The plight of Pius

The fact that Pius Library cannot meet the needs of its students is one of the more shameful aspects of Saint Louis University, and improvements should be a leading priority for an institution that requires $40,000 a year from its students.

On the year of its 50th anniversary, Pius stands somewhat in disrepair: software needs to be updated and the infrastructure needs massive renovations. Most of the outlets will not accept three-prong laptop plug-ins, the floors cannot support the entire library collection (and thus a large portion of books have been archived in the basement) and the carpeting needs to be replaced.

Also, students could benefit from 24-hour-library service, which already exists in many other schools. There are enough students who spend the night hours in study, and the residence halls poorly accommodate them.

Ideally, libraries function as places where students want to study and where it is comfortable to spend hours with a book. They should be places where information can be rapidly sought, gathered and browsed-not where one must wait for minutes on slow search engines or where entire collections cannot be perused because they are locked away in storage.

Libraries should also act as nodes for academic conference, and currently Pius lacks rooms that can accommodate the latest technology. SLU’s best presentation rooms are in places like the John Cook School of Business and the Busch Student Center, not the place that should be the locust of academic involvement.
Pius’s director David Cassens is intent on making changes such as these, and The University News would like to see it happen within the next couple years. We believe that having a strong library is crucial to the success of students and to the survival of any academic institution, and it reflects poorly on the University for the academic center to be so unkempt.

Pius has already begun its work. They have ordered new furniture and created new space for displays and artwork.

However, these cosmetic changes are not sufficient. It is clear that Pius has long been neglected, and its renovation should be on the top of SLU’s agenda for the coming year.