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Study Space Suggestions for all Libraries

Suggestion

(Oct 26/17) The Health Science Library is great, and people love studying here, but recently (particularly during midterms) it has gotten to be very full all the time. The problem is, many students are coming early, and then taking very long breaks while leaving their books/notes on a desk for hours at a time, while there are students working on the floor because they cant find a desk. It might be useful for staff to go around at random times to check and make sure that people arent saving their spots for extended periods of time.

Library response:

We are happy that you like the space and we appreciate your feedback.  It is a great place to study.  Our policy on the use of study space does indicate that it is not acceptable to reserve study space except for the group study rooms. Staff will be more vigilant on monitoring the use of the space especially during mid-terms and exam times.

(Oct 27/17)
Answered by: Neera Bhatnagar (Head of Systems & Public Services, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Sep 18/17) The water bottle fill station/ drinking fountain on the lower level of HSL has very poor pressure. It took me 3 minutes to fill my water bottle. A possible reason for this could be that the filter is clogged/needs to be replaced.

Library response:


Thank you for your comment. We have placed a work order to have the filter changed. I am hopeful the water fountain will soon be fixed.

(Sep 22/17)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Apr 20/17) Emphasize the the Reading Pavilion is a group study space (as listed on the map on the website)
rather than silent study. Most people are not aware of this and get upset at people using the
space for group work as they are talking.

Library response:

Thank you for your feedback. You are correct, the Pavilion space is not reserved for silent study. We do our best make sure all students understand that we have quiet, silent, and conversation zones. When students complain, we direct them to the appropriate signage in the library and to our website. However, it sounds like the message isn’t reaching everyone. Therefore, I will be sharing your comments with our Marketing team and ask that they come up with new strategies for sharing this information. Please contact me directly if you wish to discuss your concerns in more detail.

(Apr 20/17)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library),Neera Bhatnagar (Head of Systems & Public Services, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Mar 20/17) Having Group study rooms in the basement of thode effectively defeats the entire purpose of
the basement environment, which is supposed to be a quiet study area with no talking. When
multiple groups get together in the rooms and talk/laugh very loudly it is disruptive to the
outside environment, even though they may not realize it.

Unfortunately, the only solutions I can think of that involves keeping these rooms as group
study rooms is to properly and professionally sound proof the rooms to allow minimal sound to
escape. Or, staff can conduct patrols to keep the noise down, however, this solution would
waste staff time and resources.

Quiet study is the main reason I come to thode instead of other libraries, but its becoming
difficult with the level of noise in the basement. Any assistance in this matter would be
greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Library response:

Thanks for sending your comments in.

You are correct, it is not ideal to have Group Study Rooms situated next to Silent Study. We did do some soundproofing in these rooms a couple of summers ago, which helped a bit, but given how the rooms were built we can't do anything more at this point. We have posted signs in these rooms reminding the students using these rooms that they need to keep the noise down.

As you may have noticed, we are starting to do some renovations on the lower floor. When this work is completed there will be an enclosed large Silent Study room on the lower floor. The plan is to build many group study rooms on the 2nd floor. You might consider working in the area outside the Makerspace on the far side of the floor. It is quite quiet there.

Please report any loud groups to quiet@mcmaster.ca - this email is read by the staff at the service desk on the 1st floor and they will come speak to any groups who are making noise. 

Our apologies that there is nothing more immediate we can do at this time, but this is a problem we are very much aware of and are working towards resolving as we move forward.

(Mar 21/17)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Dec 8/16) can we please get standing desks installed somewhere as it improves health and studying

Library response:

Thanks for your suggestion. We will make sure to include some standing tables/desks as we continue to renovate and change up our spaces, but in the meantime you can borrow a laptop stand from the service desk in any of the libraries which will permit you to stand while using your laptop. 

Good luck on your exams!

(Dec 9/16)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 31/16) I am consistently surprised by how dirty HSL is, regardless of the time of day. I find garbage on the floor, hair in the cubicles, spilt drinks, used toilet paper on the bathroom floor. Its just disgusting. Students are of course part of the problem. Maybe posters in the cubicles reminding people to pick up after themselves would be helpful. But I am very doubtful that HSL is being cleaned regularly, especially the cubicles and washrooms.

Library response:

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns. The Library has been working closely with housekeeping and facilities management in an attempt to address these issues. Last Thursday (March 31st) all of the public washrooms were steam cleaned. We are now reviewing housekeeping’s cleaning schedule to see if they can prioritize other areas of concern (i.e. garbage removal & wiping down the study carrels and tables). The Health Sciences Library has over 50,000 visitors each month, making us one of the busiest spaces on campus. Keeping up with cleaning demands has been challenging, but we are committed to addressing the issue.

 Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions or comments.

(Apr 5/16)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Mar 21/16) Spaces that are labelled silent study such as the sixth floor are not being used by students in
this way. There should be a better way to monitor this such as putting cameras or something to
ensure that students are using this space appropriately.

Library response:

Thanks for your email. We agree, it would be great if everyone would use designated spaces as they are intended.

Unfortunately there aren't enough staff on duty at any one time to patrol all of our spaces, or to monitor cameras. We have provided an email address which can be used to report problems in Mills, Innis or Thode libraries. This email address is monitored at all times and a staff member will be dispatched to address the problem. We have posted this email address on posters in both the Quiet and Silent areas of the libraries.

Next time, feel free to tell us about the problem when it is happening - drop us a note at quiet@mcmaster.ca

Good luck on your exams!

(Mar 22/16)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 16/16) I love the new arrangement of bookshelves in the Reserve Room (2nd floor behind main desk)! I think moving some of the couches/armchairs from the Reading Pav to the new space, or some desks/tables would be an excellent use of the space. Thanks!

Library response:

Thank you for the positive feedback and the great idea. We have ordered new furniture for the empty space and it should arrive tomorrow (March 22nd). We have ordered tables and chairs for individual study. Once everything is set up we will see how much room is left for armchairs. If we can add more seating we will. We are always looking for ways to add more places to sit in the library so any suggestions you have are appreciated.

(Mar 21/16)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Mar 2/16) The second floor on thode gets really loud, especially during exam time. I understand its a
busy time of year, but sometimes there are people that crowd in big groups and talk really loud
right beside people that are clearly trying to study.

It makes it really hard to concentrate, even while wearing ear plugs

Library response:

Thanks for your email. We do realize this floor can get quite noisy, especially given the number of study seats on this floor.

Much of this noise is rising up from the 1st floor in the open area beyond the ends of the 2nd floor balcony. We will be adding acoustic panels on the round brick wall and hanging acoustic clouds from the 3rd floor ceiling to help address this issue, but we won't be able to start this work until the end of this term. We expect this to make a great difference in terms of noise levels on the 2nd floor.

If the noise is being generated by people near you on the 2nd floor, please first ask them to tone it down, but if that doesn't help feel free to send an email to quiet@mcmaster.ca. This email is monitored by staff in Mills, Innis and Thode libraries. A staff member will be dispatched to speak to anyone making too much noise, especially as we approach exams. Please make sure to give us enough details to help us identify those making the noise.

Good luck on your exams!

(Mar 22/16)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Feb 24/16) I really love the new online room booking and was wondering if it will be permanent? It makes room booking and staying organized so much easier. Please keep it!

Library response:

 

Thank you for your positive comments about the new online room booking system. We have every intention of making this service permanent. We’ve launched the service as a pilot to give us flexibility to make changes as we work out the bugs. From time to time we may need to take the system down while we tweak the software. Please share this message with your classmates and encourage them to contact us if they encounter any problems. The more feedback we get from students the faster we can move through our testing phase and arrive at a permanent system.

 

 

 

(Feb 25/16)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Feb 13/16) I would like to thank the maintenance staff, administration and contractors responsible for getting the water pressure for the bottle refill station on the lower floor study area back up to normal. This is tremendously convenient and deeply appreciated.

Library response:

Thank you for taking the time to write us. I will pass your comments on the relevant parties (HHS Engineering and FHS Facilities) to let them know you appreciate their work.

(Feb 16/16)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Apr 10/15) The 6th floor at mills has varying temperatures; It is getting unreasonably hot for some
reason. I asked around, and people feel the same. Its been like this for the past couple of
days that Ive come here. If something can be done to maintain a normal room temperature, that
would be nice. Thank you.

Library response:

We apologize for the situation - campus facilities staff are trying to figure out what is going on so they can resolve it. We hope they will identify the problem shortly, with a solution to go with it. There is nothing else we can do but keeping reporting it and asking for updates. Sorry - we know this is a very difficult environment to study effectively in.

(Apr 14/15)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 18/14) Love the Basement study space however can you add some comfy chairs like the ones in Mills to
the study space, cause sometimes it is nice to get comfy when studying.

Library response:

Thanks for sending your suggestion in.

We do intend on adding some comfy seating to both the lower level and 2nd floor at Thode Library.

The problem is that we need to keep the area Quiet, which is why there are so many carrels in this area.

Keep sending your suggestions in - we are happy to look at them and will do our best to act on them!

(Dec 22/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Dec 3/14) Ive noticed recently that there are not enough chairs on the second floor of Thode library. I
was looking for a place to study, and, while there were perhaps a couple dozen empty desks,
there was not a single unoccupied chair in the room. I know people tend to move chairs around
without returning them, but it definitely seemed like there were not enough chairs to cover all
the work areas.

Library response:

Thanks for letting us know about this. We did purchase enough chairs for each of the study sections when this area was renovated a couple of years ago, but students do move chairs around. We will walk through and try to put things back at the tables.

Good luck with your exams!

(Dec 4/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Nov 18/14) It is unfortunate how many students are disrespectful of the 6th floor silent zone. Every
time I use this space I have to tell students to stop talking, which is frustrating because
this shouldnt be happening. I have used the quiet@mcmaster email before, however, I wonder
if a more effective approach would be to have someone patrol the floor every hour as my email
isnt always responded to immediately. Its frustrating to have to ask this. I am baffled by
how many students do not respect the quiet zone. I was going to also suggest more posters
about how it is the quiet zone, but Im not sure how helpful that would be considering that I
have often asked students sitting next to the giant SILENT ZONE letters to stop talking. Any
help with this matter would be greatly appreciated!

Library response:

Thanks for your suggestion. We will try to patrol this area more regularly, but in reality people quiet down when they see a staff person then the noise goes up as soon as we leave. We do try to make our presence felt more regularly during the time leading up to exams, and we will continue to do this.

We appreciate your efforts to resolve the problem yourself, and would encourage you to keep doing this by speaking directly to anyone making noise, reminding them that people are choosing to be there because it is a designated Silent Study space. And please continue to send emails to quiet@mcmaster. ca.  We do try to respond to these emails as quickly as possible. 

Thanks for your patience - if we all work on this issue we might make an impact!

 

(Nov 19/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 9/14) Hello,

I am curious if anybody has noticed a subtle vibration running through the lower floor of Health Sciences Library.

I am trying to determine if there is actually a vibration or if I am suffering from a kinaesthetic hallucination possibly brought on by some kind of environmental factor.

Its not quite people in the air conditioning, but neither is it particularly conducive to my studies.

Thank you for your assistance.

Library response:

I have investigated with the staff working that day and they did not receive any complaints about floor vibrations.  In order to do a thorough investigation, I will require additional information.  Please contact me directly to facilitate this.  If you experience the vibrations again, please inform the staff at the Circulation Desk.  This will help us isolate the date and time the incident occurred.

(Oct 14/14)
Answered by: Neera Bhatnagar (Head of Systems & Public Services, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Other, Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Sep 23/14) Noise restrictions are not respected in this library too often by a minority of students.
However, this minority is enough to spoil the quiet. It is a huge pain to set up
computer/book/paper/etc in a good spot, only to have someone else come into the proximity 10
minutes later when they clearly should have stayed downstairs.

Too often do people come up with food/chums and begin with raucous laughter... even if they
chose to whisper things would be much better.

I know levels of respect seem to have declined over the years (I remember Thode having dead
silence before in areas), but the noise restrictions must be made more apparent AND enforced
somehow. With a new batch every year, they are either ignorant to the rules (unlikely due to
the many signs posted) or just flat out selfish.

I know its not fun for a librarian to play bad cop, but the message is not received by
some who feel it is their right to act however they wish.

The idea of a group study space/lounge/cafe on the first floor is great, and these people
should be redirected there -- by official staff. I dont see what would be wrong with someone
on duty to take a walk around every so often and remind people of the expectations. People
would get the message after a while and the problem would improve significantly over time.

Thode librarys 2nd floor in particular is a wonderful space:
- open space
- natural light
- an interesting floor layout where you have enough privacy and still feel the energy of
fellows around you doing work
- comfortable seating/temperature/desk space
- good coffee just downstairs

Thank you for taking the time to read my comment.

Library response:

Thanks for sending us your comments. We do appreciate you taking the time to do this. We agree that there can be problems with small groups of people who don't feel they have to abide by the rules and regs as they are laid out. Thankfully there are only a few groups like this, but they can be quite disrupting to those around them. We have tried walking through spaces and asking those who are clearly making too much noise to keep it down, or better yet, relocate to someplace more appropriate for their activity level, but unfortunately we would have to be doing this all the time. I am sure you have seen things quiet down when a staff member walks by then the noise picks up as soon as they have left the area.

We have tried to zone our spaces so that there is a variety of normal/noisy, quiet and silent study space in all three libraries. We do encourage our users to choose the space which best fits their study needs, but this is not always possible. More information on the different kinds of available study space can be found at http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space.

One thing we are trying is to have users send an email to quiet@mcmaster.ca to report particularly loud individuals or groups of people. This email is read by the staff on each of the service desks and once received a staff member is dispatched to attend to the problem.

We are looking for different ways to deal with the problem of noise, and are always happy to receive suggestions.  We will monitor the areas as much as possible, but we can't promise a regular patrol.

Glad you like the 2nd floor of Thode! We hope to be able to renovate the lower level at some point to make it a little more comfortable and appealing as well.

(Sep 23/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Jun 10/14) Why on earth would McMaster build QUIET STUDY ROOMS beside offices? Students, faculty
members and staff cant study quietly in these spaces which are signed out when they
are built within the zones of offices where people talk loudly! (eg. Study room in
MILLS 310/B and C

Library response:

Thanks for your message. The study rooms on the 3rd floor are Group Study Rooms, not Quiet Study Rooms. The entire west wing of the 4th floor is designated as QUIET, while the entire 6th floor is designated as SILENT. I am sure you will be able to find an appropriate quiet place to work in one of these areas. More information on designated study spaces can be found at http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space

(Jun 10/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space  |  Permalink
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(May 24/14) Its become a joke how disruptive the environment has become in certain parts of
Mills (the second floor is referred to as Club Mills). This seems to be a growing
trend: noisy students being allowed to talk, eat, watch videos on computers that are
meant to be used for education, and do anything but study in the libraries. Now
Thode has a study space in place of its periodicals that will no doubt become a
conversation floor in a similar way. This must stop. Something must be done.

I am a graduate student and thankfully do not have to put up with this kind of thing,
having a quiet study space with respectful student colleagues around me. But, I
remember being in even less tense environments than are becoming more ubiquitous now,
as an undergrad. Back then, it was a quiet study room with a couple of trouble-
makers. Even though I couldnt focus due to the out-of-place noise, being young and
timid (as other studious individuals may be) I didnt have the chutzpah to ask for
respectful silence. It was awful, and a lot of time and concentration was lost due
to this nonsense. And now, the situation is very clearly worse.

Please, staff and management of the libraries: do something. Make it a campaign for
study. Study should be encouraged and supported. Loud fun times should be looked
down upon in the library; noise and disruption should be quelled or expelled. I who
has been and those who now are fed up with being pushed out by disrespectful,
entitled individuals eagerly await a response, and more eagerly await swift action.
Solving this wouldnt cost money, it would only take guts and resolve to preserve and
indeed revive a positive, studious environment that those who truly belong in a place
of learning deserve and should expect.

Kindest regards, especially to those who serve within the libraries and may also be
frustrated with this not so recent trend.

Library response:

Thanks for your message.

We do understand that many students are looking for quiet study space, but just as many are looking for places to work together as a group, or are working on many things at once.

The Library has designated both QUIET and SILENT study spaces in all libraries so students can choose to study in spaces which best meet their needs. As you probably know we have also just introduced a Graduate Study Room to provide a space conducive to the research and study needs of our graduate student population.

We do our best to enforce the rules in these areas, although we do also encourage students to self-police these areas by talking with offenders themselves. We have a notification system in place whereby users can email quiet@mcmaster.ca if they feel a designated area is too noisy and we will send a staff member to speak to the offending individual(s).

More information on these study areas can be found at http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space

We do monitor the use of our spaces throughout the term and make adjustments as necessary.

Hope this helps provide a better picture about where the Library is coming from on this topic.

Anne Pottier, Associate University Librarian

Updated response: We did launch a RESPECT Campaign last fall to address many of these issues. More information on this campaign can be found at http://library.mcmaster.ca/respect. There are plans to expand this campaign in the next academic year.

