 percent of students experienced inconvenience because they had to rebook other seats if the seats are personalized. Also, 63.2 percent of the respondents thought personalizing seats was caused because of a lack of individual morality, followed by 20.7 percent who thought that the issue is caused by inefficiency of the reservation system. Furthermore, 65.5 percent said the announcement of restrictions is effective. Add to this, many students mentioned that the strong response of the library to offending users and improvement of the users' awareness are needed to solve problems.
A library official said, “After the new confiscation is in effect, the number of users who were caught have been decreasing. Some malicious slander has also been increasing recently, but what we have known from the inspection is that personalizing seats occurs less often than expected. It is not a competitive situation in which all seats are reserved and, even if there are personal items on unreserved seats, most of seats are booked. Even so, there are ongoing discussions on how to deal with issues, such as analyzing the instance and guidelines at other universities. We are restricting immediately when personalizing seats are caught and trying to be as comfortable as possible for library users. I hope that users will also try to understand and consider others.”
As the survey shows, it is important not only to improve the system but also to raise users' awareness to solve the problems. Would it not be nice to use the library all together having our conscience and courtesy as a preliminary? INDIGO is looking forward to better public etiquette for our school's students.
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