“Over the past few years, the 'beds' tucked into several women’s washrooms have been removed. The latest removal was in the first floor washroom of the Murray Library. I am someone with a disability who periodically made use of these, which gave me the opportunity to take a brief rest and made it possible for me to stay for a full day, instead of having to go home early. Why have these been removed? Is their value to staff and students not worth consideration? Please consider reintroducing these across campus.”
Thank you for your email. We appreciate you bringing forward your concern about the removal of the beds in the women’s washrooms in the Murray Library. The decision to remove these beds was based on two primary factors:
- The library has challenges in ensuring proper custodial care of our public spaces. Maintaining adequate care and cleanliness of the beds was a growing concern.
- The location of the beds, hidden behind high partitions, was a safety concern. This was particularly the case for those on the upper floors where there is much lower traffic.
In addition, the beds in the first floor women’s locker room were becoming a source of some contention. Some students were viewing the area where the beds were located as a ‘nap room’ and in one instance we had to address an argument between students where some were lying down and talking and others wanted to sleep and wanted quiet.
Interestingly, the beds have only ever existed in the women’s washrooms, not the men’s. This is likely a reflection of the time when the south wing of the library was built, however it is certainly not reflective of the importance of providing equitable services to all our clients.
We hope you can appreciate the challenges and responsibility that the library faces when needing to ensure a safe, healthy, and positive space for all of our students and staff. Meeting the needs of students is important to us and something we consider as we make decisions about our space and our services. As we review library spaces across the library system, feedback from you and others will help us shape spaces that support student academic success.