“Not only is the downtown library filled to capacity the noise level is ridiculous. People are having conversations as if they are in a coffee shop. People wishing to have group meetings or hold conversations should be strongly encouraged to use the group study rooms.”
Jean-Marc Edwards, Assistant Director, User Services replied:
Thanks for sharing your concerns about noise. We are really wrestling with this issue since the number of students that study in the library far exceeds our capacity. For example, approximately 5,000 students come every day into the Webster library (we only have 2950 seats).
Another element that increases the noise level is the building construction that allows the noise to reverberates up the stairs and throughout the building. We have put up signs at the entrances and throughout the library and I personally walk through the building asking people to keep their voices down.
Our group study rooms are very popular, and are heavily booked. When we surveyed students about the library, we identified two trends: some students want the library to have more quiet space, and others want the library to better accommodate groups. For some time, the library has been trying to acquire more space so that we can offer enough of both environments. Last year we added 5 new group study rooms.
There are quiet study spaces through out the library. We have measured the noise level on all three floors and prepared this map of quiet spaces so that we can direct users to the environment of their choice.