University library considers installing turnstiles


MAASTRICHT. Again students are complaining about the over-crowded library in the city centre. This time, they did so in the Law Faculty Council meeting last Wednesday, in which the idea of the university library to install turnstiles again was discussed.

At the moment, there is no strict rule that says that the university library is only open to students and employees from Maastricht University. But if the library were to actually install turnstiles at the entrance, like at the new learning spaces on the Tapijn premises, then only UM pass holders could enter. Introducing this kind of ID checks is related to the library’s function, says building manager Yvette Froeling. According to her, there is no consensus on this. There are those who think that the university library has a social function and should be open to everyone, including school children, so that they can have a comfortable transition from school to higher education. Others want to keep out ‘strange customers’. The topic is about to be discussed in the directors meeting.
There is a lack of fixed checks in the university library, “because this causes too much disturbance when people are studying,” says Froeling. Visitors can be asked for their UM card or ID. “Especially during the busy periods, like before exams, we check more intensively. We ask secondary-school children to leave, referring them to Centre Céramique, for example.” Overcrowding - during the day - in the city centre university library has been a major problem for years. Expanding the number of learning spaces in a Tapijn building, last spring, and study spaces in the Bonnefanten convent, did not result in the desired solution. “The more places you offer, the more students turn up,” said Froeling a few months ago in Observant. This autumn, there will be a trial with faculty teaching rooms being used as study spaces.

University library considers installing turnstiles