The talking in the Webster library drives me crazy. I have now been there for three days consecutively doing urgent research for a conference presentation I have to finish very soon. No matter which silent zone I have located myself in, there is distracting and frustrating whispering. The silent study zones are an improvement over the situation before, but they are not being observed as much as they should.
I spent a summer doing research at a McGill library and didn’t have this problem. I believe it is because they had a security staff constantly circulating to silence chatting.
Is this something Concordia will ever invest in? It’s really a shame that the Webster library can often be a hostile environment in which to work.
I understand why the staff wouldn’t want to be constantly hushing people, but I don’t want to have to do it myself, either, just so that I can get some work done. I really do think security staff should be given the task of enforcing the silent study zones.
There are several challenges involved in fostering a quiet environment in the Library. One is space, and we simply do not have enough space for all the students that need a quiet study environment. It is hard to have quiet in an overcrowded area. Another, as you mention, is security presence. Having more security agents walking through the library is one way, and it is a costly one. We may be able to increase security presence in the library.
Other factors that can contribute to a quiet atmosphere include the layout of the building and the types of furnishings (including carpeting) which have a quieting effect. We are looking at gradual physical changes to the library that will help encourage quiet.
Students need to feel responsible for themselves and demonstrate respect for others by being quiet in the Orange Zones and being silent in the Blue Zones. Until this past Fall, library study spaces were not zoned and noise expectations were not identified. We know it has improved, but we also know it will take time for students to adjust to the fact they are in a building that needs to have quiet and silent areas. Transforming a noisy space into a quiet space is not easy. We thank you for your comments.