(Jun 5/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Follow-up Comments:

Thank you for the information, it is helpful. After some thought and more investigation, it seems that the issue may not be only about availability or designation of study space. Rather, its how the space is being used. The study spaces are being used as social spaces, not for collaborative work. In fact, the socialization that is happening is damaging to collaborative work, which is the intended benefactor of the space in the first place. The establishment of the quiet@mcmaster.ca email address was an excellent idea. Perhaps in addition, more postings could be made around quiet areas to encourage the self-policing and use of the email address. Would it be possible to look at ways of creating a culture in the libraries to encourage students to be vocal and active (in a respectful, co-operative way of course) about keeping things quiet around them? Going along with the above, there may be a need for heightened awareness of social space locations, as well. Perhaps this could be part of what is done to preserve the right environment of study spaces. Do students know where to go to hang out? Are there enough spaces for this, and are they accessible enough? Of course these latter two issues (availability and accessibility of social space) are outside the scope of the libraries responsibilities, but the first issue (awareness of social spaces and their locations) is something that could be a part of a quiet study space campaign. Thank you again for the information, and for posting my original comment and the response to it! (2014-06-12)


Categories: Study Space  |  Permalink
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(Apr 17/14) Can we get more plugs for cubicles in Mills (especially 4th and 6th floor)? Sometimes
its really difficult trying to find a seat with a plug nearby and we are forced to
find somewhere else to study

Library response:

Plans are underway to do this work over the summer months.

(Jun 5/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 3/14) One concern I have is the lack of adequate 100% silent study space in most of
McMasters libraries. Mills 6th floor is designed to be totally quiet, yet there are
two elevators that are constantly making that annoying noise that signals when the
elevator arrives at the floor. Is there any way to disable that noise on the 6th
floor? Because of the floor layout, there really is no space up there that would be
free of this nuisance.

Library response:

Thanks for sending in your comment. Unfortunately we are not able to disable these notification bells since they are used both as a safety mechanism to indicate when a car has arrived and for those users with little or no sight to indicate when a car has arrived. Perhaps you could consider using headphones while using this space to ensure total silence. 

(Mar 6/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 19/14) The lighting on the lower level of HSL servicing the cubicles does not seem to be bright enough. Unless you sit close to the window you are forced to stare at an extremely bright computer screen and if you are using a hardcopy there is nothing you can do. One row of lights also tends to turn off periodically. When the lights are due for servicing a would suggest addressing this. Thanks.

Library response:

Thank you for taking the time to express your concern. When the library was renovated several years ago, “green lighting” fixtures were installed. Depending on the natural light in the library, the lights should self-adjust. When it is sunny outside, the increased natural light should trigger the lights to automatically turn off, allowing us to save energy. Unfortunately, some of these fixtures are starting to malfunction. I suspect that is what is happening on the lower level of the library. I appreciate you taking the time to report the problem. We will contact building maintenance as soon as possible. Please contact me directly if you would like to discuss this in more detail.

(Feb 19/14)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Feb 13/14) I understand there are floors in Mills library that are for silent study but these are
often times really full making it hard to find a place to sit. This results in having
to sit on other floors where talking is allowed which is okay but yelling and speaking
excessively loud should not be permitted. Is there any way to moderate this? Its
really hard to study when you can hear peoples conversations 4 tables away!

Library response:

Thanks for your message. Given the high number of students using our spaces on a daily basis, the best we can do is try to designate specific spaces as Quiet or Silent. If students are being very loud in other areas can we suggest you ask them to keep it down? They may not realize how loud they are being. Alternatively you can try to find a seat in one of our designated spaces. A list of these spaces can be found at http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space

 

(Mar 6/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 8/14) Many of the power outlets at the cubicles on the second floor of the student center to
not work. I am not sure who maintains these but it should be of concern to upkeep the
limited study spaces that we do have.

Thanks

Library response:

Thanks for your message. We did forward this message to the Facilities Manager of the Student Centre.

(Mar 6/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space  |  Permalink
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(Jan 15/14) Are there any study spaces that are COMPLETELY quiet? I like studying on the 4th
Mills Library in the quiet study area, however the sign says low conversation is
allowed -- low conversation often equals people talking non stop for long periods of
time. It would just be helpful to have a completely quiet zone for those who need
it. Im hoping this is possible.. and not too much to ask seeing as it is a library!
Thank you!!

Library response:

Thanks for your suggestion. The entire 6th floor of Mills Library has been designated as Silent Study for about 1year now. Can I suggest you give this space a try? It might work better for you.

(Jan 15/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space  |  Permalink
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(Dec 11/13) In the basement, there should be power bars at every set of desks, not only the select
few. The majority of people utilizing this study space use their computers, which
results in significant crowding around those few desks that do have power bars.

Library response:

Thanks for your comment. We will see if it is possible to add more power poles into this area, which would permit us to add more power bars.

Good luck on your exams!

(Dec 12/13)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Sep 30/13) The 6th floor of mills study is suppose to be a quiet studying place, but people tend
to come up here with their friends and treat it like a place to hang out and talk.
There are signs, but nothing is ever reinforced. Whats the point of having a silent
study, if its actually a silent study but a hang out space?

Library response:

Thanks for sending in your comments. We do periodically walk through the area and remind people this area is a Silent Study floor.  

Please feel free to send an email to quiet@mcmaster.ca when you feel there are problems and we will send someone up right away. Make sure you let us know exactly where people are talking so we can come directly to that section.

 As we get farther into the term silent study becomes more and more important to everyone. We do hope people will self-police this area as much as possible, asking offenders to move elsewhere, or sending an email to the address above.

(Sep 30/13)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 19/13) hi,
I have always studied on the third floor and it seems as if the desks have been
shifted. Half the study desks by the bay window do not have plugs any more and others
have plugs right by the chair instead of centered between the two desks. I had a very
uncomfortable moment with someone trying to crawl thru to plug in her laptop like
right under my desk. If someone could please look into if the desk can be shifted
back
Thanks

Library response:

Thanks for this comment. We did re-arrange the carrels in this area a little bit to prevent people from tripping over these floor boxes. We are looking at ways to move access to power receptacles to the tops of carrels as we have in other areas in the library. Hope to get to this shortly!

(Sep 24/13)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Aug 26/13) I think that the No smelly food or meals in the library rule needs to be better enforced. Ive seen the signs around the library, however I dont think they are effective. I was studying in the Reading Pavilion when an older woman (didnt look like a student) came in to have her lunch. She proceeded to open up and eat a can of sardines. The smell was distracting to say the least, and it lingered in the air for some time afterwards. As a student, I have no problem with people eating lunches in the library, and although it should be common sense not to eat such odorous food in a public space dedicated to quiet study, the reality is that some individuals remain oblivious to the way others are affected.

Library response:

Thank you for the feedback on our food policy. I am sorry your experience in our library was not pleasant. We are in the process to re-vamping our signage and our enforcement efforts for the library food policy. The new information will be available after Labour Day. In the meantime, if you have another unpleasant experience in our space, please come and speak to a library staff member who will help to address the problem. Thanks again for your feedback.

(Aug 26/13)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Apr 14/13) In a study room B113 of Thode, it would be very helpful to have a whiteboard.
It helps to do questions together in a group, but it makes it harder to do so without a whiteboard.
Thank you

Library response:

Thanks for the suggestion. We just opened this room back up. We will make sure to get a whiteboard installed.

(Apr 14/13)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Mar 13/13) Hello
My friend, I and many people use the quiet section in the basement to study. However,
someone has removed part of the ceiling near B116 and all the people who are trying
to study quietly can hear every word and conversation coming from first floor, only
from the section where the ceiling has been removed. This part of the basement is no
longer a quiet study area and with exams coming up, as many people as possible need a
good area to study guaranteed to be quiet.

Library response:

Thanks for letting us know. We will deal with this 1st thing in the morning. Sorry for the inconvenience. Can you tell me exactly where you were sitting to make sure we are looking at the right area.

(Mar 13/13)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Mar 12/13) Hi, I have noticed that the people in the study rooms at the end of the 4th floor quiet study area are really loud these days. It is very distracting because it is supposed to be a quiet study space. Also because of the wind in the room me and my friends often feel cold while studying here. If someone can find a way to resolve my two problems I will greatly appreciate it! Thanks!

Library response:

Thanks for your comments. We will add some signage to the Group Study Rooms to remind students using these rooms that they are located next to a Quiet Study area and will monitor the noise when staff walk through this area.

In terms of the cool air blowing in the room, this changes depending on the temperature outside. We had complaints on Sunday that it was too warm in this area. We do monitor it to make sure there are no mechanical issues, but please do let us know if the temperature swings too much in either direction. We do want this to be a comfortable space for everyone to study in.

(Mar 13/13)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 1/13) I have a complaint, while trying to study the workers fixing part of he library are extremely loud and obnoxious...and its in the very silent section of the library where they should be more considerate. I get that they need to communicate in order to finish their work but theyre close to each other and dont need to be so loud, especially when half of what theyre saying arent even work related but jokes/laughter. Its really bothersome when one is trying to study for a midterm/exam.

Library response:

Thanks for letting us know.  A staff member went down and spoke to the workers and we also checked later in the day.  The inappropriate noise seems to have stopped, but please let us know if this happens again.  The irony is that we are in the middle of a "Respect the Place, Share the Space" campaign, and we seem to be adding to the noise problems :-(

We knew that the repairs were going to be disruptive to our students who are trying to study in our space, especially those using the graduate student room and the silent study area.  The company will be working over the weekend to try and get this finished as soon as possible. 

Thanks for your patience, and please let library staff know if this or other problems arise -- help by being our eyes and ears -- and noses!

 

(Mar 1/13)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Jan 28/13) There are often people who are clearly not students or HHSC employees that utilize the Health Science Library on a daily basis and can be disruptive to students by either shouting / making unnecessary noise or taking up valuable study space at peak periods. It would be great if staff could take more of an active role in addressing these situations. At the very least, by stepping in when a non-member of the HSL is actively disrupting other HSL users.

Library response:

Could you please give me some more details on where these people are being disruptive?  As part of our new Respect the Place/Share the Space campaign, Library staff, including myself, are doing daily walk-arounds.  However, we haven't seen anyone shouting.  If you see this happening, please let one of the library staff know so that we can address the problem immediately.

 

We are a public institution, so are open to anyone who needs to use our resources. However, respectful use of the space is expected from everyone.

 

Thanks for working with me on this,

 

Liz

 

We are aware that the group study rooms can get very noisy.  Unfortunately, noise carries and the rooms act as echo chambers.  We are investigating soundproofing to a few of the rooms, hopefully over the summer, to see if that will help contain the noise.  However, if groups are particularly boistrous, please let a library staff member know and we will remind them to respect the place and share the space.  Thanks!

(Jan 28/13)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Follow-up Comments:

I have also experienced this, usually when in a study room. People in group study rooms can, sometimes, be very loud. (2013-02-01)


Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Nov 9/12) My suggestion is whether the light in self study space in Health Science Library could be lighter. I consider that most students feel eyes uncomfortable due to the dim light especially in the evening.

Library response:

My apologies for the delay in responding -- it has been very busy in the Health Sciences Library lately with  a flood and ceiling repairs in the entrance and a major event in the reading pavilion.  I'm not quite sure which area you are referring to, but assume it might be the quiet and silent study areas.  When the Library was renovated, it went "green" for lighting and there have been some unexpected side effects.  We will put a work order in to see if the lighting levels can be increased.  Thanks for letting us know.

(Nov 19/12)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Nov 8/12) I love the change to the second floor of being converted to a quiet study area. This allowed students a great environment to study in. The first year this was implemented in, the dividers were all removed and vandalized, while this year they are all bolted down. It is great that the university took the effort to maintain the quiet study area. The only problem that exists is groups of students tend to group study and group work on the second floor. This gets quiet annoying to the students who are trying to study or work on assignments in a quiet area.

People would ask them to keep it down, but some students do get intimidated by 10 obnoxious students socializing and studying together. As well students sometimes dont like to be seen as the jerk asking everyone to keep it down.

My suggestion would be to get staff members to make hourly rounds on the second floor, and this will get the message through to those always socializing. While I do understand that there may not be enough staff to do this, a couple weeks of maintaining rules will get the message out.
Another solution would be to put the THIS IS QUIET STUDY AREA, PLEASE TAKE ALL SOCIALIZING AND GROUP WORK DOWNSTAIRS posted on every pillar in the library will get people to keep it down. The cost of this is VERY MINIMAL,(a couple of dollars at most) and the signages dont even have to be fancy just needs to get the message across.

Thanks

Library response:

We are very glad you like the new Quiet Study area on this floor. Admittedly we are having some difficulties keeping the area quiet. Part of the problem is students working in groups. A larger part of the problem it appears is the noise rising from the 1st floor on the west side of the atrium. We are going to look into ways to add some sound dampening.  We will post more signage and do try to walk through the area on a regular basis, but until we are able to do something about the larger noise problem this will be a tough one to enforce. For now, may I suggest you use the east side of this floor, which does appear to be quieter, or the lower level which is quite quiet. We appreciate your patience as we try to resolve these issues.

(Nov 12/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Nov 7/12) Second Floor of Thode is more and more becoming a group study area. People blatently are talking in groups of 2 - 4 very loudly, without whispering... I think maybe if you print out half page sized this area is for quiet study posters that say please whisper and have them available near the top of the second floor, people could just pick one up and give it to a member of a group that is talking. That way you dont have to verbally confront them and you may feel more comfortable telling them to stop talking.

Library response:

Thanks for the suggestion. We are working on many issues related to noise on this floor. We will try adding some morel signage and will try to monitor the area more often.

(Nov 12/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Nov 6/12) The study spaces at Mills are absolutely incredible and it was very considerate of the university to instill them; its too bad that the people using them arent. Several times I have had to either change locations within the Silent Study Area on the 6th floor even after proceeding to talk with the individuals about it. On a few occassions I have moved to the Quiet Study Area on the 4th floor, but that is hardly any better. I indicated the problem because I find myself having to go to Innis in order to use their quiet study area, and Im not even a Commerce Student. Please come up with an answer to this situation as the study areas are perfect besides these minor set backs.

Library response:

Well, first of all, we are glad you like our newly configured study spaces. We are still tweaking the Silent Study space on the 6th floor and the Quiet Study space on the 4th, by adding more signage, and soon to come, more power in both areas!

It's true that the biggest issue around these new study spaces is to make sure they are used appropriately. Library staff do walk through these areas on a fairly regular basis, but we don't have enough staff to monitor them at all times.

When someone is using the space inappropriately - usually talking, or trying to work in a group - it would be great if someone else in that study space could remind them of how the space is to be used. If there is no response, feel free to send an email to quiet@mcmaster.ca - a staff member will be dispatched to the area, so please make sure you tell us where you are - or you can talk to anyone at the service desks in any of our libraries.

We hope these spaces will be used as they were intended, but it may take some time to get people to comply. Please do your part by asking offenders to stop...we appreciate any assistance we can get with this.

(Nov 6/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 11/12) Thank you for adding new study space on the second floor of Thode! Unfortunately it seems people dont know its a quiet study space and many conversations and group meetings are taking place.

Is there something the library can do to raise awareness its a quiet study space? Its easy to ask one person to stop talking but when the whole floor is abuzz there isnt much an individual can do. Perhaps a large sign right at the top of the stairs? Or perhaps a regular patrol by library personnel would help spread the word.

Thanks!

Library response:

Glad to hear you like the new space on the 2nd floor of Thode. We are working on better signage and will try to patrol the area as often as we can. The problem is that this floor is suspended above an atrium where the noise carries up. We are also looking into other sound baffling solutions. We appreciate your patience while we work on improving the use of this space.

(Oct 25/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Oct 10/12) Hello,
I am sending this suggestion in response to the lack of available study space in the health sciences library. I realize that there have been additions to mills and thode in regards to studying areas, however it is obvious that the health science library is also in need of additions. During exam time the library is always full, yet I am posting this suggestion in october and there are already people having to study on the floor. People enjoy studying in the health sciences library and therefore it would be nice if more desks were made available in the quiet and silent study areas.

Library response:

Thank you for taking the time to share your suggestion. We are fortunate that the Health Sciences Library has recently been renovated. As part of this renovation we added seating to both the upper and lower levels of the library. The downside to this recent renovation is that it will be a while before we can undertake another significant reorganization of library space. However, we do recognize that seating is a major problem and we are investigating where we might be able to add some more seating on the lower level. We hope to add more seats, suitable for individual study, before the end of term.

(Oct 24/12)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Oct 3/12) I am wondering if it would be possible to supply power outlets to the small table made for 6 people in the reserve room; there are currently no accessible plugs for laptops.

Library response:

Thank you for your suggestion.  However, those six tables were deliberately left without power to be used by patrons who want to sit and read the books in the Reserve Reading Room.  There are multiple plugs throughout that room and the Library.

I see that you have identified yourself as a graduate student.  Are you aware that we have an FHS Graduate Student Study Room on the lower level, with seven carrels and access to plugs at all of them?

(Oct 3/12)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Sep 20/12) I really like what youve done with the sixth floor! It is now one of the best study spots on campus in my opinion.

Unfortunately, there often seems to be a lack of understanding on behalf of many of the students there is as to what silent study means. I regularly experience groups of people chatting over a few study booths, people watching movies with no headphones, and even answering their phones. This gross lack of respect makes it quite difficult to work, and undermines the entire purpose of the space.

Solutions I can think of include increased patrols of the area, and or stands in front of every entrance reminding people of the rules and purpose of the floor.

Personally, I dont like spending all my time asking people to be quiet, but so anything you could do in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

Library response:

We're glad you like this new Silent Study space, and hope that you will spread the word to all your friends!

Our apologies for the delay installing appropriate signage in this area. Signs will be posted this week. We have already updated the Study Space section of the website, which can be found at http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space. A reminder that new Quiet Study spaces have been created on the 4th floor of Mills and the 2nd floor of Thode.

We will do our best to monitor this space, but due to limited staffing would ask that students first speak themselves to anyone who is not following the Silent Study space expectations. If you are unsuccessful, please feel free to send an email to quiet@mcmaster.ca. We will then send a staff member to come and speak with anyone not respecting everyone's need for a truly Silent Study space.

Feel free to continue to report any problems you may have in this area.

