Save Olin Library
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Rollins’ Olin Library will be completely changed in the upcoming months. Administrative plans (currently in design) include taking out students’ study spaces in the main floor of the library and making it into a Career Services Center. The plans radically alter the existing space, displacing library and IT staff and dedicating the main floor to “services” rather than to collaborative learning and study. Multiple (and high-traffic) services will be crammed into the library, including TJ’s, Disability Services, R-Compass, Career and Life Planning, and Competitive Fellowships, with only the fourth floor remaining untouched.
The bottom line is Rollins’ mission as a college. If academic success is equated to getting a job after graduation, then what is the point of a liberal arts education? A liberal arts education should offer learning environments that empower young people to interact and grow together to become holistic, active citizens, not make resume building central to the acquisition of knowledge. Rather than focusing on the needs of students in college, these plans emphasize post-graduate life. We believe that Career Services taking over Club Olin is not what Rollins students and faculty want.
According to an email sent out to Rollins faculty by Rollins administration, “Moving forward with implementation, we are working with consultants to conceptualize an integrated, student support center within Olin Library. I am grateful for the ongoing engagement of faculty, staff, and students in imagining the work and the space over the course of this year. This week, our consultants shared concept diagrams with different constituencies on campus and the buzz about the space is increasing.”
And yet these plans have not been approved by Rollins students, faculty, or staff. Why, then, are they being carried outwithout true consultation with stakeholders? Do Rollins students, faculty, and staff truly support this endeavor? We the undersigned object to making the proposed changes to Olin Library. This petition asks the administration to genuinely and thoroughly discuss these plans with affected stakeholders prior to making decisions that affect all of us. We ask for transparency; we deserve inclusion in this process. The library is an award-winning and thriving space for students to talk together about courses, work together on projects, and experience college life together – it would be heartbreaking to lose such a space. Let’s have our voices heard.
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