Book nerd upset over ‘introvert’ headline

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Weldon, Taylor hours extended, Introverts’ weekend plans set”
Jan. 11, 2007

To the Editor:
I’m a Master of Library and Information Science student at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, so I do have a particular interest in libraries and their users, but I am also writing this letter simply as a Western student.

Your sub-headline, “Introverts’ weekend plans set” is unfortunate and compelled me to write this letter; I suppose this is an attempt at tongue-in-cheek humour, but I found it offensive.

To characterize students who utilize the library later in the evening or on weekends as “introverts” (which, I believe, is a veiled way of calling them losers) is wrong.

There are many reasons students may want increased library hours, including night classes, part-time jobs, home/residence environments not conducive to study, limited access to the Internet and/or printers, need for non-circulating materials, enrolment in a master’s program, and so on. Did you mean to insult all or just some of these people?

The library is an essential university service. To quote historian Shelby Foote, “A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.” Extended hours could potentially support all Western students.

To quote the article itself, “Many students objected to the changes and Western student Andre Moazami circulated a petition through Weldon last October demanding Western libraries increase their hours... Moazami collected 1,000 signatures in five hours.” So are all those students “book nerds” who deserve your ridicule?

Finally, what was most distressing about your wording is that it devalued those students who are striving for academic excellence, and only furthered the stereotype of the partying Western student with no cares about their degree.

This “introvert” will appreciate the extended hours. I guess the cool kids will stay away so I can have some peace and quiet, eh?
"Michelle Lake
Master’s of Library and Information Science, FIMS

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