(Sep 25/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 12/12) The entrance gate to the 2nd floor commons has a very squeek when people enter it. Wondering if someone could get some W40 on that?

Library response:

Thanks for letting us know...we will get right on that!

(Sep 12/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(May 25/12) Hi, is it possible to turn up the temp here a bit? The library has turned to be too cold to stay for long time studying, despite that Ive put on thick sweater. Im hearing coughing, runny noses and sneezing all around.
Its also good for energy saving.

Thanks!

Library response:

I just walked around the library.  I found that some areas are a bit cool but some are warm and stuffy.  No parts seemed to be cold but I didn't sit for any period of time.  Since you identified yourself as a graduate student, I did check out the FHS Graduate Student study room which was a pleasant temperature but noisy due to the air ventilation. 

Unfortunately, the temperature in the library is controlled centrally and varies greatly between areas, times of day, day of the week and season of the year.  However, if you could be a bit more specific about the area where you were sitting we could get engineering to investigate. 

As for the coughing, runny noses and sneezing, sometimes I think we should rename ourselves as the Sick Sciences Library; however, we are not allowed to screen for infectious diseases before admission to our space.  Evidence shows that you should wash your hands frequently and not put your hands anywhere near your face: http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/cold-prevention-hand-washing

(May 25/12)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Mar 28/12) Hello, I am a person that suffers from cologne or perfume induced headaches. I realize that the libraries have a scent-free policy but my suggestion is that McMaster libraries make students more aware of this policy. There are no visible signs and I myself did not realize there was such a policy until I asked.

Thanks for considering this request!

Library response:

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.  McMaster does indeed have a guideline around scent-free awareness.  Your message has prompted me to remind everyone working in the library about using unscented products in consideration of their fellow staff and patrons.  Creating a respectful shared environment is very important, and includes reducing noise, odours and garbage.  We will be posting more signs and planning a campaign to raise awareness of all of these issues.

(Apr 1/12)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Mar 24/12) The silent study space needs to be monitored. People are not following the rules and rudely talking. Librarians should make attempts to remove those individuals.

Library response:

I am sorry to hear that other students are interfering with your ability to study in the silent study area. We are currently monitoring the area on a regular basis and are working on a plan to do this more frequently during the exam period. It is important to note that the silent zone is located on the lower level at the back of the library. It is our intention to monitor this particular area most closely. However we do not have the staff resources to have a constant presence in this area and unfortunately noise often rises again after the staff person leaves.  The Regulations Governing Behaviour in the Health Sciences Library (http://hsl.mcmaster.ca/about/policies/behaviour.html) explicitly states that “Conversation is not permitted in the Silent Study area on the lower floor” and outlines consequences. Despite our best efforts we can’t always ensure complete compliance with the policy.  It is our expectation that students will self-monitor when necessary and will let each other know when noise is disturbing their studying.  In addition, we rely on signage to designate this area as a silent study area.

(Mar 26/12)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Mar 23/12) Ive been studying in the silent study area (downstairs) over the past semester and the lights keep turning on and off at apparently random intervals. It becomes very distracting.

Library response: When the Health Sciences Library was renovated, every attempt was made to make it as "green" as possible.  As a result, most lights were put on motion or light sensors.  We put the study carrels by the windows to give you natural light. Sunshine coming in those windows, especially in the afternoon, is what is causing the lights to turn on and off. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about this on days when the sunlight alters in intensity intermittently.  Sorry!   (Mar 23/12)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Mar 19/12) The number of chairs on the 2nd floor of Mills needs to be increased. Half of the computers have no chairs because people use them to sit around one computer in a group and to sit at the study tables, leaving useable computers without a chair.

Library response: Thanks for the comment. As you imagine our loose furniture moves around a lot, throughout the building. We will find some more chairs to fill in the gaps on the 2nd floor. (Mar 20/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 18/12) I am extremely grateful for the extra study space on second floor Thode, however it is completely useless with out the plugs. In 2012, when most of the students work is online it is only logical to provide a study space with plugs for laptops. Students have to go on a hunt for plugs every single time before studying to ensure their laptops dont die while working on an assignments, and 8/10 times are disappointed.

Library response:

Thanks for your comment. We do understand the need for power and are doing our best to get as many of these new workstations powered up as quickly as possible. The plan is that more than 2/3's if these workstations will have access to power.

Our efforts are being somewhat derailed at the moment since students are taking apart the new furniture so we are spending valuable staff time hunting down missing parts, securing privacy screens permanently, etc. We are doing this on a daily basis.

We will get back to the power installation as soon as we can. Thanks for your patience.

(Mar 20/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Feb 12/12) What was the purpose of making thode 2nd floor an independent study floor? Most engineers find it most productive to study in groups and thats why first floor is always overwhelmed with people. If you want to study alone feel free to use the basement of thode (or the many other quiet libraries on campus such as mills and health sci libraries).
Apparently there was a survey done by the MSU asking all students whether they wanted an independent study space or a group one. Why should students from other faculties decide on matters regarding the engineering and science library?

Library response: We do realize Engineering students do a lot of group work, but the plan is that group work is more suited to the study areas on the 1st floor of Thode. We hope to encourage students who are looking for individualized study space to move to the 2nd floor. We need to give this some time to work itself out. We will re-evaluate this at the end of the term. (Feb 14/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Feb 12/12) The dividers on the second floor tables are easy to take out and put back in, but apparently we are not allowed to remove them. This makes working in groups difficult. Thode is an engineering library, and we need to work in groups, and I do not see why it matters if we remove the dividers if we put them back afterwards.

Library response: Thanks for your comment.  We hope that students wishing to do group work will use the 1st floor, while students looking for quiet or individualized study space will go to the 2nd floor. It will take some time for people to change their study patterns, but we need to give it some time to work itself out. We will re-evaluate things at the end of this term. (Feb 14/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Feb 1/12) Mills Library, on the 4th floor where there is designated Quiet Study space (where you are not to have any talking, cell phones, food/drink or laptops) is actually terrible for keeping quiet. I understand that Mills in general is probably not the recommended place to be if one wants actual quiet space to study, but a lot of the times, I (and others) have no choice as other libraries are full or too far to go to for simple study time. Please, (I dont know if this is already something that is enforced or if it is just ignored) could reinforcement be made that these designated spots need to be legitimately quiet? It is incredibly difficult to study with other distractions, even more so when these places are expected to be quiet. Many times, students have tons of other places to go to talk or study together yet they choose designated quiet spots. Especially the room that is supposed to be 100% no laptops, talking, etc. on the fourth floor. Any reinforcement (so that I and others will be able to actually peacefully study) will be greatly appreciated. I understand that it is not the staffs fault (I definitely do not put the blame on staff or people that supervise certain floors etc.) that others are talking, but maybe by enforcing it a little stronger, being strict on the rules, people will finally get the point.

Library response:

Thanks for your comment. We do have staff patrol through the Silent Study room on the 4th floor on a fairly regular basis during the evenings, when we usually receive the most complaints, and while there they try to do a walk through of the larger Quiet Study area. As you note, the real problem is lack of study seats in the libraries, so students are sitting anywhere, not choosing their study space by the type of space as it has been designated. 

We are working on adding more study space to the libraries. Just last week we re-opened the 2nd floor of Thode Library which now has 400 seats intended for individual study only. More than 2/3's of these spaces have power. We are hoping that students who want quiet, individual study will gravitate to this area, leaving the 1st floor of Thode for group study. 

Additionally, for next fall we plan to have the entire 6th floor of Mills designated as Silent Study. This area will be furnished with carrels, not tables, to help keep the area Silent. 

We ask for your patience as we re-purpose some of our spaces. We do understand how important Quiet and Silent study spaces are for our users, and we are doing our best to provide these.

 

(Feb 2/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 6/11) I just spent 1.5 hours going between all four libraries trying to find a quiet study spot with an outlet. This is an enormous waste of my time and is unacceptable. Instead of wasting your money on new reception desks and gaming rooms, like Lyons, McMaster needs to get its act together and buy some damn tables and chairs. And dont reply by saying we are working on it. I have been hearing that for two years now and the situation has only gotten worse.

Library response:

Thanks for your comment. We do understand your frustration, but please also recognize that this is one of the busiest times of the year in all of our libraries, and at times it is difficult to find a seat anywhere, let alone one which has access to power.

Adding power for laptop use is one of our priorities in any space we renovate, as long as it is possible to add power in that space.  We are in the process of finalizing the addition of 400 additional seats, about 1/2 of which will be powered, on the 2nd floor of Thode. The new furniture will arrive just after Christmas. There is temporary furniture there at the moment, but only for 250 users.

A reminder that it is not necessary, nor advisable, to leave your laptop plugged in all the time. You should charge your battery but then unplug it so your charger doesn't get burned out.

Please continue to be patient with us as we renovate our spaces. To do this, we must move much of physical collections, which is a very labour intensive and costly activity.

(Dec 6/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

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(Dec 5/11) could there please be more power outlets in the basement of thode? I like the new power bars but there are not enough of them! exam time brings more people to the library and we all need outlets for our laptops

Library response:

We are glad that you are finding the additional power bars helpful. We have added as many power bars as the current configuration of carrels and power poles will allow.

We can look at a possible re-arrangement of this area to see if there is any way we can provide access to more power, but won't be able to do this until the New Year.

(Dec 8/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Dec 3/11) love thodes 24/7 times, and yes, keeping first and 3rd floor quiet are is totally needed

Library response: We are pleased that we can once again offer the late night studying @ Thode. We will do our best to keep the lower level and 2nd floors quiet, but this is a difficult thing to do for the 1st floor. Good luck with the studying! (Dec 8/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Nov 20/11) I was sitting in the library and was amazed at what I saw. A dog just walked by the quiet study area in the basement. Please Do Let people bring in Dogs to Library. Its a place for Academic discovery and learning, not to walk you pets.

Library response: Thank you for letting us know about your concern.  Dogs as pets are not allowed in the Library, but we do allow for service dogs.  If you notice someone bringing a dog into the Library that is clearly not a service animal, please let us know at the Library Services desk, and we will address the situation. (Nov 21/11)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Nov 1/11) I love the fact that there are places for silent study in mills, like the 6th floor. The only problem is people do not know what silent means. Would it be possible to have staff patrol silent study areas to remind people to be quiet?

Library response: We do try and patrol these areas, but often the noise level rises again as soon as the staff leave. We are working on creating more truly SILENT study spaces, with doors, which make it easier to monitor. The only area we currently have like this is on the 4th floor, down the ramp on the east end, room L405. Perhaps you would like to give this area a try? Thanks for being patient with us as we continue to re-purpose our spaces. (Nov 1/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 31/11) I can only applaud the new open lay out of the 2nd floor of Thode, while I lament the loss of the journal hardcopies like Can. For. J. Res, I can live with it if the layout of 2nd floor remains as is; bright, open, relatively quiet, not overcrowded.

Is it the libraries intention to just furnish the 2nd floor of Thode? Or to turn it into another Club Mills with giant screened Macs everwhere? If its the latter, itll be a tragedy.

My only concern is the decision to construct the new furniture...while everyone is working on said floor. Nobody likes woking with a power-screwdriver going off every ten seconds. Is this likely to be the norm for the next few weeks?

Library response:

We are glad you are pleased with the new area on the 2nd floor of Thode. The plan is to have a variety of seating types for 400 users, all intended to be used individually. Approximately 1/2 of these spaces will have access to power, for use with personal laptops.

There will be no computers on this floor, with the exception of a couple of general access computers at the entrance and a microform reader/printer, and a Sharp printer/copier. This floor will be designated as QUIET. 

In terms of when the new furniture will be arriving, we are still not quite sure, but if it can't be installed and in place before exams start, we will wait until after they are over. We do realize how much commotion and noise is involved with unpacking and putting these types of things together.

Should look great when it is all done, and we know the extra seats will be welcome!

(Oct 31/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Oct 28/11) Just wanted to let you guys know that I like the new giant power bars in thode basement. I dont think there will be any future issues finding power for my laptop.

I also enjoy the constant shifting of study cubicles, but I fear that this will come to an end with the new power locations. Oh well!
It was refreshing to come in every day and have the desks shifted around :)

Thode is my favorite library by far, just try to avoid renovating the basement to match the main floor.
I find the atmosphere very homely and welcoming for some reason!

Oh also, if you could turn up the heat a little itd be nice. I get cold feet when studying.

Cheers!

Library response: Thank you for your comments!  It's always good to receive feedback when we make changes, such as installing the new power bars. I'm glad you are enjoying the Thode environment as well.  Thanks for letting us know about the temperature issue in the basement.  I'll see if we can make it a little more comfortable. (Oct 31/11)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Sep 29/11) So I went to study in mills learning commons today and it was FILTHY. There was food everywhere, ketchup and other sauces on keyboards and mice. This is my 4th year at MAC, and this library gets filthier every year. I did not use any of the available computers(there was like 3 free) because all had food on the desk and I am not going to clean up after some one. Some one needs to do something about this, maybe ban eating in computer space. What kind of an impression would this library give off to visitors??????

Library response:

Thanks for taking the time to submit your comment. We do agree that at times our study areas get quite messy, especially near the end of the day, after the daytime custodians have left. At night, the custodians are there just to keep the washrooms supplied and to empty main garbage containers.

As you are aware we do allow eating and drinking in the library. Unfortunately it is not possible to ban eating in certain areas, since we wouldn't have the staff resources to enforce this type of a regulation.

We are working on increasing the type and number of garbage and recycling containers throughout all the libraries, in the hopes that students will clean up after themselves if there is a nearby container.  Additionally, we have posted a "Be kind to your fellow students...please use the garbage/recycling bins" slide on the backgrounds for the public computers and the digital signage in Mills.  If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to send them to me directly - pottier@mcmaster.ca

 

 

 

(Sep 30/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 23/11) As Innis is a library, it would be nice to have someone monitoring the overall noise of the general study area.

Library response: Thank you for your comments regarding the study areas.  Our staff do try to monitor the noise levels in the general, quiet and silent study areas on a regular basis.  However, at our busy times this may not always be possible.  Please let one of our staff members at the Library Services desk know about the noise levels and we would be happy to speak to the person or group. (Sep 23/11)
Answered by: Ann Pearce (Supervisor, Information Services, Innis Library)

Categories: Study Space, Innis  |  Permalink
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(Sep 18/11) Can you put up signs so that people remain quiet at the library? I dont appreciate the fact that people are on their cellphones walking up and down the stacks or at the cubicles talking. I am looking for a quiet place to study, not to hear about last nights escapades or grading schemes.

Library response:

I'm sorry that other users were interfering with your ability to study.  The Library can be a bit noisy at times, but there are areas dedicated to quiet and silent study and clear signs to remind users to restrict their noise in those areas.  The silent zone is on the lower level at the back of the library.  I personally walk around the library regularly and remind people in the silent area to stop their conversations. To be honest, people who disrespect their fellow users in this way would probably not take any notice of additional signs.

(Sep 18/11)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Jul 20/11) July 19/11
- for staff at circulation desk, particularly when close to the reserve room, to be aware of volume of their converstation. It travels into quiet study area of the reserve room. Its also good for staff to set a model of behaviour for patrons to follow!

Printed suggestion left in the Suggestion Box

Library response:

Thank you for your feedback. I have discussed this matter with the staff. Going forward, they will do their best to keep conversations to a minimum. You are correct in your statement about modeling good behaviour. Unfortunately, because there is no door on the area sound travels from both the lobby and service desk. Jennifer McKinnell, Head of Public Services (mckinn@mcmaster.ca)

(Aug 24/11)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library),Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Apr 18/11) Dear Sir/Madam,

Could you please help by doing something with the airconditioning system in the grad study room [1B21]. Everday starting at 5:oopm it is cold freezing in the room.

Thanks and best

Library response: Thank you for your comment. We have spoken with engineering and it turns out the thermostat in that room was set at a very cool temperature. We have adjusted the temperature and we hope this solves the problem. Please feel free to contact me directly if the problem persists. Jennifer McKinnell, Head of Public Services (mckinn@mcmaster.ca, x24381). (Apr 18/11)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Apr 9/11) Hi, I would just like to know what can I do if a fellow student is being loud after you have told him to be quite, in the quite study area. Will it be reasonable to tell on the library staff. Also why is it that Students are allowed to use cell phones in the library area It is really annoying and distracting.

Library response:

Thanks for your comment. We do understand how frustrating it can be if you have asked someone to be quiet, especially in a quiet study area, and they don't comply. You are welcome to speak to the staff at the service desk and they will speak to the noise offender themselves.

As far as cell phones are concerned, we have asked that people put them on vibrate when they are in quiet study areas and that they move away from the area when they take a call. Given how students use cell phones these days it would not be possible to prevent their use in the library.

(Apr 9/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space  |  Permalink
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(Apr 8/11) Keeping Thode open 24 hours is a fantastic idea! Hopefully this will stick around for good. The noise has been keeping to a reasonable level which is great. The one problem with Mcmaster (not enough late night study space) has been solved.

Library response: Thanks for taking the time to send us your comments.  We are very pleased to hear that the extended hours are making a difference for you. Best of luck with your exams! (Apr 9/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Mar 7/11) Love the grad. student study rooms. Makes it really easy for us who need to study year round, not just seasonally!

Library response:

Thanks very much for the positive feedback.  It was an experiment so I'm pleased that graduate students are utilizing the room.  Neera Bhatnagar, Coordinator of Research & Graduate Education Support, Health Sciences Library

(Mar 11/11)
Answered by: Neera Bhatnagar

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Mar 2/11) One of the ceiling lights in the laptop friendly room on the Third Floor has been broken for ages. Sitting under this light, I have to strain my eyes to see my books and it gives me headaches. Of course I could sit elsewhere, but there are already so few places in Mills to plug in my laptop. Please fix this light if possible. Thanks.

