Over the exam period, we received a number of suggestions and complaints about noise in the library. Here is one that we received last week:
This comment, like many, also concerns noise in the blue study zone areas.
This afternoon, I was studying in the blue zone on the 4th floor Webster library. Throughout the afternoon, I was constantly interrupted by people on their cell phones, having conversations, and basically disregarding the “silent study” rule. Often when approached, they were responsive, but many times they were not as well. Not once did I see a library staff or security guard walk around the area quieting people.
I approached a woman at the counter and asked her for assistance in keeping the area quiet. She simply informed me that it’s not her job, go get security on the 2nd floor if you want it dealt with. Not only have I read that we are encouraged to approach any library staff, there was no security guard to been on the 2nd floor. The circulation desk just told me they’re trying as well, but weren’t really able to help. They explained that often when they try, they get the same attitude from students that I would.
I don’t agree with the idea that it takes people a while to adapt to these new rules. It’s not a very complex idea, such that you tell someone in elementary school that they cannot talk at all in a certain area, and they understand it.
Besides the actual need for people to patrol the area, even if not always, but every 15-30 minutes, there needs to be actual deterrents for making noise. In an exam, students fully grasp the idea that they must not have their cell phones on their person because there are severe consequences. In the library, if they’re caught, they’re likely just to be told to “kindly stop”, and it’s not such a big deal to answer this 1 or 2 calls, or have this short little conversation with my friend.
I highly suggest the library implement, if anything (due to the whole people need to adapt idea), a 3-strike policy. If you’re caught making noise 3 times by a library staff, who will take down your name, you simply lose your privilege to study in the library. Studying there shouldn’t be a right, but instead a privilege for those who respect the rules.
In terms of attitude towards library staff, a local library in my area has instituted a rule that if you are rude to a library staff member, you lose your right to use the library for a predetermined amount of time. There shouldn’t be any excuse for students making noise in the library. We are all adult, and we don’t need 3+ months to learn how to keep quiet in specific areas.
I totally understand and appreciate the fact the library has made an effort to control noise. However, a lot more needs to happen for it be effective.
Thank you for your comments and suggestions.