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USD Library’s Bag Policy Hits Inconsistency after the Pandemic

Students still bring their bags into the library despite the written regulation being put 
on the front locker’s display (taken by Agnes Seraphine on April 4th, 2023)

Sanata Dharma University. Since the library’s bag policy was re-implemented on the 13th of February, 2023, many students still bring their bags instead of leaving them at the locker station. The staff also no longer imply the regulation strictly.

Many students admit that the bag policy could be more convenient. Rio Ardian Sanjaya, a regular visitor of the USD library from the English Letters Department batch 2021, complained, “The bag policy is actually good so that we can be transparent about what we bring. However, for students like me who bring many things, such as a laptop, its charger, phone’s charger, earphone, mouse, books, (when) I move them to the library’s bag almost every day, isn’t it tiring?”

Responding to this, Clara Wening, a student staff member who has worked in USD Library since July 2022, mentioned that the staff has “run out of ideas already” on making students aware of the regulations. Although they had repeatedly reminded them to put their bags inside the locker and the regulation was already written clearly, most students did not choose to read and follow the rule. The limited number of staff also becomes one of the obstacles in supervising all visitors in detail. Consequently, the rules become less and less strict over time.

The Head of USD Library Service Nikodemus Suradi added, “The rules are not applied too strictly because we do not want to act as a police. Instead, we aim to educate the students and give the best service while conforming to the value of cerdas dan humanis.”

However, the decreasing strictness of the bag policy needs to be clarified for students on whether the policy is necessary. 

“I myself was hesitant because the prohibition has already existed, but I still bring my own bag. I feel guilty, but the staff also do not rebuke me for doing so, so I just kept doing it since it is more practical for me,” Chian Hu, a PBSI student batch 2020 who is also a regular visitor of the library, admitted. 

In answering the aim of the bag policy, Suradi explained that it has actually been implemented since the library was built in 1995, so it is not entirely a new rule. It is officially written in USD library’s regulation number 06/PUSD/XI/2022 in section III part A, which includes two following statements:

  1. Pengunjung dapat menyimpan barang bawaan di locker yang disediakan.
  2. Perpustakaan menyediakan tas pengunjung untuk membawa barang-barang yang diperlukan.

“The biggest unsolved problems in the library are book theft, visitors bringing food, and damaging the books. We are doing our best to maintain the quality of the books,” Clara Wening, a student staff member who has worked in USD Library since July 2022, on the primary purposes of the bag policy, said. 

The provided transparent bag is expected to help the staff supervise what the visitors bring into the library more efficiently. However, Wening said that many students, especially those coming in during and after the pandemic, still need to be made aware of this importance. 

Some students think that the bag policy is unnecessary because what they do is only change the cover (the bag). The staff must check whether they bring food or other prohibited items inside the bag. Additionally, they think there are still many gaps in which visitors can trick into stealing the books aside from putting them in the transparent bag.

To get out of the inconsistency loop, some regular visitors in the interview, including Chian Hu, suggested that the library staff socialize more about the bag policy’s aim through various media, such as Instagram posts or stories. They also indicated that the strictness of the regulation is maintained or even supported by an official penalty.

Yosua Antonio Subekti, another regular visitor from the English Letters Department batch 2021, added that students should become more aware that the library is “a public place and it’s not something we own. Sure, we pay for the building, but it doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want. There are regulations that we must follow.”


Journalist: Agnes Seraphine

Editor: Sitti Aminah Intan Utami, Vonna Meisya Saputra (QC)

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