Library response: Thanks for letting us know. We will look into this right away.
(Mar 2/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 17/11) 8 Jan 11
To whom it may concern:
why is the media rm always cold? Summer, winter, morning, afternoon, evening? in the summer I need to bring a sweater, in the winter I may as well keep hat gloves & parka on!

Library response: There are major problems with heating throughout the Library, including in staff offices.  When the temperature changes quickly and drastically the way it did this weekend, it takes a long time for the building to heat up or cool down.  We have a request into Engineering to check the temperature throughout the Library.  (Jan 17/11)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Jan 17/11) More tables for study in the reference room (get rid of TVs)

Library response: We are working on revamping the equipment and arrangement of the room.  It is a priority project, but takes some time as many of the AV materials are still included on course reading lists. (Jan 17/11)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Jan 17/11) Please Designate the reference room as silent or quiet study

Library response:

I assume you mean the Reserve Reading Room?  It is already designated as a quiet study area, and there is a large sign in the entrance reminding people of this.  Unfortunately, because there is no door on the area sound does travel from the lobby and service desk.

(Jan 17/11)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Dec 16/10) During peak exam time there are not enough study spaces. I realize some space is being taken up due to the renovation in Mills but some of it should be cleared up if possible.

Library response: We agree...study space is really tight, especially around exams. We are slowly renovating most of our spaces to help create the much needed study space. Most recently we just added 25 carrels to the 6th floor as a new Silent Study space. Please be patient with us as we continue to transform our spaces (Dec 20/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 16/10) There is a lack of study space when the library gets too full. Clear items for more study space.

Library response:

We agree...study space is really tight, especially around exams. We are slowly renovating most of our spaces to help create the much needed study space. Most recently we just added 25 carrels to the 6th floor as a new Silent Study space. Please be patient with us as we continue to transform our spaces.

(Dec 20/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 15/10) Find a way to control the lighting system in the cubicle areas because during the day the lights flicker on and off. I know this is a way to converse energy when there is enough light provide from outside but when the lights are regularly turning on and off every 10-15 min its rather annoying and in some people (like myself) it can cause headaches.

Library response: I realize that the light-sensitive lighting is annoying, particularly on days when there are sunny and cloudy periods.  We have asked that this be changed, but unfortunately there is not an easy solution .  I will submit another engineering request, quoting your words and emphasizing the adverse effects on your health resulting from the lights. (Dec 15/10)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Nov 29/10) Although the Health Science library is one of the better ones on campus it is in completely biased toward other faculty students. Other faculties are not able to book a study room in advance yet Health Science students can still book a study room in other libraries, this is completely unfair. It should be either all faculties should be able to book a study room in advance, or it should be entirely on a first come first serve bases.

Library response:

The renovations to the Health Sciences Library were largely funded by the Faculty of Health Sciences to meet the special needs of their students.  The Health Sciences Library reports directly to the Faculty of Health Sciences; the other libraries report separately, so I cannot speak to their advance booking policy.

A survey we ran last week showed that over 2/3 of the students in the Health Sciences Library come from other Faculties, so it is indeed a popular place.  Our computers, laptops and all open study spaces are available and heavily used by all students.  The study rooms are also available to all McMaster students, with the exception that they can only be booked by FHS students from one week to one day in advance; they can be booked by any student for the current day. 

(Nov 29/10)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Oct 20/10) Since many books have been moved to Thode, I need to go over there and look at them in the basement. I thought this was a library and not a place for prayers. Can you find another place on campus for those you want to pray.

Library response: Thanks for your comment.  The library spaces are actually public spaces, and we don't have a policy against praying in the library.  Our policy is to ensure that access to the collection is not blocked, and if you find that this is the case, please come and ask a staff person for assistance.  The staff person would wait for the prayer to finish, then would explain the policy about not blocking access to the collection to any person who is blocking access, if this is the case.  There are additional places on campus where students can pray. The Muslim Student Office in Wentworth House, Room 101 offers daily prayer, and some students use the chapel located at the hospital for prayer as well. I will make sure that staff are aware of both of these alternatives.
(Nov 1/10)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Oct 12/10) in reserve room would be nice to have a sign saying quiet area - since most are there to read and cannot take the resources out if people are noisy.
(Written suggestion placed in the Suggestion Box, date not provided)

Library response:

The reserve area on the upper level of the Health Sciences Library has been designated as quiet study (see our website at: http://hsl.mcmaster.ca/services/study/index.html). This means that conversation may occur in this room, but that voices should be kept low. Lately, the library has been very busy and I suspect some students are using this space for group work rather than individual quiet study. Your suggestion to post a sign is a good one. The library will investigate where and how such a sign can be posted.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

 Jennifer McKinnell, Head of Public Services (mckinn@mcmaster.ca)

(Oct 15/10)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Oct 6/10) I am a level 4 student at McMaster University. I used to study at mills library because there were so many sits were available all the time. I found the number of desks (slient study room and in general) were not enough for the students previously, however, after the renovation on the 4th floor (the big study room and the small quite study rooms near the group study rooms), now students have nowhere to study. The library is for the studenet, not for the offices.

Library response: Thanks for your comment. We do realize how important it is to be able to provide a variety of types of study space. As you can see, we are in the process of renovating most of the study spaces at Mills which unfortunately will mean that at times we will have less of some types of spaces. We are working diligently to try to maintain the current number of study seats during this time but at times we are going to be off a bit. Please be patient with us during this time.
(Oct 12/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 5/10) As there continues to be a lack of quiet study space in libraries, can you please enforce it in one of the last remaining spots - the Thode basement? It continues to get quite noisy and no one seems to be monitoring the area.

Thanks!

Library response: Thanks for your comment.  You're right, we generally don't monitor the area for noise as we have limited staff resources.  I did walk through today and noticed that there are no signs designating this space as a quiet study area.  I will make sure signs get posted right away, and I hope this helps.  If you do find that there is an extremely unreasonable amount of noise, you can let the staff at the service desk know and we will do what we can depending on our resources.  If you have any other suggestions for keeping the noise down in the quiet study area, please feel free to let us know. (Oct 7/10)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Oct 1/10) feedback
- computer area that is designated as quiet

(Written suggestion placed in the Suggestion Box, date not provided)

Library response: It is interesting that you are making this suggestion.  When we first set up the silent study area, users didn't want electrical outlets in the study carrels in that aressince they felt that people using computers weren't being quiet.  We have since added the outlets to the 96 carrels.  So if you want to use a computer in a quiet area, I suggest that you borrow one of the laptops from the circulation desk to use in the silent study area.  Of course, you need to be a McMaster student to borrow a laptop, and you didn't include anything about your status when you dropped your suggestion into the box. (Oct 1/10)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Sep 14/10) Ive used the group study areas in the basement of Thode since my first year here and I am disappointed to see them from being halved last year to being totally removed this year. I find it that the group areas in the first floor are way too noisy compared to the basement.
That space was often used by groups and filled much more quickly than the first floor and there are reason to that.

Library response: Thank you for your comments.   We have done some moving of the furniture and relocated some of the seating, but we haven't actually reduced the number of seats available.  Part of the rationale for doing this was to allow us to consolidate the book collection, which is something our users had asked us to do.  We also tried to keep like types of study space together (carrels vs. tables).  There is some additional group study space available on the 2nd floor along the windows on the south side of the building if you'd like to try out this space.  I agree that the group spaces tend to be noisy, especially on the first floor, but I hope you find that the 2nd floor space is better for you.


(Sep 15/10)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Sep 9/10) I would like to know why silent study rooms are being replaced or eliminated especially at Mills. I believe the one on the first floor was donated by a graduating class 50. I dont see how a donation can be undone. I have spent much of my first 3 years at McMaster in that room and demand for seats was always high. I really like Mills library and cant understand why the students who use these rooms arent consulted before they are eliminated.

Library response: Thanks for your comment. We do understand the importance of Silent Study spaces. We are in the process of renovating most of the study spaces at Mills which unfortunately will mean that at times we will have less of some types of spaces. At the moment, there are no Silent Study spaces. Be assured we will be re-creating these elsewhere in the building, but as we are in flux at the moment it is not yet possible to say exactly where these new spaces will be created. (Sep 10/10)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian),Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(May 26/10) The study desks in the basement do not have enough light to study (unless using a laptop). It would greatly help to add lights for each desk similar to the arrangement on the 3rd floor a year ago. Thank you.

Library response: Thanks for bringing this to our attention.  We are still in the midst of moving furniture in our study areas, so the study carrels in the basement are not in their final position yet.  However, we will definitely consider adding lighting to the study carrels where we can, infrastructure permitting. (May 27/10)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Apr 17/10) The health sciences library offers many great services for students. Laptops, study rooms, supportive staff. Yet, if fails to ensure what every library needs, and thats silence. If you stand anywhere in health sciences library, it sounds like a part of the student centre.

The history of medicine room is an exception to this, but in a large and newly renovated library, this should not be the only exception.

I am not sure how to resolve this because the design of the health sciences library with open tables lends itself to such an environment, but perhaps having staff to remind students to be mindful of those studying could be an option.

thanks,

Library response:

We have several areas designated as quiet study space, including the History of Health and Medicine Room and the carrels at the bottom of the stairs, plus the Reserve Reading Room on the upper level.  In addition, we have a silent study area outside the History of Health and Medicine Room.

Over the past week, I have walked around the library to monitor the noise, and have found it to be much quieter than I have ever found the Student Centre!  We have reminded staff to monitor the noise too, particularly in the Silent Study area. The open design, especially the entrance and the staircase, are very challenging for noise containment.

We will be designing a sign to remind our patrons to respect the requirements of others for quiet to study.  This will certainly be in place for the next exam period in particular.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention,

Liz

(Apr 27/10)
Answered by: bannisl,Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Customer Service, Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Apr 7/10) Please stop converting QUIET study areas into group study areas or staff offices. We are losing all the QUIET ZONES!

Library response:

The library is undergoing many renovations at present which can often result in many of our spaces being redefined.  To help address this problem, during the current exam period, we have designated the Mills Learning Commons as a Quiet Study area beginning Friday April 9th, running through to April 28th. Take a look at the news item we posted about this earlier today.

 We will be undertaking several more renovation projects, which will invariably affect various study spaces, but at the end of it all we hope you will be pleased with the mixture of study spaces we are able to provide. We are attempting to zone the various types of space available - you can learn more about this @ http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space.

(Apr 7/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 1/10) I would like to say first of all that this library is a great library. However, there are hardly any places that is quiet to do studies. My suggestion is for the library to have a posted stand as over at Health Science library to remind people in the upstairs and down on the basement that those area ought to be for individual studying (wherever it is applicable). Thankyou. Pls. keep up the great work.

Library response: Thank you for your feedback and suggestion.  The "quiet study area" sign is now posted on the 2nd floor.  The basement level is designated as a "silent study" area.  More signage will be posted shortly to remind people about the use of this area. (Apr 1/10)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Mar 29/10) Considering the library closes early on Fridays, maybe the EXTREMELY LOUD, ANNOYING, DISTRACTING and so on, renovations and drilling could be done after close instead of during the busy hours at Thode.

Library response: I apologize for the loud noise at Thode today.  I agree, it is very distracting.  It shouldn't go on too much longer today.  I will make sure I pass along your concerns to our Facilities manager to see if this type of work could be scheduled differently.  Please stop by the service desk to get a set of ear plugs, if you would like to try them in the meantime. (Mar 29/10)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Feb 23/10) This is a library. I come here to work and for quiet. The noise level has increased over the 6 year period that I have been using this library. I have seen people play football & soccer on the second floor several times. Little is done by staff to control the noise and students are left to confront each other creating a lot of tension between students. Something needs to be done. Libraries at other universities are NOT like this.

Library response: You will be pleased to learn that we are designating the Mills Learning Commons as a Quiet Study area during the spring exam period. Take a look at the news item we posted on the library website to learn more. (Apr 7/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 25/10) I’ve noticed recently that quiet study space in both Thode and Mills library is depleting. Though I can appreciate that many of the changes to the libraries are valuable (for some students) it is close to impossible to find a comfortable, quiet workspace on campus. The alternative locations offered for study spaces moved from first and third floor Thode and 4th floor mills are inadequate. They lack natural light, are stuffy, and overfilled (both with desks and students).

Plans for the Health Forum and Lyons New Media Centre are interesting but I was wondering if the university had any plans to create new study spaces.

Library response: Thanks for your message. While it is true that our quiet study space is somewhat reduced as we are renovating many of our spaces, we are committed to making sure there is the correct balance of group, quiet and silent study space at the end of the road. Unfortunately this will not be realized for a while yet. We thank you for your patience during this stage of our transformation. (Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Study Space  |  Permalink
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(Jan 21/10) On Thurs, Jan 21st music was heard throughout Innis library the entire night. It seemed to be coming from downstairs and the
bass was vibrating throughout the library. This was very distracting to my peers and I who were trying to study. Can this be
prevented?

Library response:

We’re sorry to hear about the disruption coming from one of the rooms in KTH, specifically Celebration Hall just below Innis Library.  I contacted Larry Marsh, Manager of Paradise Catering regarding the noise from Thursday, Jan. 21st.  He apologized for the disturbance and mentioned they do what they can to ensure the noise is kept to a minimum.  He also appreciated being made aware of this disturbance.  He has given me permission to post his email address if you have any further comments, concerns or suggestions.  Please feel free to contact him at marshlj@mcmaster.ca .   I can understand your frustration, especially when you were looking for a quiet place to study in.   Mills and Thode Libraries also have Silent Learning areas and can be another alternative for quiet studying space.

Thank you for making us aware of this problem.

(Jan 27/10)
Answered by: Ann Pearce (Supervisor, Information Services, Innis Library)

Categories: Study Space, Innis  |  Permalink
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(Jan 16/10) the quiet study areas (second floor and the first floor at the back) need to be watched by the librarians. Some people talk very loud and people who are trying to do some work are very disturbed.
Mills library usually has 2-3 librarians walking around the quiet study areas making sure it is silent.
Thode libary definitely needs to work on this.

Library response: Thanks for submitting this comment . Unfortunately we do not have enough staff in any of our libraries to patrol our study areas anymore. Can we suggest you ask your noisey neighbours to keep it down? If this doesn't work you are welcome to report the disturbance to the main service desk and the staff will speak to the disruptive individuals.
(Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Jan 13/10) Overall Mills is great! But I was wondering why none of the burnt out lights are ever replaced in the 1st floor silent study room?

Library response: Sorry to take so long to respond, but I hope by now this issue has been rectified. We do try to watch for burnt out lights but somehow we missed these. Thanks for letting us know. (Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 13/10) Where are all the quiet study rooms going? And Why do we NOT have a 24-hour library/study area? (i.e. QUIET study area)

Library response:

We are in the process of renovating many of the spaces in Mills and at the moment we are down in the number of quiet study spaces we can provide. We are working to make sure we have the correct balance of group, quiet and silent study space by the time we have finished all the renovation.

We are also working towards having the Mills Learning Commons open 24/7 all term. Not sure about the timing for this, but this plan is in the works!

(Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 11/10) The first floor ladies washroom is awful. It badly needs an overhaul.

Library response: We agree, and we are working on it. The broken hand dryer will be replaced and relocated during Reading Week this term. Then we will have the entire room painted and cleaned up. Thanks for taking the time to remind us this needs to be done! (Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 17/09) I understand the justifications for why only Health Sciences students can book study rooms but many times I have seen students who I know are in Health Sciences in them alone or with one another person working seperately on computers not involved in group work at all. Ive also talked to many students who booked them in advance just in case but many times do not use the. This abuse of priviledges will always occur if only one faculty has the right to booking a room (no matter what).

Also from what I understand the Health sciences office can book tutorail/meeting rooms on the spot in MDCL for you if you are in the Health Sciences program. However for anyone else who wishes to use these rooms it is first some first serve and
anyone from Health sciences can take it from you if they simply go to the HSC office and book it. I just think this is a big disadvantage to non-Health Sciences students especially when most universities pride themselves on fair, fully accessible campus for all students.

Library response:

We have a notice at the desk stating that group study rooms are for the use of 2 people or more.  We had a long discussion about what defines a "group" and decided on two or more - I agree that one person definitely isn't a group.  However, students book as a group then we too see only one person in a room.  But this is an honour system - maybe the second person is out of the room, or hasn't turned up yet, or has left a bit early?  What solution would you suggest? We certainly won't have library staff patrolling and peering in windows! 

Regarding your second point, we only hold a room for 15 minutes after which time it is released to anyone; we have the 15 minute grace period because many students have been held up in tutorials or clinical settings sometimes off campus. 

Abuse of privileges can always happen and I honestly don't believe it is because of the limitations on who can pre-book.  Policies are set on the assumption that students will act in a fair and professional manner. 

I have no control over the MDCL rooms, but will pass on the message.

(Dec 18/09)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Dec 10/09) Why is it that you have to be a Health Sci student to book a room in advance at the Health Science Library? You dont have to be in a specific faculty to book a room in Innis, Thode or Mills. To be fair, students from any faculty should be allowed to book a room in advance at Health Science Library.

