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Library Policies: Too Little? Too Much?

Rysa Tahilramani

With over 100 users a day and 18,500 books, HKIS’s HS library is one of the most sought out places at school. As such, it is no secret that the library has set rules and expectations that have been the subject of many a student's complaints.
The rules are as follows: no eating or drinking is allowed (excluding water), belongings must be kept with you at all times, and the rules for each particular zone must be upheld. There is a three dollar fine a day for any book which is overdue, along with some basic etiquette: chairs must be tucked in and desks cleaned up when you leave.
Yet it is a common occurrence to see a student, head hung in shame, walking out of the library eating food.
According to Mrs. Krembs, the library only has one hard rule—no food. “The rest,” Mrs. Krembs said, “are expectations and respecting the library, as it is a public place.” 
Students generally agree with this. “It is a strict but fair rule because, in the library, you have a lot of books and everything so you just do not want people to make a mess of their food,” Audrey Chen (10) said. 
In addition, when you go to the bathroom or to fill up your water bottle, you should take all of your belongings with you. Mrs. Krembs said, “This isn’t a policy, it is just an expectation. It is not your bedroom or your study room.” The possibility of theft is always there, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
There is certainly some dissent among students regarding this particular expectation. “Say you’re working really hard on something then you have to just pack up all your stuff just to use the bathroom. I feel like that’s unnecessary,” Angelica Kiely (10) explained.
Chloe Tse (10) suggests a solution: “When students have to leave to go to the bathroom or when students have to go refill their water bottles there could be a plaque card or a sign saying that the student is only gone for a certain amount of time.” 
Moreover, if a book is overdue, there is a three day grace period, and afterward, it is three dollars for each day it is not returned. Students express some discontent with this policy. “I feel like [paying three dollars a day] is a bit much -— they should give you a week before they start fining you,” Angelica said.
What is not common knowledge is what happens with the money paid for fines. Mrs. Krembs explained, "The money that we get from fines and such goes back into the treats that we provide for students.” For example, during the Mid-Autumn Festival, the librarians hands out White Rabbit candies on your way out of the library.
For overdue laptops, the fine is 100 dollars a day, and for AV equipment such as cameras, it is 25 dollars a day. However, this rule is not set by the library, but by Mr. Hamlet Lin. Mrs. Krembs explained that “we are like the broker or the middle man so we check it out to people,” but it is not the library who owns this equipment. 
Although there is some controversy regarding certain library rules and expectations, they are there to maintain the studious and peaceful nature of the HKIS library. Mrs. Krembs’ overarching philosophy is “to help you guys get prepared for college, which is why it is such an academic library.”

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