[Library lessons] Shhhh!

One of the complaints we heard from students is that the quiet floor needs to be ‘enforced’ more.

Let’s be realistic.  We want there to be quiet spaces in the library for study, but librarians are not lifeguards who sit at the edge of the room to jump in every time someone makes a noise.  We expect that our users will be mature and respectful of the fact that there are other people in the building who are probably here because it is a quiet space.

That being said, we know that sometimes Noise Happens, and we have to whip out our Shushing Finger and Shushing Face.  The key here is letting us know right away, so we can nip this in the bud.  (Please don’t wait to complain about it until months later in a survey!)

By the way, you are welcome to politely ask your library neighbors to respect the quiet space.  However, we know that most people don’t want to do that.  In fact, you probably don’t even want the people next to you to figure out that you’re the one who asked for a Shushing.

So how do you let us know on the sly that some Shushing has to take place?  You can use the many methods available for contacting the library: You can use the Meebo chat box on the library home page, or you can call, IM, or text us.  Send us a message telling us that it is noisy, and tell us the floor you are on, so we can check it out.

As a reminder, we expect the third floor to stay nearly silent.  The second floor should be mostly quiet-ish, but low volume conversations are okay.  If you need to talk a lot, the first floor is best, or you can book a study room for a private space.  During the end of the semester and finals week, we usually ask that both the second and third floors stay silent, since silent study space is in demand.

Also, cell phones should not be used in the library.  Sometimes people stand near the bathrooms or in the stairwells to take phone calls.  We get it – sometimes you just have to take a call.  But try to be really quiet about it – and be careful.  You’d be surprised how far sound travels, especially in the stairwells.  My office is near the bathrooms on the third floor, and I have overheard plenty.  Spare me from hearing any more!


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