Library response: You and many others are probably not aware that the Health Sciences Library reports directly to the Faculty of Health Sciences and is separate from the University Library.  As a result, our mandate does indeed focus on the needs of the faculty and students in the Faculty of Health Sciences.  Because of the requirements of the FHS students to work in a self-directed, small group format, the Health Sciences Library was renovated to meet those needs. The only privilege these students have is the ability to pre-book the study rooms.  All other facilities and resources, including use of our collection, computers, laptops, comfortable chairs, study carrels and large group tables are open to everyone on campus. Our statistics show that over 50% of the students using the library and borrowing the laptops are non-FHS students. Study rooms are available to all McMaster students (not faculty or staff - who complain about this) on a first come first served basis if they haven't been pre-booked.
(Dec 10/09)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Follow-up Comments:

I think this association needs to be removed or else the library should be closed to non-FHS population. It is a pain in the ass to have so many FHS focused resources just because of funding inequalities! REPLY: I find it hard to take this suggestion seriously! The Health Sciences Library is a wonderful facility, with over 50% of its users being non-FHS students. They can use the collection, the computers, the laptops, the study carrels, the Reading Pavilion, the History of Health and Medicine Room and yes, even the group study rooms! The only thing they cant do is book a study room in advance. You really think the library should be closed to non-FHS students for this reason? -- Liz Bayley, Director, Health Sciences Library (2010-03-24)


Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Dec 9/09) It is 10:30 in Thode. Second floor. Quiet Study Area.

The loudest noises this morning? Library employees, shooting the breeze (outside the photocopy room near the washrooms, and
the single office). Whatever happened to leading by example?

Library response: Thank you for your comment.  You are right, the second floor of Thode is designated as a quiet study area, and as such students should expect that staff will respect this.  I will make sure that this is addressed with Thode staff.  I apologize for the disruption. (Dec 9/09)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library),bannisl

Categories: Customer Service, Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Dec 6/09) For the first couple years of my university career Thode Library was the place to be for those of us who were in need of good,
quiet study space. It has proven difficult in the past to find decent study space throughout the rest of campus, and now
Thode, a sanctuary of sorts for some of us, has been renovated to be a social hang out. Not only has the first floor been
taken over by people who want to hang out but the third floor has been lost to the iSci program which nobody really seems to
know what it is.

Is anything going to be done about the noise problem in Thode so that we can have a good place to study again?

Thank you

Library response:

With the increased traffic in Thode Library we have moved to zoning the

various areas of the library for group study, quiet study and silent study

in an effort to offer spaces which match individual needs (please see

http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space/Thode/all for more information

about Thode study spaces).  The first floor has been designated as a

conversation friendly and group learning zone as we find that many students are in need of areas where they can work and study in groups.  The first floor does tend to get noisy, but it works well for those students who require group study areas.

 

The second floor is a quiet learning zone, and the lower level has a

silent learning zone. Hopefully one of these zones will meet your needs.  In

addition, the service desk will supply you with a set of earplugs if you

find you need them while studying.

 

The 3rd floor of Thode was recently renovated to create a home for the new Integrated Science (iSci) Program. More information can be found at:

http://www.science.mcmaster.ca/isci/

(Dec 16/09)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Nov 26/09) I am so disappointed with the study spaces available in Mills. I am tired of sitting on the floor because all the seats in the quiet areas are taken and those that available dont have plugs for the computer. I noticed there is a wireless sign on the 5th floor, there is no internet up there! Also can you please tell me why the previous study space on the 4th floor has now been replaced by empty bookshelves and the study space moved by the elevator? How is anyone suppose to study considering the noise level there? The library needs more actual quiet study areas, not group study tables, but areas that are quiet and provide plugs for computers.

Library response:

Thanks for your comments. As you have seen we are in the process of renovating many of our spaces which has resulted in a temporary reduction in many of the different types of study spaces our users are seeking. We are committed to finding the correct balance between group, quiet and silent study spaces, but we are not there yet.

We are looking into the problem of intermittant wirelss access on the 5th floor. Many of our wireless problems are due to the high number of users in our library every day, which is why we are working on the transformation of our spaces. We will work with UTS to see what the problem on the 5th floor might be.

(Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 10/09) There is not enough space for quiet study. The third floor and above should be reserved for quiet study ONLY. This is a library and therefore students should treat it like one. If they cannot, even though they are adults, I think it needs to be enforced by the staff.

Library response: Thanks for your comment. We are attempting to zone our study spaces to help our users find the type of study space most appropriate to them, but we need to undertake a few more renovations before we can find the right balance of group, quiet and silent study space. We ask for your patience while we work on this transformation. (Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 4/09) i had made an inquiry to the Library about the usage of the interview rooms in degroote which have remained and continue to remain unoccupied 24/7. These rooms are right beside innis library and there are HUNDREDS of desperate students looking for some decent study space which could make such productive use out of these rooms yet still my inquiry has thus far not received any response. I would like to know WHOM i should be speaking with about this...

i also have noticed that you are not posting my suggestions onto the public board...so is there any valid reason for this? are you condemning freedom of speech? if this is a suggestion board then why arent mine being heard like everyone elses?

also i have repeatedly and politely requested that the Library immediately consider making the THIRD ROOM OF MILLS library an absolute silence floor because silence does not appear to be strong enough, nor is it reaching the comprehension of the masses.

thank you.
are these requests unreasonable? would the library prefer that i draft up a petition and show just how much they ARENT by way of the number of signatures which will appear on this proposition?

Library response:

Thanks for sending in your comments.

For questions about the interview rooms in the DeGroote School of Business, you can contact the Centre for Business and Career Development in room DSB 112 at Ext. 24611 or you can email them at:  cbcd@mcmaster.ca .  They are open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The library has recently zoned our study spaces so users can determine what space is the most appropriate for them. Concerning the Silent Study Room on the 3rd floor of Mills, this room is posted as Silent, as defined below:

Expectation: silence – no talking, socializing, music, laptop or cell phone use – cell phone ringers off
Benefits: quiet and calming environment for reflection, problem-solving, and other complex work on which you need to concentrate
Cautions: zero tolerance for noise
Perhaps in this case it would help to post these conditions in the room.

We’ll work on the appropriate signage for our silent study area soon.  We also encourage users in our silent study area to remind their fellow users that this space is intended to be a silent study area.  Our library staff will do what we can if the noise is excessive.

We appreciate you taking the time to make this suggestion. Let's see what we can do from our side to make it clearer how this type of space is to be used.

Anne Pottier, Associate University Librarian (pottier@mcmaster.ca)

 

(Nov 5/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space  |  Permalink
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(Nov 4/09) Is there any way to better soundproof the office next door to the third floor study room by the elevators/water fountain (the
one that used to be the extension of the existing study room) ? Sometimes it can get pretty loud in there if the people in the
office start talking, to the point where even with ear plugs I can still hear them. This is my favourite study room on the entire
campus and its the place where I do the most productive work. I dont feel right commenting to the people in the office as I do
not feel it is my place and am concerned about the reaction I might receive. Any suggestions or help would be greatly
appreciated.
Thanks!!

Library response: Thanks for the suggestion. We will take a look at this space and see what we can do about reducing the noise coming from the adjoining room.  (Nov 4/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 1/09) You should drop the rule about how only health science students can reserve rooms. I went to the Health Sciences library on Friday to reserve a room for a later time because all other study rooms were booked. There was a room available but they said I couldnt reserve it since I was not in health sciences. They suggested that I come back closer to the time and the room probably would still be available. It was not when I came back and it is really unfair that all other faculty based libraries do not have restrictions about what faculty you are in to reserve rooms but the health sciences library discriminates against other students not in health sciences. It is hard enough to even find empty space and I have been resorted to study in hall ways many times.

If you continue with this rule that only allows Health Science students to be able to reserve rooms, then you must consider making a rule for other libraries that restrict health science students from booking their rooms.

Library response:

The Health Sciences Library does indeed serve the Faculty of Health Sciences students as its primary users.  This is because the FHS educational programs require that their students work in small groups; as a result, the Library was renovated to meet their needs.  We are not discriminating against other students, including yourself, but we are trying to meet the special needs of our students.  The rooms are only bookable by students (not faculty or staff), and only for them to work in groups.

I understand your frustration in trying to find suitable study space.  There are no restrictions on any of our other facilities or services.  I don't know if health sciences students book rooms in the other libraries; I have no control over the rules for the other libraries on campus, but you could take this up with the University Library. 

(Nov 2/09)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library),bannisl

Follow-up Comments:

I will forward your suggestions to the Innis Library for reply. -- Liz Bayley, Director, Health Sciences Library. (2009-11-08)


Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Oct 29/09) people are still talking in the silent areas. The library needs to design a NEW SIGN which includes, NO TEXTING / NO TYPING. just because a computer is silent on its own, doesnt mean it remains silent when you start hammering away on the keyboard.

also why cant we use the interview rooms in degroote? there are many empty classrooms on that level and they are EMPTY. and we have a right to use this space (we are paying for it) who do we contact about this?

Library response:

Our apologies for the delayed response to your valid concern.  Thank you for reporting this problem to us.  Your idea for a new sign is an excellent one.  We’ll be working on the appropriate signage for our silent study area soon.  We also encourage users in our silent study area to remind their fellow users that this space is intended to be a quiet study area.  Our library staff will do what we can if the noise is excessive.

For questions about the interview rooms in the DeGroote School of Business, you can contact the Centre for Business and Career Development in room DSB 112 at Ext. 24611 or you can email them at:  cbcd@mcmaster.ca .  They are open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

Thanks again for the suggestion. (Oct 29/09)
Answered by: Ann Pearce (Supervisor, Information Services, Innis Library),bannisl

Categories: Study Space, Innis  |  Permalink
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(Oct 23/09) Several complaints have been recorded about the loudness of the coffee shop (specifically the machinery in it) in Thode. The
response has always been that Hospitality Services will be contacted. Have they been, and if so, are they actually going to do
something about it?

Library response: Thank you for comment.  We have contacted Hospitality Services about the machinery noises.  I don't have any specific information about their plans to address the noise issues, but rest assured that they have been contacted and will follow up on this matter. (Oct 29/09)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library),bannisl

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Oct 23/09) I was studying on the second floor of Thode (after walking past a Quiet Study Floor sign) when I was interrupted by a long
conversation in the stacks nearby. I asked a librarian to intervene, but she refused and implied that it was policy to not stop
such talking in the library.

May I ask why this is so?

The entire first floor has become a Loud Study Floor (even to the point where Ive seen students watching TV episodes on
the $3000 Power Macs) and pushed the serious students away. Are we now doing this to the rest of the upper floors? The
third floor isnt even accessible for study. Setting aside a corner of the basement is not acceptable after taking away three
floors that were previously quiet.

Library response: The libraries do tend to get "louder" at this time of year.  With regard to the second floor of Thode, it has been designated a Quiet Study area which means that normally, conversation is kept to a minimum as people are trying to study.  However, sometimes people may not realize that areas are zoned, and it may be worthwhile in the future for you to let those who are causing the disturbance know that they are in a quiet study area.  Our library staff will do what we can if the noise is excessive, although there is no guarantee that it won't get noisy again soon after.  If you require silent study, you will find numerous study carrels on the lower level of Thode on the north side. Please have a look at our website at http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space for full information on our Learning Zones. I hope that one of these zones will suit your needs. (Oct 29/09)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library),bannisl

Follow-up Comments:

Response to comment: Im sorry that you had a negative experience at Thode Library. I will make sure that staff are aware of what happened to you and that we try to handle these situations better in the future. (2010-01-13)


Categories: Customer Service, Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Oct 16/09) The support person, for an individual in a wheel chair, expressed concern about the difficulty of entering and exiting the reading pavilion. The glass doors do not have automatic door opening features. The support person felt the door were difficult to open and close while assisting a person in a wheel chair.

Verbal comments made on Oct 15, 2009; entered by staff – C. Erskine

Library response:

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.  We will see if it is possible to add an automatic opener to one of the doors in the Reading Pavilion.  In the meantime, please ask one of our staff members to help you whenever you come into the library. 

UPDATE:  On further investigation we found that there IS an automatic door opener on the west door into the Reading Pavilion, the one closest to the bottom of the stairs but not the one more directly on the route from the elevator. 

 

(Oct 25/09)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Customer Service, Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Oct 11/09) If you are going to insist on allowing eating and drinking in the information commons please add more garbage and recycling bins near the work stations--the library is a mess! The unsanitary condition is surely not helping to stop the spread of H1N1 and other illnesses. I do not enjoy going to a library computer and having to move other peoples left over food wrappers and drink containers, not to mention dealing with spills on the keyboards.

Library response:

You are correct. We definitely need more garbage and recycling receptacles in these areas. Our challenge is find an appropriate container which meets fire code! We are working on this and hope to have something in place shortly. Thanks for the reminder.

 

(Oct 19/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 30/09) leaving the learning commons open serves NO purpose. Noise level out of bloody control, food everywhere, garbage spilled on desks, music playing from laptops, iPods, iPhones and its getting worse. Students are looking for places to STUDY (NOT hang out) on Sat. nights. So the question is: Is there a place to STUDY during the late night hours? i.e. (after 12 a.m.)

Library response:

Sorry, at the moment this is the only area open for late night study.

Might I suggest you remind those around you that your purpose for being there is to study and ask that they keep the noise down a bit? Why not suggest they use headphones? We do require this in Regulations Governing Personal Behavior( http://library.mcmaster.ca/policies/behaviour). We will see if we can raise awareness on this specific issue through some of our other news devices.

Also, as far as the area being dirty, additional custodial services have been arranged to make sure this area is kept cleaner in the evenings and on weekends.

(Oct 29/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 29/09) Hi,
This suggestion is regarding the Computer region on the second floor. It has turned into an absolute social area where its becoming very difficult to work. Also, many students (like myself) bring their laptops into this area. Would it be possible to add little holes in the desk to secure our laptop locks? I understand that lost property is our own personal responsibility, but having to pack up your laptop to go to the washroom across the hall is a little irritating. Thank you!

Library response:

Thanks for your comments. We realize it can get quite loud in this area, but we have provided quieter areas for students to use elsewhere in the buidling. Take a look at our new "Zoned Study Space" guide to find the space which will work best for you - http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space

Great idea about providing something to tether laptops to. We did try this in the lobby of Mills, but have found not many people use them. We will see if there is something a little easier to use which we could test out in the Learning Commons area.  Thanks for the suggestion

(Oct 29/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Aug 11/09) Can we please teach those using the library to respect, by keeping quiet, the learning opportunities of others. Notwithstanding the trend toward group learning in the library, it is important to treat the space in general as a sanctuary of peace and quiet, for thinking and reflection. Please lets figure out how to cut down on random noise by speaking gently, whispering and being aware of others around you. [print suggestion entered by library staff]

Library response:

As I am sure you are aware the use of the library has changed dramatically over the last few years, and very few areas are now quiet. One thing we have attempted to do is to zone the various types of study space in our libraries. We would encourage you to find the space that meets your personal needs the best @ http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space

Additionally, we have created the Guidelines Governing Personal Behavior (http://library.mcmaster.ca/policies/behaviour) which we do expect users to abide by, but it is sometimes a challenge to enforce these guidelines.

(Oct 29/09)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian),Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Aug 3/09) I suggest that you should reconsider restricting food and drink consumption in the library as the library is becoming saturated with grease and coffee stains.

I would be interested to learn about the reasons why food has been allowed in McMaster Libraries as this policy does not make sense to me. It seems to me that one reason might be to get students into the library, which smells more of a marketing gimmick than a strategy for higher learning.

Library response:

Thank you very much for your comment.  We decided to allow food in the libraries (except in areas such as the Silent Study Rooms) because we wanted to make our users' lives easier.  We thought that people should not be forced to get up and leave the building, interrupting their study time, just to eat a snack.

It was not a way to attract students to the library.  In fact, during peak times, library spaces are already used very heavily and we don't feel we need to give people reasons to come and use these spaces.  You are already doing that!

While we appreciate your comment, it is unlikely that we will change our food policy at this point in time.  However, the cleanliness of our spaces is important to us.  I'm going to pass along your suggestion to our Associate University Librarian in charge of the building and facilities.

UPDATE (response to comment): Thanks for your comment and I apologize for the confusion.  You have identified a page with information that conflicts with the "Regulations Governing Personal Behaviour in the University Library".

I hope to have the page you identified updated shortly to reflect the new policy regarding food in the University Library.

UPDATE 2:  The outdated policy has now been removed.

 

(Aug 7/09)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian),bannisl

Follow-up Comments:

From the General Regulations for McMaster University Libraries Found on the Library website E. Food, Drink and Smoking Smoking and eating are generally prohibited anywhere within the perimeters of the campus libraries. The consumption of beverages is allowed only in public lounges and study areas, and only from nonspillable, reusable containers. Also, the reason Mills is so busy is that it has become a social gathering place (with people talking loudly on their cell phones, surfing porn on the internet, and so on). It is refered to by students as Club Mills for a reason. (2009-08-17)

there are HOPELESS rules in place everywhere. On the one hand, food is not permitted in the computer labs (because of the computers). Then, on the other hand, the libraries DO allow food while working on computers. is HOPELESS even the word for such a rule? not sure... either FOOD IS allowed near computing facilities or FOOD IS NOT....so WHICH IS IT??????? someone care to explain the rationing behind these COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS rules? (2009-09-30)

The computer labs on campus you are referring to are administered by University Technology Services (UTS) and the computing areas in the library are administered by library administration. If there are differences in the rules of use for these different computing areas, that would be the reason. (2009-10-01)


Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jul 6/09) Allow those in the medical radiation science to book out a study room in advance.

(paper suggestion entered by staff - C. Erskine).

