The noise level on the second floor, particularly in the hall way between the circulation desk and Room203, is very high. Here, students talk unnecessarily loud to one another and have loud, lengthy conversations on their cell phones whilst sitting on the hallway seats. I recently saw a student sitting on these seats in the hallway playing music from her laptop. Also recently, another student in the hallway was having a very long and loud conversation on Skype – without using headphones – so I could hear his conversation from Room 203 (even though the door was shut). The amount of loud socializing that goes on in this hallway makes me feel that I am at a party rather than a university library.
The computer lab on the second floor (Room 203) is wonderful because of its 24 hour access and because of the fact that the computers are of better
quality/faster speed than the other computers in the library. But because the room is located on the 2nd floor, the noise coming from the hallway makes concentration and working in the lab often difficult. Worse, the sound echoes in the hallway, and so the “Blue Zone/Silent Study” space of Room 203 doesn’t feel like a quiet space at all.
I only expect this noise level to get worse as of now since we are coming to the end of the semester so more students will be using the library. But given this crucial time of year with deadlines approaching, the need for respecting quiet is of more importance. Can something be done concerning the high noise volume in the hallway of the second floor? How are students
expected to write papers and do online research on the computers on the second floor when the noise level is so high? I often think of the second floor as a place where students socialize and talk on their cell phones versus quietly doing work and respecting that other students are there to do work.
Can’t cell phone conversations be limited to the first floor of the library building but not allowed within the library itself?
Thanks for your comments about the level of noise in the lobby area of the second floor of Webster Library. The area is currently unzoned. It’s neither a Blue Zone (silent) nor an Orange Zone (quiet) because of the traffic, the noise of people coming in and out of the library, people meeting each other in the lobby, and its proximity to service areas like the Circulation Desk and the Reference Desk where a lot of interaction takes place. However, you rightly point out that it is often quite noisy in this area. And yes, the noise of the lobby has an effect on the silent space in LB-203. We are open to reviewing the zones in the library, and perhaps the lobby area might need to be given a colour!
We won’t ban cell phone use in the library. However, any loud conversation should not take place at the library, whether it’s on a cell phone or a live conversation between two people. A quiet cell phone conversation can be acceptable in the right location, such as an unzoned area. Obviously, people should not be talking on their cells in Blue Zones, but it’s okay in an unzoned area. The key issue is volume, not whether or not the person is using a cell phone.
Thanks for voicing your concerns about the amount of noise in the lobby. We will consider whether it needs to be zoned like other areas in the Library.