The New Ward Melville Jail


Gianna DiPasquale, Production Manager

First the bathrooms… now the Library too?! The student body is outraged at the newly implemented sign-in sheet every time students enter the Ward Melville Library. Since the return from winter break, a clip board sits at the circulation desk requesting each visitor’s name, grade, and purpose for being in the library. The second you step through the plastic book stealing detector devices, Warren and Helen, the library corrections officers, prohibit anyone from venturing off to dare I say… study, without documenting his or her presence.

It is awkward enough being stopped before you enter the bathroom by a monitor or teacher asking you to write down your name and time of duty (pun intended). Not only do I feel like they are judging my bathroom time, but now I get to read the names and times others have went to do their business and ones to follow to see me… weird! For students who range from 15-18 years of age, we are certainly being treated like elementary school kids. Being interrogated every 50 steps you take in the hallway implements unnecessary nervousness and anxiety throughout an already stressful school day.

Now, the inmates of the library sulk into a uniform single file, to write down that they have homework, a project, or studying to complete which they now have 10 less minutes to finish from waiting on the massive line. Leaving the library is not allowed unless you have the almighty plastic lanyard with a hall pass on it. I understand that there needs to be a way to prohibit misbehavior of students in the library, as well as steps take to prevent students from distracting others, but this sign in is more distracting in itself and a bit extreme.

The library used to a be a place where students wanted to go to use the computers, sit at the tables to study in groups, or just quietly listen to music and relax on an off period in the hectic school day. There isn’t a worse feeling than being turned away from library entrance when it is at “capacity” and all a student may want to do is escape the chaotic cafeteria, or have a table and chair to sit in instead of a concrete block in the commons.This safe haven for many, has turned into a jail and one of the most enjoyed folkways of our school, now has a changed reputation.