Library response:

The request to be given the ability to advance book study rooms in the Health Sciences Library has been raised before by students in and other faculties. Unfortunately, the policy regarding the pre-booking of study room in the Health Sciences Library was created to accommodate the problem based learning formats and the associated assessment exercises used within the Faculty of Health Sciences. At McMaster, Medical Radiation Sciences students are not considered part of the Faculty of Health Sciences. This should not prevent you from being able to use the rooms when they are available. It is only the pre-booking that is restricted to FHS students. However, as more programs move to a problem-based/inquiry-based format, the need to create more group study spaces on campus has been recognized at both McMaster and Mohawk College. Both Mills and Thode libraries offer a number of bookable group study rooms, and there are plans to enhance the group study space in Thode in the future. In addition, the Library at IAHS also provides access to bookable group study rooms for students enrolled in the Medical Radiation Sciences program. Jennifer McKinnell, Head of Public Services, Health Sciences Library

(Jul 7/09)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library),bannisl

Follow-up Comments:

What about students in the biochemistry program. To my knowledge, they are part of the faculty of health science? (2009-08-25)

Actually, undergraduate biochemistry students are in the Faculty of Science not the Faculty of Health Sciences.  Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library) Liz Bayley (Director/Head of Systems) (2009-08-26)


Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(May 11/09) With the advent of the summer term, there need to be new rules implemented in the study spaces in Mills Library. While I am aware that the second floor is not designated as a quiet space, students more often use this space as one now that the traffic has diminished considerably in the library. This being said, it is very bothersome when a few students choose to talk loudly on the computers when the students around them are studying. Why should the rules defer to these loud students who choose to make their conversations public? Again, I realize that the second floor is not a quiet zone, but how is it fair that one or two students get to dictate the use of the library space for everyone else?

I would also be interested in obtaining information about why so many of the study spaces in Mills have been converted to group study areas. Is this decision reflected in the mission or mandate for Mills library? Does it reflect a larger trend in Canadian universities? Was the decision to convert the spaces based on student demand? Making this information available to interested students might allay some of the concerns voiced on this feedback page about adequate study space.

Library response:

We do not make any attempt to keep the Learning Commons side of the 2nd floor of Mills quiet, but you will usually find the Research Help side is quieter.

We would encourage you to choose the type of study space most conducive to your studying style.  We are working on zoning various types of Study Space throughout our libraries. More information can be found at  http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space.

Like many other libraries in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada, we have created many new "group study" spaces since more and more of our users are working more collaboratively these days. We do realize there is a need for both Quiet and Silent study spaces as well, which we continue to work towards providing more of.  

The library is currently undertaking several construction projects which have temporarily changed up some of our study spaces but we have a plan in place to re-define study space types for the fall.

 

(Jul 3/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 18/09) Why do staff not ask people to be quiet in the library unless there are complaints? By the time a complaint comes in, its already
too late. I heard a rumor that (in Mills), staff are told to not do this. This is ridiculous - its a library and people want to study.
The university is in dire shortage of good, quality study space without these issues, why arent they being addressed? If people
want to go, grab a bite to eat and gab, there are countless other places they can go. A message needs to be sent that the library
is a place for serious study, not the nonsense its by and large being used for now.

Library response:

Unfortunately we just don't have enough staff to monitor noise levels in our study spaces, but as has been previously stated we will respond to noise complaints in areas which have been designated as Silent Study areas.

We are working on zoning various types of study spaces in all our libraries so each user can choose to use the type of space most appropriate to their individual study habits. More information can be found at http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space.

We would also encourage users who find it too noisey in Silent Spaces to remind their fellow users that these spaces are intended to be quiet and suggest they move to an area more suited to their study style.

 

(Jul 3/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Apr 7/09) Why is there a coffee grinder or frappucino maker in Thode library? It is extremely loud and distracting.

Library response: Thank you for your comment.  We will be following up with Hospitality Services. (Apr 8/09)
Answered by: philbro

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Apr 6/09) - More projectors for loan

- The study room booking system is inefficient. Currently, students book rooms and do not use them. Old system worked better.

Library response:

Thanks for your comments.  Data projectors were added as a circulating item this past September and have been proven to be very popular.  Based on the demand for them, we will consider adding more projectors as our budget permits.

The online group study room booking system normally works very well, but there are times when the system is imperfect.  If you find that a room has been booked but is not in use, don't hesitate to ask at the Circulation desk.  The staff will be happy to help you find a solution.

(Apr 7/09)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Innis  |  Permalink
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(Apr 3/09) Why is it not possible to make the library smell-free? Where ever one sits (except in the washrooms) the smell drifts through the library. It is unbearable. It is also very annoying that there are no signs telling students what areas are quiet study spaces. Even if there are nobody seems to keep to it.

Library response:

I am afraid that it would very difficult to make such a large public space smell-free. Perhaps you need to find the right space for you to work which takes you away from those areas you find more aromatic than others.

You will be pleased that we have just created a website showing how various types of library space have been zoned for use. We will be developing this site further with links to floor plans, etc. but wanted to get something out quickly to help students during this exam period. Check out the new site @ http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space. We hope you will now be able to find exactly the type of study space you are looking for, in each of our libraries!

(Apr 10/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Mar 22/09) This is in response to a comment from February 13 2009 re: misuse of the quiet and silent study areas. I fully agree with this comment and even worse is the fact that students insist on eating full meals in the quiet and silent study areas. Not only is this noisy and distracting but they also get their greasy mitts all over the place making the study rooms even less attractive to those of us there to actually work. I dont understand why library staff do not enforce restrictions against eating in the libraries and information commons. I routinely see coffee, etc spilled on to keyboards and tables. Eating in the library also threatens the libraries collection of print materials, which Im sure you are aware of. On many occassions I have seen staff turn a blind eye to this sort of thing--why?

Library response:

Thanks for taking the time to send in your comment. The main reason we have designated Silent Study rooms as no eating and no laptop zones is because of the noise people make while eating and keyboarding and our users have said this can be quite distracting. As you will know our library regulations were changed quite some time ago to permit eating in most other parts of the library so staff are not being asked to monitor this behaviour elsewhere.

Unfortunately we do not have enough staff to patrol this space on a regular basis, but we will respond to complaints about eating or noise, if you bring these to our attention at the time. We do remind people they are in a room which does not permit either and ask them to stop or to move elsewhere.  You are welcome to take any complaints to the main service desk on the 1st floor, where they will ask a staff person to come to the room to enforce the regulation.

(Mar 23/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Follow-up Comments:

okay, but what about the damage food and beverages cause to expensive equiptment such as computers (this is why food and drink are not permitted in other computing facilities on campus)and the print collection? Were the librarians lying to us years ago when policies against eating were in place and the library actually provided a pleasent work environment? (2009-03-24)


Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 19/09) hi there - the new signs posted in the Mills Silent rooms are clearly not working. These rooms need to be patrolled to scare everyone into not even THINKING about using their laptops, cellphones, etc in these rooms.

also, is there any chnce one of the floors at Mills can be converted into a Silent floor (eg floor 3 or another floor). As people head for the library even on a supposedly quiet 3rd floor you all of a sudden hear loud yelling and people thinking they are free to use cellphones, etc..BUT THE NOISE CARRIES all over the floor, completely defeating the quiet nature of the area. so a silent floor would be appreciated where cellphones, iPods, etc..are mandated to be shut off when on the floor.

thank you for your assistance.

Library response:

Thanks for your comment. We do try to patrol the Silent Study room on the 3rd floor of Mills when we are in the area, but do not have sufficient staff to do this on a regular basis. We will always respond to noise complaints so feel free to come to the main desk if there is a need to enforce the regulations in that room.

Having a separate floor for Silent Study is something we have talked about but would require the movement of most of the collection. We do realize the need to try to zone study space in all libraries and will be attempting to do this even more over the next few months.

As we move closer to Exam Period we will be zoning the library into more Quiet Study areas. Signs will be posted approximately a week before exams begin.

(Mar 20/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 1/09) Its become practically impossible to study in much of Thode. Before the changes came in (big open computer area, cafe), it
was somewhat easy to find a spot to sit down and quietly work. But now between the Club Mills effect of the computers and
the cafe stinking up at least the first and second floors as well as providing even more noise (refrigeration and cooking
equipment is very loud - extremely loud for a proper library environment) quiet has been very much murdered in most of the
library. On top of that, the students who actually want to study (instead of eating, chatting, or screwing around on the
Internet) are now pushed even closer together in our feed lot study spaces. This makes things yet more noisy and makes
finding a space to study even more difficult.

The cafe was a horrible idea to begin with, but not sound-proofing it was the icing on the cake of stupid. Im sure its making
enough money to pay for such a thing - and if it wanted to be a good citizen of the library, it would do so.

So, either sound (and smell) proof the cafe or evict it, please!

As for the computer area, could there at least be put up a very large Please Be Quiet signs? I know you want to make the
undergrads happy, but it doesnt take much to whisper instead of yell (and yelling often happens in this area).

Thode is on its last legs - please help it before its too late!

Library response:

Thanks for your comment.

We have been trying to address the noise issues by zoning various types of study space. You will have noticed that the furniture configurations changed quite a bit over reading week.

We would encourage you to give the new Quiet Study area on the lower level a try. Take a look at this news item to see what other changes took place.

(Mar 5/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Feb 23/09) The noise coming from the food counter on the first floor makes it impossible to study quietly on the second. Is there some way
to supply the study space that was lost due to this, or have an enclosure put up around the eating area? There is too little space
to study at the university as it is, this has just made it worse.

Library response:

Thanks for your comments.

We agree it can be quite noisy on the 2nd floor, so we made some changes over the Reading Week.  More information can be found on our News Blog @ http://library.mcmaster.ca/news/5618.

All carrels from the 1st floor were moved to the north side of the lower level.

This area has now been designated as a Quiet Study Area.

Signs will be posted in the next day or so.

Recognizing that the 2nd floor is quite noisy we expect this now to be used more as a Group Study area.

Silent Study space remains available on the 3rd floor.

We hope you find this zoning of study space meets your needs!

(Feb 23/09)
Answered by: philbro

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Feb 22/09) Removing the group study space in the basement and putting the individual study cubicles was a really bad idea. Many people use this space for group study/projects etc. This leaves very little space for group study/collaboration.

Library response:

While we did move the carrels to the lower level, we also moved most of the tables to the back of the 1st floor and to the 2nd floor along the windows, with the intent that these would be used by groups. Most of these tables have now been powered up so that laptops can more easily be used in these areas as well.

We have identified the lower level as the Quiet Study area and the 3rd floor as the Silent Study area, since we have received many complaints about how noisy the 1st floor can be at times.

Many of these changes were made over Reading Week - please see our news item about all these changes.

Update: please note that many of the tables at the back of the 1st floor of Thode have now been powered up and are perfect for group study! We have also added larger tables with power to the 2nd floor along both window aisles. We hope you find these newly configured spaces useful for your group work.

(Mar 5/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Follow-up Comments:

I agree, trying to work upstairs on those curved computer station desks is useless. Especially with major projects trying to sit together in a group of 6+. Couches are generally useless to get any practical work done. Please see the updated message associated with this suggestion. (2009-03-22)


Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Feb 13/09) There seems to be NO difference between silent and quiet study areas in ANY library. In fact, can someone explain why there isnt a WEBPAGE devoted to DEFINING the differences between Group, Silent and Quiet study areas?

FYI, the 3rd floor of Mills is SUPPOSED to be Quiet and Silent, but RARELY ever is. In fact, just the other day you could hear a GROUP talking or discussing some project right OUTSIDE the SILENT study rooms. So logic would entail that that noise carried over into the Silent rooms and they werent silent anymore.

As well, once again the library needs to CLARIFY what exactly Quiet means and what Silent means. Students are constantly bringing in their laptops into the SILENT areas and are typing up reports, chatting on messenger - THIS NEEDS TO BE PROHIBITTED NOW. It is understandable if they are VIEWING their laptop to study but logic needs to prevail here. Enough is Enough.

Maybe students should just book the group rooms for silent study because we dont seem to be getting it at the Library.

thank you.

Library response:

Thanks for your comment. We realize it can be very difficult to find the appropriate type of study space you seek depending on the time of term, etc. We have tried to provide a summary of the types of study space available in Mills - this can be found at http://library.mcmaster.ca/study.

Great suggestion about providing a definition of how each space is intended to be used. We will work on this and add this information shortly. We will also look into people using laptops in the Silent Study areas. As you know the signage on these rooms prohibits the use of laptops, cell phones, etc.

It is difficult to control how students use the open areas of the library so may I suggest that you ask students who are working as a group outside a Silent Study Room to keep it down, or ask a staff member to help with this. Just like you these groups are also looking for an appropriate place to work.

As we move closer to Exam Period we will be zoning the library into more Quiet Study areas. Signs will be posted approximately a week before exams begin.

(Feb 13/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 10/09) This comment is in regards to the Mills fourth floor silent study area L411 the Research Reading Room on South Side. I was recently studying in this area and was quite disturbed by the amount of noise (typically I can deal with a little bit of noise but this was very much out of hand). I then requested through the “need help just ask” option that someone be sent to quiet down the students. I was then informed that this level is no longer a quiet study section. So, either I was misinformed or the library is falsely still advertising that this is. Is it a study area? And what is the policy in regards to keeping it quiet for those who actually want to use it for that? I found the library staff very unhelpful, when typically they are wonderful.

Library response:

Thanks for your comment. We did receive your comments concerning noise in the 4th floor study room several times through the IM service. When staff came to locate the cause of the noise they could not find any specific source, and they did check several times.

Please note that the large study room on the 4th floor is designated as Quiet, not Silent, although I have been told that the signage is not very effective. We will address this right away. We do patrol the building several times each evening and do try to respond to direct noise complaints as quickly as possible.  The only Silent Study space currently available in Mills Library is on the 3rd floor, rooms L307-L309. Perhaps you would find this space more suitable for your needs.

(Feb 11/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 14/09) I would like make a comment regarding students who continually place reservations on group study rooms in the health sciences library but fail to show up. Given the volume of students who rely on these rooms for group projects or quiet study, they are often unused. I understand at times students may require a break and will go out for lunch/dinner/snack, but in some cases, the rooms are completely empty with the lights turned off and have no personal belongings inside. This suggests the inconsiderate students who reserved these rooms in advance did not even pick up the key! Im especially saddened and frustrated by this since a valuable asset is being wasted in such a beautifully renovated library. I recommend the library to impose a penalty for those who place advance reservations but do not show up. This is what the public libraries have been doing for years!

Library response:

I have just checked on the policy regarding folks who book a group room but don't show up.  In fact, we have a 15 minute grace period after which time the booking is forfeited and then the room is available on a first come first served basis.  We don't have the staff to patrol the rooms to see if they are booked but not being used, but if you see an empty room as you describe please come and inquire at the circulation desk.  I'm not sure if our system would allow us to impose penalties if a room key isn't signed out since at that point we have no patron information but that is an interesting idea.

By the way, the purpose of the rooms is for group work NOT quiet study and we will be discussing policies and procedures to ensure appropriate use of the group work rooms in future. 

(Jan 14/09)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Dec 17/08) Overall I love this library - its great. But I was unhappy that the 1st floor silent study room was converted. The third floor one is too claustrophobic. I have heard rumors the other 1st floor study room is going to be removed. I hope this is not true.

Library response: Thanks for your comment. We do realize it can seem a little cramped in the third floor room, but it is the best we can do at the present time. We are constantly working on repurposing our existing space and have heard the requests for more silent study space loud (or should I say quietly) and clear! We will continue looking for solutions to this problem, but can't promise anything specific at this point. (Dec 17/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 9/08) During exam times, study rooms are extremely beneficial. However, I was irritated today to learn that a non-health science student cannot reserve a study room in the Health Science Library in advance, they are only offered on a first come first serve basis to students from other faculties. How is this fair when the other libraries on campus do not restrict the faculties that can reserve study rooms? As far as Im concerned, the tuition a student pays should allow them complete access to any library on campus. Nobody tells the health science students that they cant reserve a study room in Innis, Thode or Mills.

Library response:

In response to a need for more study space during the exam period, the Health Sciences Library has taken its largest group study room, HSC-1B20, off the booking schedule and has left it open for anyone to use.  In fact, the funding for the renovations to our library came from the Faculty of Health Sciences and was focused at meeting the needs for the students in this Faculty. 

Here is the response to a similar request which I posted last Febuary: 

"I do sympathize with your need for more group study rooms, especially as more programs move to an inquiry-based format. Be assure that all of the campus libraries are aware of this issue and that the plans for the renovation of Thode Library include the addition of group study rooms. In the meantime, the Health Sciences Library must address the needs of its primary student users in the Faculty who are required to meet as groups to complete their work. We continue to make the rooms available to students only and allow any group of students to use the rooms, just not to book them in advance. When more study rooms become available in Thode we will certainly reconsider this policy."

(Dec 10/08)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Nov 28/08) I heard some people talking this morning about Redesigning thode basement to be what i understood to be a lounge or something. Much like the health science library is currently with all the chairs. Im not sure if thats exactly right.
My comment would be that the current reason for the basement of thode being so popular is that you can go there, sit at a table with friends and work on an assignment, and all around are other people all working on the same assignment, in the same room. This makes it much easier to confer with all the people in your program about the task at hand. I think that seminar rooms wouldnt be as effective because then it wouldnt be as easy to confer with everyone.
In essence i think the current layout is very good, although I would agree that the furniture might need to be updated.

Library response:

Currently it is planned that the lower level of Thode Library would house the entire book collection and provide space for the new iSci program, an innovative honours Science program that will start up in September 2009.  The first floor ofThode would be the 'collaborative study area' providing a similar environment to what is now available on the lower level, but with nicer furniture!  You and your friends would be able to work in your groups, have access to computers and printers and photocopiers and assistance from staff.  There would be some enclosed group study rooms but lots of open space as well.  I hope that this response helps to allay some of your concerns.  Thanks for taking the time to share them.

