Last week, Macalester’s DeWitt Wallace Library announced that it would stop providing staplers for student use. The library was forced to replace many staplers over this year, and as a result, they determined that providing paperclips to students would be much less expensive and time consuming. However, on Wednesday, Provost Kathy Murray announced in the Daily Piper that the library will continue to provide staplers and paper clips for student use.
The decision was set to go into effect last Sunday. While staplers were still available after this date, repairs would no longer take place at the reference desk.
Many students were not very receptive to the idea of using paper clips in lieu of staplers, and took to social media to express their discontent.
Myles Ambrose ’17 started a petition on Change.org calling on the library to keep providing staplers. Within two days, the petition had gathered over 200 signatures and had been shared over 250 times.
“We are all lucky to go to a school which values academics as highly as Mac does,” Ambrose said. “Free staplers and printing are just a few of the great things that the school does to make it so we as students don’t need to focus on the logistics surrounding our school work, but instead on the work itself.”
At press time, the petition had gathered 219 signatures and was marked as a victory by Change.org.
“I think all of us understand that difficult and complex financial decisions are made in all academic institutions, but it is harder for us to comprehend the logic behind removing staplers from the library the same week as installing a handful of flat screen televisions in the campus center,” Ambrose said.
Other students expressed similar feelings towards the removal of the library’s staplers.
“I don’t want to sound like a spoiled college kid complaining about minute details of what is really a privileged experience here at Mac,” Rachel Ladd ’17 explained. “I just feel like, of all the things that a college could splurge on, staples should be pretty high up on the list.”
Macalester is not the only college to grapple with the effects of high stapler-turnover. Entire blogs have dedicated to the downfall of staplers at academic libraries have been popping up lately, such as deadstaplers.tumblr.com
The pushback from students proved effective. Thursday’s Daily Piper announced that staplers would continue to be available after the college observed expressions of concern from community members about the impending loss of staplers. In addition, staple-free staplers and an abundant supply of paper clips will now be provided.
A library representative could not be reached for comment.