Department Blog

Suggestions and Comments

Noise in the Library (again and again)

April 11th, 2012 by Amy Kautzman

QUESTION: On the 3rd floor, removing the large table near the semi-circular curved window in front of the QH 603 section would make this area quieter.

ANSWER: I understand that you are frustrated with the noise level on the third floor, near the QH section. Finding the perfect place to do one’s work is very specific to every person — the combination of light, noise, and furniture make up the variables that will hopefully lead to productive scholarship.

As you may know, there is an ongoing tension between those who enter the library to engage in quiet contemplation and those who are meeting classmates to engage in group study. For that reason Shields Library does have designated quiet study areas. These are located on the second floor and can be found within the Main and Nelle Branch Reading Rooms. There are also other areas that are quiet by default of their location. If you want to know where they are located, ask at our Reference or Circulation Desks.

Unfortunately the area you like to study in is not considered quiet study and it would be difficult to make it quiet space. The architecture (hard surfaces near lots of glass) and a busy traffic path ensure that this space is a medium quiet space. For quiet, truly quiet space, I suggest you move to the east side of the building (almost every floor) where we have the single carrels or study in the reading rooms on the second floor.

If a group of students are making too much noise, please let us know at the Circulation Desk and we’ll have our security guard ask the group to be more considerate of others or ask them to consider moving to one of our more noisy locations.

The Library is a place of research in action and thus will never be completely quiet. But we do strive to allow for all modes of studying. Hopefully, with this knowledge you’ll be able to find a favorite spot to settle down in.