The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Inconvenience of library construction could have been avoided

I am sitting on the third floor of the Mitchell Memorial Library, in one of the various quiet study areas. Finding an empty table, I open my notes and textbook. 

Taking hold of my pencil, I prepare myself for the task that is studying chemistry. However, before I can even find the page I had bookmarked, I am greeted by the lovely sound of a jackhammer pounding into concrete above my head. 

My thoughts go from chemistry to construction, from studious preparedness to incredulity and frustration as I reel in the jarring sounds that are now appearing all around me. It is 11 am and I am in a library, yet I still cannot study properly, no matter how hard I try. 

Unfortunately, this was my introduction on what it is like to study at the Mitchell Memorial Library at Missippi State University. 

 I went there to study for a chemistry test, taking it upon myself to make the trek across campus in the sweltering summer heat, just so I could find a suitable study environment for myself and my study partner. 

I left the loudness of the Union and went to the library with the assumption that I would be able to sit down in a peaceful setting to pour over my notes. 

I thought I was making every effort a student could be expected to. In spite of my efforts, the construction still ruined my concentration.

I have worked as a contractor doing construction before. Even more specifically, I have done work in public schools, so I understand the challenges workers and supervisors face when trying to get important work done in an educational setting. 

However, when my crew was drilling into concrete and busting through brick walls in the Copiah County school district, we were working at night. And when school was let out in May, we worked days through the summer. 

We made every effort to not disturb teachers and their students, and this was just at a high school. 

It is inconceivable to me that MSU has not made similar considerations with their library construction.

Some may tell me that I should simply wear earbuds and listen to music, or perhaps find another place to study. However, these tools are loud. I would know, I have had to use them. 

One would have to be seriously blasting out some tunes in order to block the noises of a jackhammer or an angle grinder. When I am studying a subject I have not touched in years, like chemistry, I want to be able to focus without blasting further distracting music. 

As far as finding another place to study, I could, but it simply boggles my mind that I am unable to use the resources that I have paid for as part of my tuition. 

Maybe someone can recommend another place, but I, as an apparently too idealistic MSU transfer student, was hoping and rather expecting to be able to use the library properly.

This is not just a matter of annoyance, either. According to Mark A. W. Andrews, director and professor of physiology at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, background noise can increase the chance of stress-related conditions such as headaches and high blood pressure. 

This  does not  go away with time, either. According to Andrews and his research, habitual exposure can also cause the effects to worsen. 

While I am not saying the noise of the library construction alone is going to give me lifelong stress headaches, it does add to the stress headache I have from cramming for chemistry. 

I love this college, and I love its campus. I look forward to seeing the renovations done to the Mitchell Memorial Library. I understand that with progress there is always going to be certain “growing pains,” and that this situation is no exception. Still, there have to have been ways to mitigate these issues. 

There must have been other avenues the university could have taken to allow for this construction while still providing a suitable learning environment to students. For instance, the construction crews could work in the late afternoon into the evening. They could also put in weekend work. 

Again, I eagerly await seeing the new and improved library. We as students are fortunate that our school has the means to improve upon its campus, and I am sure that the end result will be a marvel of architecture and construction. Nonetheless, it is disconcerting, and even concerning, to come to a new school and not be able to use its library to its fullest extent. 

What is meant to be a place of quiet reflection is, at least until the late afternoon, an insanely loud construction zone. Students should not have to study near a hard hat area, nor should they be expected to just because they want to access the campus library. 

Maybe someone reading this can recommend a quieter, more relaxed location for a transfer student to study on campus. Until then though, I think I will study at the park.

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Inconvenience of library construction could have been avoided