Category Archives: cell phones

Noisy cell phones use

You wrote:

Use of Cellphone — I do hope someone look at this issue in a serious manner. On the third floor, Girls’ washroom and behind media shelves have become people’s cellphone sanctuary.  I do not see why other students have to listen to other
individuals social life, especially when they are loud,disrespectful and no courtesy towards other students. This events are happening constantly. Thank you.

Thank you for sharing this with us.  In our rounds, we will pay special attention to this area.  In the meantime, here is a post from almost one year ago on this very subject.  When using a cell phone, please keep in mind that no one else is interested in your conversation.

Cell phone noise

You wrote:

Is it possible to do something about the students going to speak on their phones in the staircases? it’s like when they get there they just don’t care that they are
still technically in the library and talk for good 20 minutes on their phones with their outside voices.  Also some seem to think that the last staircase on the
3rd floor that goes no where is a new type of cafeteria and they sit there just talking amongst each other, taking a break from their studies, which I totally
understand, just go do it somewhere we won’t hear you.  If there could be more security on the 3rd floor it would be greatly appreciated, thank you!


I’m happy that the library is doing more to enforce silence in the blue zone but maybe post signs up that say even if your phone is on vibrate it still makes
noise and everyone in the surrounding area can hear it buzz or vibrate on the table. So far that seems to be the most annoying thing, people can easily put their phone on silent and have it on the table and they’ll see it light up and answer the message or whatever.

Thank you for your emails.  They are good reminders for all of us to exercise proper cell phone etiquette.  Emily Post was considered the ultimate expert on good manners and the Emily Post Institute has a page on the top ten cell phone manners.  Number 7 on the list reads,

Don’t make calls in a library, theater, church or from your table in a restaurant. Without exception, turn your device off in a house of worship, restaurant, or theater; during a meeting or presentation; or any time its use is likely to disturb others.

You can see the entire list here.

Student sets up FB page to support silence

You wrote:

Please monitor the blue zones. The amount of people constantly talking is disturbing. I simply don’t understand why people come to the library to socialize. This is the only place where I’d expect a quiet place to study. Every day I have to tell people to go talk elsewhere, and I am tired of being polite with people who disrespect the rules in place.


The library is so noisy. students are constantly talking to their neighbours, talking on their cell phones and making noise in the blue zones. … What should I do?


The Webster library at Concordia used to be a great place to study up until a few years ago; now, however, it is anything but a quiet place it is meant to be.
There are a considerable number of people that have absolutely no respect for those who are there to get a few hours studying done; not only use of cell phones and talking out loud have become completely normal, but some idiots even play songs on their computers and bang on the wall like animals. I believe this is certainly not the first complaint regarding the noise issue, and I am positive that responsible personnel are doing everything possible to solve this problem…but enough is enough.



I am an undergraduate student in Political Science. Many students don’t respect silent study zones in the library and it can be very frustrating for other students.

I do understand that the funds for staff to enforce silence in the library might be lacking, so I thought that maybe students could participate in enforcing the silent rule of the blue zones. I created a Facebook page where students could join together so as to stand for these places to remain silent while they are present.

Could it be possible for you to advertise the Facebook page and invite students to join it. If not, do you have any other strategies to enforce the library rules?

Here is a link to the Facebook page:

If you have any request of change in order to promote it, it will be a pleasure to comply with your requests.

Thank you very much for taking this initiative.  As we continue to look for ways to improve the situation, it is good to see students also accepting some of the
responsibility in ensuring that the Libraries remain a place of serious study.

Ban the cells

You wrote:

Cell phone use in the library should be banned. For MONTHS I have been seriously annoyed by the general disrespect cell phone users have in the library to students like me who come to the library to STUDY.

Can’t there by signs prohibiting cell phones?? If students need to speak on their phones, then why can’t they go OUTSIDE the library – outside the circulation area.

The staircases are the worse for cell phone use – people chat away loudly for long periods of times not taking into consideration those students who are studying near the stacks or on the computers on the second floor CAN HEAR EVERYTHING AND THE NOISE LEVEL IS SERIOUSLY DISTRACTING AND ANNOYING. Even worse, students sit at the library computers having phone conversations on their cell phones.

Overall, I feel Concordia Library does not offer a quiet place of study and therefore does not seem like a serious academic setting. Either the library staff do not care enough to take precautions and therefore do something about it, or Concordia students don’t take the library seriously and use it as a place to talk on their phones and socialize with their friends.

Given the amount of cell phone users here in the library, all the students must be under the impression that talking loudly on their cell phones is acceptable – so more and more students follow such an example – given that there are no staff who monitor the areas and no signs that prohibit cell phone use.

Last semester I had to be at the library very regularly since I am studying for a Comprehensive Exam and working as a TA for an online course (and therefore grading regularly on the library computers). I found using the library to be very stressful due to the noise levels of cell phone users and students socializing. I wrote a few complaints on this Suggestion Box and spoke personally with librarians but nothing seems to have changed: the library is still noisy with people talking on their cell phones.

Thank you for your comment.  The frustration you express is understandable and coming through loud and clear.  We don’t ban cell phones in the library because it is the disruptive conversations we want to prohibit rather than the devices themselves.  We recently added banner-like directional signs on all floors at Webster, and these include a pictogram and caption prescribing: “cell phones on silent”.   When we do our daily rounds in the library, intervening on loud cell phone conversations is definitely part of our routine and in these instances we often mention just how many complaints like yours are received in the Suggestion Box. These interventions can only go so far, however, as in a 24-hour university library populated by adults it is just not feasible or realistic to have constant monitoring.

The computer areas on the second floor can be the hardest to keep quiet, partly  due to the busy entrance. As you might have read in previous posts, the entrance area is slated for a major redesign, and reducing noise levels there is a definite objective. Though an imperfect solution, borrowing a laptop at the Circulation Desk and heading for one of the more isolated blue zones in the library might offer you a better chance to work in a silent setting.  And speaking of blue zones, we just added a new one on the 3rd floor at Webster, on the Bishop side near the computer workstations. As always, feel free to let us know what you think.

Cell phone use in the washrooms

You wrote:

The women’s washroom on the second floor is used as a de facto telephone booth. The problem is their voices echo right through the door. The solution would be to ensure the second inner door to the restroom is not propped open. Can you make it so?

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.  It is probably the cleaning staff that props up the second door to wheel in their equipment more easily.  We will ask them to close the door when they have finished cleaning the washrooms.  In the meantime, if you notice that the door is propped open, please feel free to close it.

Printing from the catalogue

You wrote:

When printing out the catalogue info to pick up a book, I was a bit frustrated to note that the information somehow is spread over three pages in print form. It could easily fit on only one! Not only is this a waste of money and paper, but isn’t there a way to set the print previews so that it only takes up the printing it warrants? Thanks.

Wasting money and paper to print blank or useless pages happens all too often and is always frustrating. Thanks for writing about this. The best way to ensure “optimal” printing from the CLUES screen for a book you want is to use the print icon on the right, just beside the RefWorks button. This should normally avoid any wasted pages, and it provides you with a good preview of what you are about to print.  If it doesn’t help with your problem, please write back to us and include your email so we can find out more about your particular situation. We never include email addresses in our online posts, we use them only for personal exchanges.

And as a side note, there is a new feature in CLUES that allows you to text the book info to your cell phone instead of printing. To learn more about it, see this Bibliofile article.

Noise on the Second Floor

You wrote:

 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.