Noisy times

As we are all heading into the busiest time of the semester, we have received a number of complaints regarding food and noise.  Here is some of what you wrote:

When students walk into the library holding a cardboard tray with 4 large cups of Tim Horton’s coffee and a paper bag full greasy doughnuts, they show a lack of respect for what a library is supposed to be.… Why not hire a student enforcement body who will give out noise and food fines. The fines will fund their pay….

and

Would it be possible to completely eliminate the so called orange zone from the third floor of the library building? This may sound like a radical approach, but people are not studying there, they come to chat and are a major disruption for those sitting the blue zone. …

and

The third floor of the library is absolutely horrible. Apparently people using this space have zero respect for others; I don’t even understand why do they come here in the first place, because all I hear is laughing and talking on the phone, does not seem that studying is their main objective here. …

Would it be possible to have some stickers and attention notes put in these areas?  Also I think that it would be a good idea to have someone from the library staff walk once in a while and ask people to be more quite or perhaps a short recorded voice message aired once in a while to remind those who do not know how to behave?

and

…I want to say that your signs for a quiet environment in the library was a good iniative and students like myself have seen some improvement. The degree of noise is not as high as it used to be.  However, there is still room for improvement ….  My suggestion to you is the following: please put giant signs on the glass windows that are clearly visible with images indicating that talking in cellphones or among each other is forbidden, or students will be asked to leave the premises.  Thank you for your time.

Many thanks to all of you for suggesting ways to encourage silence.  Over the last year, since we have instituted the blue and orange zones and increased staff and security guard presence across the libraries, we have noticed an improvement. Students have responded to the zoning and signage.  However, some students persist in talking and we are aware of this. 

Most of the comments posted above came in over the weekend when we have less staff working.  However, security agents work around the clock, including weekends.  If you have anything to report, please do so and we will address the problem.  Some have suggested clearer signs and we are considering more effective signage.  Finally, several users have suggested noise and food fines.  We would rather not have to go to that extreme.  Please, we encourage you to let us know when someone is being too loud.

Finally, we encourage everyone to monitor themselves as well.  It happens to all of us that we get carried away and our voices get loud.  Let’s continue to work together to make the Libraries a comfortable place to study in.

6 thoughts on “Noisy times

  1. Anonymous

    A thought about improved signage: I totally agree that the library is drastically improving, however, there are still a decent population of students who don’t understand the difference between silent and quiet study. I’m often on the 4th floor, in the study area (where there are 2 steps down), and I find people will start whispering to each other.

    Yes, they aren’t being noisy. However, that’s not quiet, and they take offense to being told to stop talking. Perhaps note that whispering is not acceptable either.

    As well, as students study for long periods of time, food is becoming a bigger problem. There needs to be some new education regarding “snacks” in the library.

    I really hope the library can keep up it’s good work. As finals roll around, that to me is the biggest “test” of the library’s noise control policies.

  2. Anonymous

    The Plain and simple solution to the noise problem is to keep the library completely quiet (all blue zone). It’s so easy for noise to get out of hand especially when all the tables are all crammed together. Many people whispering causes people to talk louder in order to be heard.

  3. Anonymous

    When food becomes a necessity to continue studying, it is also a sign that your body or your mind needs a break. Staying in the library and disrupting other users while socializing (in person or via cell phones) and eating meals is using premium study space. Get some fresh air and go eat where it is allowed like a restaurant or a coffee shop. The university also provides general public areas where you can eat your lunch. Ask around to find out where you can go.

  4. Anonymous

    I do agree that there has been much improvement over the last year in terms of noise level. However, many students are still unaware of the zones and do not respect them. I find it very disturbing and frustrating when people in the blue zone are laughing, talking, and answering their cell phones while others are trying to study.
    Today I very politely asked a group of students to either be quiet or to move to an orange zone because they were talking. They told me that there was no sign indicating that it was a blue zone (we were on the first floor) and that if I had a problem, it was up to me to move. We shouldn’t have to ask people to be quiet in a library… it’s common sense.
    My suggestion is similar to what others have suggested – there needs to be more reinforcement. I don’t think it would be too much to ask for one of the librarians to walk around the library every 30 minutes or so and make sure that people are respecting the rules.
    It is worse on the weekends and after hours when only the security guard is present, but those are the times when students like myself need the library the most. Could he not walk around every so often as well and make sure people are quiet?

  5. Anonymous

    “We don’t want to go to such extremes.” Same thing as saying “the police don’t want to give out tickets when people speed. They’ll learn by us warning them over and over.”

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