Cell Phone Talk & Computer Play

You wrote:

I use the computers in the library quite frequently and would like to make a couple of suggestions. First, can you please put signs up in the corridor between the stairs/entrance of each floor and the main areas telling people not to talk on their cellphones. They should leave the library completely. We can still hear them and probably even more clearly then if they were to whisper at their own area.

Secondly, it is extremely frustrating when a person is waiting in line for a computer and you see people playing games, on facebook, etc. These things should be blocked on the library computers. These people can do this things on their own time not when others are waiting to do actual work.

Thanks for these two suggestions.  You are right, sound from the areas near the stairs carries into the quiet and silent study zones all too easily.  Students need to be reminded that talking in conversational tones – whether on a cell phone or to each other –  should not be taking place anywhere in the library.  You are not the first to suggest posting more signs, and we agree.   A new set of posters is currently being printed at this writing.

Your frustration at waiting in line while others surf socially or play games is completely understandable, and it is shared by others. While blocking specific sites can be a tempting idea, it would be both technologically impractical and philosophically difficult: determining what is and what is not academic use of computers is not always a straightforward matter, and we prefer not make categorical judgments on everyone’s behalf.

Especially at this busy time of year, we do want to alert and remind all students that computers in the library are designated for academic use.  Notices to this effect appear as a screensaver on almost all workstations and at the top of each login screen, but it is obvious that they are not working as effectively as we would like.  As with issues related to food and noise in the library, our intervention can only go so far and it is ultimately a matter of individual students showing respect for each other. Your continued feedback and suggestions are most welcome, as we are always looking for new and creative solutions to this problem.

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