By Rachel Ali
On Friday, Oct. 22, Dustin Herrera, a senior music and communications major, was kicked out of the Macdonald-Kelce Library for filming a recycling bin with his phone.
Herrera was filming a package for UTTV on The University of Tampa’s recycling programs, problems, and some upcoming, student-led recycling initiatives. He reported to his professor that he was simply filming a recycling bin, while the source at the library claimed he was creating a disturbance.
“I went into the library with my phone on a tripod, set my stuff down next to a chair, so it was out of the way. I set it up with only a printer and recycling bin in the shot. Nobody was remotely in the frame,” said Herrera. “I began trying to explain I was with UTTV and was filming for a class.”
Herrera’s professor verbally confronted the library staff, claiming that the student could film in the library. An anonymous report from an employee at the library claimed that the student had a story that differed from the truth. They claimed that the student was in the middle of traffic and was a nuisance to other students while filming.
“Since then, Dr. Boulton has emailed the head librarian and came to the understanding that if anyone from UTTV films in the library, to just tell the librarians so that if any student asks why someone is filming, they know what to tell the student,” said Herrera.
Apparently there have been other incidents between professors and the library. Reportedly there have been situations such as professors sending 30 students to the library at once to get one textbook, which is not efficient to how the library is run.
There seems to be a disconnect between how professors treat the library and the actual rules of the library.
“Although the library is indeed a public place on campus, we strive to balance a student’s right to study and others’ right to film,” said Marlyn Pethe, the director of the library. “To do this, in the past, we have asked that those who wish to film in the library first coordinate with the director to find a time and place within the building that is the least disruptive to students.”
The rules of the library have been outlined by the American Library Association, which says that one of the prime goals of American libraries is to respect students and to provide a quiet, distraction-free space for study and research. Meaning protecting the privacy of the students in the library is important as well.
It does not mean that students cannot film in the library but that they must go through the proper circuits to follow all ethical guidelines.
Photo Courtesy of Yelp.