Library Passes in High Demand


Photo by Emi C.

When the library first opens, students, crowd the desk, trying to get a Lancer Time pass.

The library is a popular location for flex-time, and early in the year, students would flock there in large numbers. Though the library is a public space, Longfellow’s two librarians, Lisa Hoyle and Meghan Saladino have a limit to how many students they can supervise while still checking out books.  

To mitigate the problem of overcrowding, they began a new system mid-year.  Students can still use the white Lancer Time pass, but only for quick trips like printing or checking out books.  Students who want to stay longer now have to get a pass in advance. 

Students now have to pick up a library pass in the morning in order to enter the library during Lancer Time, limiting the number to around 36 or so students.  Many students are not fans of this system, claiming to have difficulty obtaining a pass. Students swarm the library when the doors open at 7:10, aiming to be the first in line.

“People will often push you,” said 7th grader Joselynn W., who regularly attempts to get a pass. “Everyone is just crowded there, which kind of makes me uncomfortable.” 

This system can be a disadvantage to students who arrive late because passes usually run out in around 5-10 minutes. 

“If I can’t arrive early enough in the morning, I’m not able to get [a pass] for later in the day,” 7th grader Sydney W. stated.

There are many flaws that the system can improve on besides the morning crowds and students not being able to get passes in time.

“I don’t think it’s very good since someone could steal it and someone could do something bad with it or something that just isn’t useful. So, I think we should use e-hall passes rather than paper ones,” student Zecharius H. stated.

Ms. Saladino encourages students who haven’t gotten passes to come the day before to pick up passes during lunch.  But arriving late isn’t the only problem. Students often hog passes and come in every day just to hang out with their friends in the library instead of saving it for others that actually need to do work. 

For that reason, they try to be equitable when deciding who gets the passes. 

“We know that there are certain people who try to come in every single time, and then they’re not necessarily here to work, so we do try to pick out people who we see are actively working during LancerTime. Sometimes we do pass over people who have been problematic during LancerTime,” said Ms. Hoyle.

Examples of problematic behavior include being loud or disruptive to others, making it difficult for those trying to get work done to concentrate. 

According to their records, they’ve seen a lot more people being able to use the library since the system was put in place. 

“We’ve been getting more people cycling in and out during LancerTime than we did before,” Hoyle added.

With the introduction of e-hall passes, some students worry that even this newer system will change, making it harder to get a pass. However, the librarians have stuck with the paper passes, asking students to also fill out the e-hall pass form.  This allows them to track numbers more easily and make sure teachers are aware that a student is on a pass.  But having the paper pass makes it easier to identify who is there for what purpose.