(Dec 1/08)
Answered by: Kathy Ball (Library Director, Science & Engineering, University Library)

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(Nov 25/08) Hi,

I am thankful for the quiet study spaces that are provided at Mills. Unfortunately, I dont find them quiet at all. Although there are signs posted,there is always noise from people socializing, eating and using laptops. Is there anyway for the library to enforce the quiet in quiet study?

Library response: We hear you! We are changing the signage on the Silent Study Room to indicate that there is to be no talking, eating, cell phone or laptop use. We will do our best to monitor the room but feel free to let us know if there is a problem and we will talk to those who are not helping keep the room free from noise. (Nov 27/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 23/08) While I understand that theres a trend towards collaborative learning now, and thus the design of the libraries have evolved to become more group-friendly, perhaps theres a way to satisfy both group-workers and individual studiers.

1. Designate the top floor of HSL for quiet study only
2. Group work can be done within the study rooms so to not disturb students around them.

Groups who arent able to book a study room in one of our libraries can benefit from other facilities on campus (e.g. MUMC Cafe, MUSC) that welcome chatter.

Thanks for your consideration.

Library response: Thank you for taking the time to post your ideas.  One of the objectives when we planned the renovations to the Health Sciences Library was to zone various areas for different types of study.  Because the upper level includes the entrance, the service points, computers and large study tables it is considered to be the "Learning Commons" - noisier and group-work oriented.  The lower level is the quieter area, with the exception of the Reading Pavilion which is open to the upper level.  We realize that this does not meet everyone's needs, and balancing the desire for quiet, individual study with the small-group learning philosophy of the Faculty's educational programs is a challenge.  We are studying the use of space in the Library this term in order to get a better idea of what our patrons' needs.  (Nov 24/08)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Nov 22/08) Given I pay almost $15,000 a year in tuition, do you think that you could provide somewhere to study on a Saturday night?
The Learning commons at Mills is a disgrace. Food everywhere, cellphones ringing, dudes playing music from their laptops-
this is a joke. I get to hear all about some freshmans Friday night instead of getting through my assignments, and now I pay
$5 parking for the privilege.

It is inexcusable that a major research university has nowhere to get work done on a Saturday night.

Library response: Thanks for your comment. We will follow up with the security guard who is on duty in the Learning Commons on Saturday night to make sure he/she understands that one of their responsibilities is to monitor the noise in this room, including asking people to use headphones when listening to music and other audio files on their laptops. We will also look into getting additional garbage receptacles placed in this room. Unfortunately there is no other library space available to study in in the libraries on Saturday nights. (Dec 15/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

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(Nov 21/08) To Whom it may concern,
I am a regular at the Reading Pavilion. I really like the ambience of not only the Pavilion, but of the entire library. And I like the fact how people actually come here to study and not to catch up on their socializing. The bright lights and the comfortable temperature make the Pavilion an ideal place to study. I would like to request the authorities to make this library 24-hour accessible. Not only will it provide an inviting enviroment for the students to study in late night, but can also serve the doctors, nurses, patients and visitors of the hospital a chance to spend their nights in a useful place, be it doctors reading up on their material, or just visitors who have to spend the night with their loved ones. I believe if the Health Science Library is open 24 hours, not only will it be a welcome addition to McMasters student resources, but also provide a huge boost to the McMaster Hospitals image and facilities.
Although I write this as a student, the benefits of a 24 hour Health Science Library are far and out reaching.
Sincerely,
An avid fan.[Written suggestion dropped in the Suggestion Box, undated]

Library response: Thank you for your compliments on our wonderful Reading Pavilion and renovated library.  We have heard from many students that they find our library conducive to their academic needs and we are certainly working hard to ensure it meets the needs of our users. Our library is in fact accessible 24 hours to clinical staff; however much of the material they require is now available electronically making use of the printed collection much less urgent. The issue is having sufficient staffing, something which the Health Sciences Library cannot presently support.  The Learning Commons in Mills and Thode Libraries are investigating 24 hour access to portions of their space and we are monitoring this closely.   (Nov 23/08)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Hours, Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Nov 21/08) Can you please post a sign in the History of Medicine Room, saying that it is a quiet study area? [Written suggestion dropped in the Suggestion Box, undated]

Library response:

While people working in the History of Health and Medicine Room tend to be quiet, it is in fact not a designated quiet study area.  That room and the adjacent Archives and Rare Book Room all contain working collections, so talking is necessary to assist users and to set up displays.  Library staff is conscious of the need to keep noise contained in all parts of the Library.

(Nov 23/08)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Nov 16/08) Maybe install a projector to every group study room so that students could use it during group meetings without having to borrow one from the front desk. Or get more for the library so that groups wont have to wait for another group to finish.

Library response:

Thanks for the great suggestion.  This is something we know that is popular with students and something we will definitely consider for future planning.  Please do not hesitate to send in your suggestions for enhancing services in the libraries.  We will forward your suggestion to the appropriate body for discussion.  

Thanks very much.

Jeannie An, Director, 21st Century Fluencies/ Liaison Program

 

 

(Nov 17/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Study Space, Innis  |  Permalink
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(Nov 7/08) Noise control on the second floor computer region please. Why is a region with so many computers being used as a social meeting place by certain ppl? There are not enough computers equipped quiet study areas in the library. Computers today are in fact being used for quiet study thus it would make sense to designate these areas (at least some) to quiet study. Thanks kindly.

Library response: Thanks for your message. We can see that some users will find the Learning Commons quite busy and noisier than they may like, but if you go across the hall to the Research Help side of the floor I think you will find it is much quieter. There are lots of desktop computers in this area as well as many powered areas for laptop use. (Nov 11/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 7/08) It is too loud on floors where silence should be enforced such as the 4th. Perhaps enforce silence where individuals go to study. Thank you!

Library response:

Thanks for your message.  We realize everyone is looking for a different type of study space and as a result we are actively working on creating different kinds of study space for our users.

At the moment the only Silent Study space is on the 3rd floor of Mills (Rooms L307-309). The large study room on the 4th floor is designated as Quiet Study space.

We are about to launch a new Library Directory poster which we hope will help you find the type of study space you are looking for...these will be posted on every floor of Mills in the next week or so.

 

(Nov 11/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

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(Nov 7/08) Please do not take this as an attack. However, I strongly believe that all the libraries are becoming a social place where students come to just talk (extremely loudly) or to, well, socialize. I realize little can be done about this issue. However, I was wondering if its possible to enforce silent study in all the study areas. Libraries are not meant for socializing but instead to do work and study. Again, I realize that his is hard to do and enforce. But I hope that a solution can be made about the amount of noise in all the libraries. Thank you- A concerned 3rd year student.

Library response:

As you will have noticed use of our space has changed quite a bit over the last couple of years at Mills. The 1st and 2nd floors are now intended for collaborative study and as such are considerably noisier than in the past.

There is a Silent Study room on the 3rd floor of Mills, while a large Quiet Study room and several quiet study areas can be found on the 4th floor. There are also pockets of individual carrels throughout the 4th, 5th and 6th floors which tend to be quiet as well.

We are working on a plan to communicate where various types of study space can be found. Watch for the launch of a Library Directory in the near future! 

As the first phase of the renovation of Thode Library nears completion it will become apparent that there are new uses of various spaces there as well, including both a large learning commons and a cafe on the first floor. Quiet study space can be found on the 2nd floor with Silent Study space still available on the 3rd floor.

(Nov 11/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

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(Oct 29/08) To me the responses to peoples concerns over noise in study areas is the number one concern that keeps recurring. This concern appears to continually get appeased when presented here.

The only way I propose that increased noise levels can be combatted at this heavily populated university is for library staff to periodically police the study areas. They seem to do this already, but only for people eating.

As a related concern, laptops are noisy and offensive to the student looking for quiet study space. There should be signs strictly prohibiting there use... Such a rule should also be enforced.

Library response:

Thanks for your message. The only area where laptops are prohibited is in the Silent Study room on the 3rd floor of Mills. We plan on making the signage for this room stronger and will do our best to respond to complaints about noise in this room. 

We have also created several laptop friendly areas - the large area on the main floor across from the Service Desk, on the 2nd floor in the Research Help area and a separate room on the 3rd floor - where there are lots of outlets and tabales or counter spaces perfect for using laptops!

(Nov 11/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 27/08) Hello,
The SILENT rooms on Floor 3 seem to not live up to their name. People are talking, eating or hammering away at their laptops. Not to mention the CONSTANT ringing of cell phones. Is there some way to enforce these rules/regulations? Thank you.

Library response: Thanks for your comments. Watch for new signs on the Silent Study room on the 3rd floor to be posted shortly. We will make it clear that this a laptop and cell phone free zone and that we consider this to be a Silent Study room, which includes no talking. Once this is done we will do our best to respond to noise complaints. (Nov 11/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 24/08) Since silent study areas are shrinking how about making other areas available.

Now heres the specific solution;
Outside of every classroom, post the hours of use. With unbooked time unofficially available on first-come-first-serve basis.

Advantage to the studier; Say if I wanted to study for two hours. I could slip into a room that was not booked for the next couple hours.

Advantage to the group project; with a bit of risk, they can set a meeting place & time knowing the classroom may be empty.
Doubtful possibility; group noise is done outside of the library.

-------------------------------------------------
Second suggestion;

Outside of some classrooms, post the hours of use AND official blocks of silent study hours. Ultimately turning a classroom into a mostly self-enforced study room.

Perhaps a Silent Study in Progress flippable sign on the outside of some classroom doors.

Library response:

Great suggestions. We will take a look at them and see if we can come up with something workable.

In the meantime, did you know it is possible to book study rooms for group work (minimum 3 occupants)? There are six group study rooms on the 3rd floor of Mills  and three group study rooms on the 4th floor which can be booked online @ http://library.mcmaster.ca/mrbs/. We are about to install a screen to show when rooms are booked (or on the other hand when they are available for use) in the group study room areas on these floors. We hope this will help everyone know when rooms are available.

(Nov 11/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

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(Oct 24/08) Talking in stairwell at cellphone talk level.

Third floor is usually nice and quiet. Mostly because we respect the rule of no talking; or at most whisper but dont carry on a
full conversation. Im assuming the rule of no cellphone calls in all of Thode applies, other than in the Cell Zone.

Heres the situation; when answering a call we rush out of the study area whispering to the caller just to make it to the
stairwell and assume its fine to talk loud. This happened three times in about fifteen minutes. I reminded the first person
about how far they could be heard, but I didnt feel like getting up over the next couple times it happened. It takes a while for
me to concentrate again.

Some random suggestions; close the stairwell doors; acoustic treatment in the stairwell; enforce no cellphone use; remind
callers in the stairwell they can still be heard in the study area (poster?); invent a cellphone that people can whisper into; a
closed room on each of the library levels; on our own part - dont make or take the call.

Library response: You have made some good suggestions.  We will see what we can do for our part i.e. closing the stairwell doors, signage and enforcement.  Thanks for taking the time to comment. (Oct 28/08)
Answered by: Kathy Ball (Library Director, Science & Engineering, University Library)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Oct 24/08) Its clear from the suggestion box that others also think the library is too noisy! This includes quiet study rooms. Please reduce the noise level and the loitering!

Library response:

As you will have noticed use of our space has changed quite a bit over the last couple of years at Mills. The 1st and 2nd floors are now intended for collaborative study and as such are considerably noisier than in the past.

There is a Silent Study room on the 3rd floor of Mills, while a large Quiet Study room and several quiet study areas can be found on the 4th floor. There are also pockets of individual carrels throughout the 4th, 5th and 6th floors which tend to be quiet as well.

We are working on a plan to communicate where various types of study space can be found. Watch for the launch of a Library Directory in the near future! 

 

(Nov 11/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

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(Oct 24/08) I cant understand what purpose the TVs serve (floor 1 & 2). There are enough distractions in the library already; plus, considering how many people actually watch the TVs, and considering that we are in age where we are encouraged to unplug, it doesnt make much sense to have them. Please remove the TVs.

Library response:

Thanks for your comments.

The display screens are intended to provide information about library services, new resources, etc, in addition to providing an opportunity to supply current news items to our users. It was very obvious during the events of 9/11 that there was nowhere to get current information about the events of the day so we felt it was necessary to add this type of service as well.

Finally there is a plan to tie these display screens into the campus emergency services system so that emergency announcements can be widely broadcast.

Hope this helps!

 

(Oct 24/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

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(Oct 22/08) Please have more outlets or extension chords in study spaces and near carrels for students with laptops.

Library response: In addition to powering many large tables in the lobby of Mills for laptop use, creating a laptop friendly room on the 3rd floor or Mills, and installing a laptop friendly counter in the Reference area on the 2nd floor, the library has added many outlets throughout Mills library to help our students use their laptops effectively. Please let us know where you feel additional outlets are required. You are welcome to reply to me directly (pottier@mcmaster.ca). (Oct 22/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

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(Oct 20/08) Give us back our silent study rooms PLEASE! There are always people talking upstairs - its not the same as being closed in. PLEASE!!!!

Library response:

We did re-create the Silent Study rooms on the 3rd floor of Mills at the east end of the floor. There are approximately 85 carrels in an enclosed room in this area. I think you will find this space will give you the quiet you are looking for!

Response to Comment:  We are going to strengthen the language on the signage for this room to make it clear this is a conversation, laptop, cell phone free zone. We hope this helps. We will then do our best to respond to noise complaints. 

 

(Oct 20/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 18/08) My complaint isn’t for the Innis library but I am hoping that you can pass it along. I tried to study in Innis on October 18 and there was a homecoming event but it was so loud that you could hear it in the library. This is midterm week for many of us and I need a quiet place to study. They should reduce the noise level given the time of year. I want to give a commendation to the staff that was on duty. The library was hot and loud but she took the time to hand out ear plugs to mitigate the problems. Good work.

Library response: Thank you very much for letting us know.  We'll be sure to pass this on.
(Oct 22/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Study Space, Innis  |  Permalink
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(Oct 15/08) Thode used to be so lovely & quiet to study in. Can we please have quiet areas again?

Library response: The quiet study areas in Thode Library are now on the second floor and the third floor, which is designated 'silent study'.  If others are using these areas inappropriately i.e. group work please let the staff at the Circulation Desk know of the problem.  Thanks for submitting your comment. (Oct 15/08)
Answered by: Kathy Ball (Library Director, Science & Engineering, University Library)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Sep 25/08) Where have all the silent study areas gone? This IS a library! Noisy roommates make it hard to concentrate and it would really be nice to have one safe study refuge. Thank you!

Library response: Thanks for your email. We do realize how important silent study space is for many users. We have moved the silent study spaces to the 3rd floor  (L307-L309) in an attempt to remove this type of space from the busy lobby area.  We hope you enjoy this newly created space. (Sep 27/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Follow-up Comments:

Hello people, I am wondering whether the very gorgeous reading pavilion in the Health Sciences Library is meant to be a quiet study zone. There seems to be confusion about this. At times it is very quiet, at other times people make no attempt to speak in whispers. Would it be possible to put up clear signage about what the noise/silence level is meant to be? Thank you for your time and for your response. (2008-10-02)

REPLY: The Heersink Reading Pavilion in the Health Sciences Library is not a silent study area. In fact, it is part of the upper floor Learning Commons, which is why there are glass doors on the lower level and an open balcony to the upper level. The silent study area is towards the back of the library, is clearly labeled, and has a sign indicating no conversation or cell phone use. There is also white noise in this section. We started a campaign this fall to remind our users to be respectful of the shared space, which includes a number of points specifically around noise levels. Staff have commited to helping to enforce our regulations, so if you find that people arent respecting the silent study area rules, please let a member of the library staff know. Liz Bayley, Director, Health Sciences Library (2008-10-02) (2008-10-15)


Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 25/08) It is unfortunate that the efforts to make the libraries more accessible have gone too far. This is my sixth year at Mac, and I have seen a steady degeneration of Mills, especially. Facebook, chatting, obnoxious types of food are welcome in all other buildings on campus, but are extremely distracting in a library. The few quiet rooms are seldom respected, and proper signage is often missing. There is a need for silent, individual-geared workspaces, and if a library cannot provide it, many students suffer. Perhaps a silent floor (tucked away such as the already seldom used 6th floor) and clear signs and enforcement will help. Thank you.

Library response: Thanks for your email. We do realize there is a need for silent study space and recently have created a new area on the 3rd floor of Mills (L307-L309) to meet this need, away from the busy lobby area. These rooms are now signed appropriately and we will work with everyone to help keep them quiet. As we continue to repurpose our study spaces we will keep the need for more quiet study areas in mind. (Sep 27/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

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(Jul 16/08) The Biology and Pharmacology program is a joint program with both the Faculty of Health Science as well as the Faculty of Science. So would the biopharmers be allowed to pre-book a room in the health sci library?

Library response:

You are correct that this is a joint program.  What triggers the ability to pre-book is a sticker on the student card indicating that you are in the Faculty of Health Sciences.  We are investigating this with the registrar's office, and I will update this response when we get further information. If you are presently in the BioPharm program, you can check yourself to see if you have a sticker on your card and post a comment to let us know!  Thanks.

UPDATE:

The library has been in contact with the Registrar’s office and that this year the Biopharm students will not be receiving Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) stickers for their student cards. This does not mean that you will be prevented from pre-booking our study rooms. All FHS students are entitled to pre-book study rooms. Our study room booking policy is available at: http://hsl.mcmaster.ca/about/equipstudy.htm

 

If you decide you want to book a study room you simply need to identify yourself as a student enrolled in the Biology and Pharmacology program at out circulation desk. We are working with your program to get a list of student names that we can keep on file. We are also working with the Registrar’s office to try and ensure that in the future, Biopharm students will receive FHS stickers for their student cards. [Posted by Jennifer McKinnell, Acting Head of Public Services]

 

(Jul 16/08)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Apr 5/08) I think it may be a good idea to put signs in study rooms saying this room is not sound-proof. Please keep your voice down when talking
So many people tend to believe that once they are in a study room, no one can hear them at all. As a result, they carry on extremely loud conversations. Maybe they just dont know that the room isnt sound proof.

