New Rules for Library

Academic Lab In, Study Hall Students Out

The RMHS library media center has a new set of rules for the 2022-2023 academic year, leaving most students unable to use it during study halls.

There have been some big changes to library access for students this school year. Not only do we have a new librarian–Ms. Moylan–but we also have new regulations. The library is not accessible for underclassmen during study periods. Seniors with senior privilege are the only students who can access the library during studies. Seniors are allowed to enter the library and leave the library anytime during their study block. Additionally, only 20 students are allowed to be in the library during flex blocks. You reserve your spot during flex by sending a smart pass to Ms. Moylan.  When the library is full, Ms. Moylan sends an email to all students informing them that no more passes will be accepted. Many different opinions and frustrations surround these new rules.

Students are perplexed as to why the ability to be in the library during studies has been taken away.  Underclassmen at RMHS have strong feelings about these restrictions. “I hate sitting in my study rooms. I can never focus,” Bethany McGrath (‘24) said. “I don’t understand why they’re being taken away. We’ve had them for this long..I just don’t understand.” McGrath isn’t the only one with concerns about the new rules.

You never know what you’re going to get in study rooms. It can be very chaotic.

— Lily O'Callaghan ('24)


When students are in the library with friends, they know to whisper because it is a quiet space. In some study rooms, though, students talk as loud as they want because they’re in a classroom. When this is the case, it makes it very hard to focus. Lily O’Callaghan (‘24) feels the new rules are unfair. “You never know what you’re gonna get in study rooms. It can be very chaotic,” O’Callaghan explained. “I think the library should be a place of quiet learning, but now it is only available to certain students, which means I can’t access it.” 

On the other hand, teachers seem to be thrilled with the new rules. The decision was not formally discussed with teachers, but when it was announced there was no pushback from the instructional side of RMHS. “I personally support the decision,” said English teacher Mrs. Clawson. “ I think that the library should be a space of learning and collaborating- and not just a hangout spot.” Mrs. Clawson also explained about half the kids in her studies last year would go to the library for the block.

We do want to get to a place where the library is like a place where kids can go to get work done, get academic help, collaborate with each other, and read books.

— Ms. Buckley

There was a similar situation during Flex blocks. Math teacher Mr. McGowan explained, “When I had study classes last year, not many (left), but a lot (left) for flex.” So, limiting the amount of students allowed in the library during flex will dramatically increase the amount of students in their flex classrooms. 

When asked her opinion on the new rules, assistant principal Mrs. Buckley explained how the goal is to get the library to a place of collaboration, reading, and learning. “We do want to get to a place where the library is like a place where kids can go to get work done, get academic help, collaborate with each other, and read books,” Mrs. Buckley explained.

The students are unaware of why the library access has been limited. Our new librarian, Ms. Moylan, explained the reason student access has been restricted. “There are going to be academic labs here,” Ms. Moylan clarified. “So math lab is now academic lab for all subjects- English, social studies, science, math- and it is happening right over there [middle of the library].”

Academic labs were supposed to start on the first day of school, but because of scheduling conflicts study rooms were not finalized. Study rooms needed to be finalized so teachers could be assigned to academic lab. “So, academic lab is going to be taking over the library space,” Ms. Moylan said. “ There’s going to be two teachers in here at a time. During studies kids can get referred to academic lab or kids can sign themselves up to get support in here. So that’s why general studies cannot happen here.”