LINCing up to the modern age

Cell phones should not be frowned upon in the library as long as the students there are using them for productive purposes, rather than causing a distraction.

Ingrid Chan, Staff Writer

You are peacefully checking your Android for school work while you spend your lunch in the Diamond Bar High School library. Or, better yet, you are actually doing your homework and are using your iPhone to research for an assignment. Then someone calls out across the library for you to put away your mobile device, shattering this picture of diligence.

The library isn’t a place to play or socialize. It is a working space supplied with functional computers and hundreds of books dedicated to students who need these resources to study. However, when personal phones start factoring into the situation, students are normally told to put them away. School policy states that phones and electronics in general are not allowed during most school hours, and this is especially apparent in the DBHS library.

Yes, there are always one or two kids who are not there to work. They are loud and just plain unproductive as they talk, fool around, often on their electronic devices. But a few does not represent the whole, and the majority of students who actually bother going to the library are there for some serious studying.

The intolerance for phones is a bigger problem than most people believe it to be. Take, for example, the increasing amounts of online work many teachers dish out to their students. Assignments are not only posted online, but a lot of them also require kids to study and submit their work through the Internet as well. Video links and classroom sites are now as common as old-school paperwork and handouts. Thus, this naturally leads to the need for students to pull out their phones in order to prepare themselves for work.

There are indeed many unoccupied computers most of the time, but the library still requires for people to show their student ID’s before allowing them to be used. Only one person is permitted to use a computer at a time, not all students carry their student IDs with them every day, and there is limited table space where the computers are, adding to the inconvenience of checking one out. It’s no surprise that most kids would rather avoid the hassle of borrowing a computer. In fact, many students would much rather prefer using their phones to meet their needs, especially if they only require the Internet for a short period of time or for something simple.

Even if students aren’t using their phones for educational purposes, is there really a problem as long as they’re not disturbing the others around them? Reading, texting, and even listening to music wouldn’t pose much of a distraction provided that people use earphones. If a student is blasting music or calling someone, it’s perfectly reasonable to kick them out, but the prohibition of phones in the library is not entirely justified if they are otherwise not making a disturbance.

Even with the regulation being clearly understood by most of the student body, many students still continue to use their phones while they work in the library in hopes of getting away with the act. The rule itself is inconsistently enforced due to the difficult task of keeping an eye on everyone, as the librarian and library assistants themselves normally have their hands full with other issues. The increasing use of technology won’t be slowing down–it’s about time for such regulations against mobile devices to be disposed of.