Books, forgotten breaks: the last students of the UGL share their thoughts

James Hoeck

Vanessa Blas, an engineering junior, and Selena Alena are undergraduate student assistants at the library and are one of the last people working at UGL as operations at the library wind down on Friday.

Last Friday, the Undergraduate Library opened its doors for the last time. Shortly before closing, a few students could be seen working and chatting with friends, some unaware that they would be the last people in the building before it closed for good.

Angelo Eugenides, a junior at LAS, said they were unaware that UGL was closing.

“I didn’t even know that,” Eugenides said. “I’m just doing a few things around my internship at the moment, but it’s really weird not having this place where I studied for the last three years. It’s just ingrained in me to go here when I i need to study.

Like many students, UGL is Eugenides’ preferred choice for a place of study, where he says he spends up to 10 hours a week. Besides its prime location, UGL’s unique experience attracted it.

“I think it’s interesting to have the UGL underground, you know, and especially the story with the Morrow Plots, which is really cool,” Eugenides said. “So yes, I think it’s a very good building.”

Serena Suni, a junior at LAS, said she shares Eugenides’ preference for UGL, even though she lives closer to other libraries.

“It was just a nice place to study while I was at (university), Suni said. “I’m a computer science student, so I see enough engineers in my everyday life, so sometimes I like to come to UGL to be with ‘normal’ students.”

Suni said that although the closure of UGL is sad, she has other options.

“I’m, like, a little sad, but I’ll probably go to the main library now,” Suni said. “It doesn’t really affect me.”

Selena Adetunji, a second-year media student, worked as a staff member at LGU. As a student assistant in the loan office, she helped students with their library needs, but was also able to witness visitor interactions from the front desk.

“It’s a bit bittersweet,” Adetunji said. “It’s a bit surreal. The elders will come with their children and be like, ‘Oh, I used to study here for finals. But it’s very nice to see how far everything goes.

Adetunji will continue to work in the loan office next semester in the new designated space.

“We have a space in the main library,” Adetunji said. “It’s basically like a mini UGL. It will be somewhat different, but it will be the same (services) and places where people can study and hang out with their friends.

Megan Tafalla, a freshman at DGS, expressed her concerns about the space. Living in the dorms, the UGL was the most accessible study space for her.

“I’m not really thrilled with the move,” Tafalla said. “It’s currently a nice central location for a lot of students. I feel like this will affect people in PAR, like the southernmost dorms, as they will have to go further to the other libraries.

Besides the location, Tafalla said she preferred the atmosphere and layout of UGL over other libraries such as Grainger.

“I don’t know if you ever studied at Granger during finals week, but it gets pretty nasty in there,” Tafalla said. “It’s crowded, and my only concern is that there just won’t be enough space for undergraduates to study comfortably. I’m concerned about the density as this will be a multi-year project.

Tafalla said she would be less worried if the University was more transparent with its plans for libraries.

“I guess I would feel better about it if there were more plans made public on, for example, how the seats should be arranged,” Tafalla said. “But I’ve been looking at the library’s website a lot, and since they’re still figuring it out, they don’t really have much information about it.”

Tafalla said UGL holds a special place in his heart, having spent at least three hours at UGL each day and attending many library events such as the cave painting and other student achievement events. .

“People think of libraries as being kind of like static spaces where you walk in and check out your book and then you leave,” Tafalla said. “But what’s also nice about libraries is that they can also be places where you can shape the community, and then the community can kind of shape the libraries.”

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