Library response: Great idea! Thanks. (Nov 11/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

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(Apr 3/08) PLEASEpleasepleaseplease add/shift more computers to a quiet area. The upstairs computer area is permitted to have conversations and cell phones, and the downstairs computers are located right near the couches where group meetings etc are always held. I can not afford a computer and need to use them at school to study. Recently I have been trying to complete several online examinations and really struggling to concentrate because of noise levels from nearby students. There needs to be a quiet computers area for those students who need to work on their assignments online and in peace. I have and do use earplugs but they arent perfect, and the doctor recommended I quit using them due to recurrent ear infections. So please, shift some computers to the quiet area for serious students to use. Thanks

Library response:

The period just before final examinations is a very noisy and stressful period in campus libraries every year. I can sympathize with the difficulty you are having in finding a quiet space to access our desktop computers.  All of our desktops are located in areas intended for collaborative work. With our experience of the recent renovation here in the HSL and knowledge of the planning and construction that would have to be done to move any of the desktop computers anywhere else, I would venture to suggest that the chances of a successful solution to your current difficulty along the lines you would like are not high.

The noise we are currently experiencing is only temporary, and it rises at this time of year, annually, without our being able to do much about it. It will also abate, and you will be able to find a quiet spot to use a computer when this period of stress is over. Campus libraries are all overburdened with patrons at this time of year and there is little we can do to keep the noise levels down without increasing the stress level of both patrons and staff. 

In the meantime, I suggest that instead of looking for a dekstop computer, you borrow a laptop from our Circulation Desk.  You will then be able to take it to a quiet place in the library where you can do your online work. There are both Quiet and Silent Study areas on the lower floor of the library. Our laptops are heavily used as well, and I suggest that the best time to succeed in getting one is in the morning, before others arrive and there is competition for them. 

Another possibility is that you try using computers in the Reserve Reading Room; there is less traffic and less noise in that area of the library.  

(Apr 3/08)
Answered by: Tom Flemming (Head of Public Services, McMaster University Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Mar 27/08) CAN you please have designated areas for cell phone use, and enforce the policy!? IE not where people are trying to study IE at the computers. It is incredibly distractly when people are constanting talking on their phones when you are trying to study. Thank YOU!

Library response:

The Health Sciences Library does not have a policy that excludes cell phone use, except in the Silent and Quiet Study Areas on the lower floor. Signs indicating that cell phone use and conversations are prohibited in these areas have recently been put up. 

We ask that those who use cell phones in other areas of the library do so in a manner that respects the needs of others and we suggest that this means taking (or making) the call in our lobby, or at least, in an area where few others will be disturbed. 

The upper floor of the Health Sciences Library is meant to be an area where collaboration and conversation is permitted so that learning can happen through the exchange of ideas. Yes, there are those who push the limits and sometimes the noise is a bit much, but we have a number of places on the lower floor where silent study is possible, and other places where quiet study and quiet conversations are expected.

As for enforcement, we can ask -- and so can you -- that people who are pushing the limits recognize the need to maintain an environment conducive to study and learning. Librarians and library staff are not police, however; that is not what we are here for. We will lend you our support and ask that those whose behaviour infringes stop behaving in an offensive manner if you let us know about it, but we don't make "behaviour patrols" and the only power to change behaviour we have is that of moral suasion.

In an effort to make expectations around behaviour in the Health Sciences Library a bit more clear, we will soon be publicizing a document: Regulations Governing Behaviour in the Health Sciences Library that outlines these expectations.  Watch for it on our web site; it should be in place for the fall term. We hope that when expectations around behaviour in the Health Sciences Library become more clear and better known, some of the problems we now encounter will resolve themselves.

   

(Mar 31/08)
Answered by: Tom Flemming (Head of Public Services, McMaster University Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Mar 20/08) Hello, I have a couple comments regarding the quiet and silent floors in Thode library. When I find myself there, it is usually because I have serious work to do and need a good environment to study in. I choose the quiet or silent floor because I have trouble working in settings with people talking nearby. For this exact reason, Ive been extremely frustrated trying to work there during the last couple weeks. I dont mind if someone wants to quickly say hi to their friend or something, but cases like a person chatting on a cell phone for an hour, or two friends sitting in the cubicle next to mine watching a comedy movie with blaring headphones tend to bother me. The latter case was on the silent floor in Thode, and I eventually just left in frustration after about an hour. I understand from reading Q&As posted in the Thode lobby that the librarys answer is that its up to us to ask people to quiet down or to come all the way downstairs and complain. However, this is unreasonable. It is unfair to ask us to go and interrupt what is usually a group of people and ask them to be quiet. We have no authority and there is nothing to prevent the people from starting to talk again after 2 minutes. Instead, a general sweep of the building by a staff member simply asking people to please quiet down or to go to the group study floor, every half or so, would be extremely beneficial. It occurs to me that this is common and effective in public libraries, and I see no reason why a respected universitys libraries should be any different. The libraries apparently have enough resources to rebuild their website, which in my eyes is a waste as the website is already well laid out and provides more services than most students will ever need. I know it sounds old fashioned, but I feel that the focus should be off of improvements such as this, and instead should be placed on maintaining an environment suitable for simply getting work done. I look forward to your reply, and hope I did not offend anyone as it was not my intention to do so. I should note that the majority of my time spend in Thode is productive and beneficial to my time here. Respectfully, (students name)

Library response:

No offence taken; thanks for taking the time to submit your comment.  And it is certainly timely as we head into the exam period.   Since we are unable to assign staff to patrolling on a full-time basis I am afraid that there will always be instances of 'noisy users' that we miss.  That is why it is suggested that you let the staff at the Circulation Desk know of these situations.  We have planned to increase the patrols of quiet study areas as we head into the end of the academic year.  I hope that this will result in fewer abuses of the kind you describe.  And I am glad to hear that the majority of your experiences with Thode are positive.  Thanks for including that information in your comment.

(Mar 23/08)
Answered by: Kathy Ball (Library Director, Science & Engineering, University Library)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Mar 14/08) More tables for group studying would be much appreciated since the introduction of computers to the 2nd floor has limited this kind of space.

Library response:

We've actually put out many of the group tables previously on the 2nd floor - to the 1st floor across from the Circulation Desk. 

That being said, we're working hard to find additional seats for both group and individual study. 

 This summer, we begin work on the renovation of the Thode Library of Science & Engineering.  That project will dramatically increase seating - in both group and individual environments.

(Mar 14/08)
Answered by: Vivian Lewis (Associate University Librarian, Teaching, Learning and Research)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 10/08) I think many quiet study areas do not allow laptop in there, right? at least, i think the study area on first floor, near the washroom at mills had a sign at the door that says please enjoy food and drink and laptop at other places. But people never follow these rules. I think people study at the quiet study room because they needed a really quiet place to concentrate (including me). However, those who do not follow the rules would use their laptop in the study room and start typing. I find this very irritating since I hated the sound of laptop typing. It really makes me mad and can not concentrate. I know that this might be only my problem but when I hope that people can obey the rules and dont type in the QUIET study room when it says explicitly that LAPTOPS ARE NOT ALLOWED.

Library response:

You are right.  The use of laptops is prohibited in the Silent Study Rooms on the 1st and 3rd floors of Mills (as well as the Silent Study Room at Innis).   (See the Personal Conduct Regulations at http://library.lib.mcmaster.ca/about/behaviour.htm

Please notify the Circulation Desks in either library if someone's keystroking in these rooms is bothering you. 

(Mar 14/08)
Answered by: Vivian Lewis (Associate University Librarian, Teaching, Learning and Research)

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(Mar 10/08) The head librarians recent push to make our library more congenial to learning has left me, a serious graduate student, without place to learn. When I am in the stacks retrieving books, why must I always have to step over napping students, or students attempting to become more intimate? When I try to work in the one of the study rooms, why must I always ask others to keep down the noise, to turn down the movie that is playing on their laptop, to stop talking on their cell phone? Why is it that students that want to go to the library to read books are no longer able because of all the distractions? The recent changes made to McMaster libraries are probably necessary, but the environment left in the wake of these changes is fostering is everything but learning.

Library response:

Thank you for expressing your concern about heavy traffic and noise in the library.  Noise has been a significant issue since campus enrolment began to increase with the Double Cohort (the elimination of Grade 13 in Ontario).  The number of students passing through our turnstiles has increased dramatically while library space has stayed the same.  As the density of people goes up, our ability to maintain quiet sanctuaries decreases.  We've responded by creating more silent study spaces and group study rooms - in an effort to zone for use. 

This summer, we begin work on the renovation of the Thode Library of Science & Engineering.  This space will include a significant increase in seating of all kinds - silent and group.

 

(Mar 14/08)
Answered by: Vivian Lewis (Associate University Librarian, Teaching, Learning and Research)

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(Mar 5/08) PLEASE do something about the noise level in this library. The quiet study areas on the first floor are an absolute joke - the noise from outside ruins any chance of getting any work done. The library essentially serves as a secondary cafeteria. Why arent there staff members enforcing noise control on all levels of the library?? Both the U of T and York University library provide this courtesy to their students.

Library response:

Thank you for taking the time to comment on noise in Mills.  We agree that noise is a significant issue - especially as we enter into the exam period. 

As noted in previous responses, the sheer volume of students entering the library each day makes noise control very challenging.  Staff do patrol the public areas and will ask uncooperative users to leave the building. 

The Library is working hard to create additional study spaces (with a mix of group and individual environments) .    

(Mar 14/08)
Answered by: Vivian Lewis (Associate University Librarian, Teaching, Learning and Research)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 3/08) The HSL looks fantastic!! Any chance that Mills will get a facelift along the same lines?

Library response:

We agree that the Health Sciences Library looks amazing!

Right now we're working on a major renovation of the Thode Library of Science and Engineering.  Work will begin this summer on approximately 1/2 of the 1st floor of Thode and include two computer areas, a soft seating area and a cafe.  The full renovation will take approximately 3 years to complete.

We'll continue to renovate localized areas in Mills - as funding becomes available.   

(Mar 14/08)
Answered by: Vivian Lewis (Associate University Librarian, Teaching, Learning and Research)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 2/08) Despite the signs posted which declare the quiet study places as quite they are often the meeting place for group projects. Some groups talk quietly, some groups speak at a regular volume, and some groups yell over each others voices. Yet, all are equally annoying and disturbing when trying to work. If the library wishes to improve their services, resources and facilities they will do something to improve the quality of the silent study spaces, perhaps dedicating one to total silence on an upper floor and making more spaces for group study.

Library response:

Thank you for taking the time to comment on noise in the library.  We agree that the libraries are noisy.  We attribute at least part of the increase to the sheer number of students using the Library.  As the density of students in our study areas increases, the volume level naturally climbs.  As well, we notice that students' learning behaviours are changing - more and more assignments are group based.  Even those students working on individual assignments seem to prefer to sit with their friends in group environments. 

We always respond to complaints regarding noise in the study areas - and often do ask uncooperative individuals to leave the building.   But we do not have enough staff to monitor the floors at all times.  When we do, we find that the noise stops for a few minutes, then starts up again after the staff member leaves. 

We ask individuals using our study areas to exercise courtesy and keep noise levels down - especially as we head into the exam period.

(Mar 14/08)
Answered by: Vivian Lewis (Associate University Librarian, Teaching, Learning and Research)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 20/08) The new arrangment of tables on the first floor of Mills does not provide for a better work environment. There is reduced seating and the long banks of tables are not comfortable to work at in groups. I prefer the old arrangement when there were individual tables.

Library response: Thanks for your feedback.  The reason we changed the configuration of this space was to increase the number of powered stations where students can use laptops in the library.  We've had many requests for more powered areas where people can use laptops.  In addition, we needed to respond to health and safety concerns because some laptop users were stretching power cords across aisles to tables.

We're trying our best to accommodate many different types of study needs and appreciate feedback such as yours to inform decisions.
(Mar 7/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 15/08) The lack of black/white boards in the Sci/Eng library makes very little sense, adding in more writing surfaces in a manner to HH would make studying in Thode much more useful.

Library response:

We do have chalk boards in our group study rooms on the lower level but we are planning for more, and white boards in the renovated Thode Library.  Thanks for the suggestion. 

(Feb 29/08)
Answered by: Kathy Ball (Library Director, Science & Engineering, University Library)

Categories: Study Space, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Feb 11/08) Could you provide desks that are more comfortable for taller people (e.g. a person who is 6 ft. 6 in. tall)?

Library response:

Thanks for your question.  Having desks and chairs that are adjustable, and therefore more comfortable, is a good suggestion.  We do have some adjustable chairs at Innis, mostly at computer stations, but feel free to move any of these chairs to the desk you wish to use.  While this is not a perfect solution, it may be a bit more comfortable.  We'll consider your suggestion when making new furniture purchases in the future.

(Feb 22/08)
Answered by:

Categories: Study Space, Innis  |  Permalink
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(Feb 11/08) It is unfair that only students in health sci can book out rooms. Many programs are inquiry based.

Library response: I do sympathize with your need for more group study rooms, especially as more programs move to an inquiry-based format. Be assure that all of the campus libraries are aware of this issue and that the plans for the renovation of Thode Library include the addition of group study rooms. In the meantime, the Health Sciences Library must address the needs of its primary student users in the Faculty who are required to meet as groups to complete their work. We continue to make the rooms available to students only and allow any group of students to use the rooms, just not to book them in advance. When more study rooms become available in Thode we will certainly reconsider this policy. (Feb 13/08)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space  |  Permalink
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(Feb 10/08) I love the renovated Health Sciences library! Especially the History of Medicine Room. Im a humanities student, and clearly have nothing to do in this library, but it is far nicer and far more aesthetically pleasing than Mills. Further, unlike Mills Library, it is actually Quiet!! I gladly go out of my way to study at Health Sciences library. It is ironic that this library has the decor appropriate for the Arts library, and that the Arts library has the sterile environment suited for the science library.

Library response: Thanks for your comments! We are very happy with the aesthetics of our renovated space and pleased that you (and many, many others) choose to study here.One of the really nice things about the renovation is that it has provided us with spaces for group consultation and spaces for individual, quiet study. You can't always please everybody, but this design satisfies a great many of our patrons! (Feb 11/08)
Answered by: Tom Flemming (Head of Public Services, McMaster University Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Other, Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Feb 8/08) I love the new laptop room, great idea. However, with the increase in theft, especially stolen laptops, its shocking that the designers didnt think to install loops to the desk so that people can use laptop locks. The desks dont even have legs that could be used to wrap the cord around. Hopefully you will consider installing some. Thank you.

Library response: Thanks for your email. We are glad that you like the laptop room. We are currently working on a solution whereby users will be able to tether their laptops and other valuables. We will likely give this a try in the laptop room and if it works expand it to other areas in the library. Just a reminder though - please don't leave valuables unattended in the library. (Feb 9/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 6/08) I would like all McMaster University students to be able to book the study rooms at the Health Sciences library.

Library response: Thank you for your suggestion, which has been made several times before. The educational programs in the Faculty of Health Sciences require the students to meet as groups to complete their work. Therefore, as our primary users, they get precedence for booking study rooms. As I noted in my response to a previous suggestion, as more programs move to a problem-based/inquiry-based format, the need to create more group study rooms is recognized. More group study rooms are planned for the Thode Library renovation and all of those rooms will be open and bookable by the entire campus community using the online room booking service. When the other libraries set up a laptop lending program, we extended the Health Sciences Library lending to all McMaster students. In the same way, once more study rooms are available in Thode, we will certainly re-examine our policies. (Feb 6/08)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Feb 4/08) Please install more power outlets in the library as it is near impossible to find a desk near a power outlet anymore.

Library response: Thank you for your comment regarding power outlets in the library. Your concern is definitely being heard. Whenever renovations are made, or when library space is re-designed, additional electrical outlets will always be included in the plans. Although we would like to add many more outlets immediately, building limitations prevent us from doing this. However, we have added more electrical outlets near study carrels where we could (for example, along the south east wall of the library near the group study rooms). You may also want to visit the new laptop area which has recently opened on the 3rd floor of Mills Library. This area has an abundance of new electrical outlets, new tables and chairs, wireless internet access and can accommodate 50 laptop users. (Feb 7/08)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Other, Study Space, Innis  |  Permalink
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(Jan 28/08) My name is Sadia Iqbal and I am a member of the Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences Society here at McMaster. I am writing this email to address the issue of room booking in the Health Sciences Library. Currently, the only students allowed to pre-book rooms in the library are Health Sciences students, but this does not include members of the Biochemistry Department. Our department prides itself in being a joint program between the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Health Sciences so we therefore feel that Biochemistry students should also have the privilege of pre-booking rooms. The teaching style in the Health Sciences program shares many similarities with our department, most notably the concept of problem based learning and inquiry classes. This type of learning style requires a substantial amount of group work and thus our students could definitely take advantage of the rooms available in the library, if given the privilege. Although we are able to book rooms if they are available, the rooms are in very high demand and finding a room at the time needed is difficult. The society understands that it is not feasible to give everyone the privilege of pre-booking rooms, however we feel that our argument is genuine and that it should at least be considered. Thank you very much for your time, Sadia Iqbal Co-President Biochemisty and Biomedical Sciences Society McMaster University

Library response: The request to be given the ability to advance book study rooms in the Health Sciences Library has been raised before by students and faculty of the Biochemistry Department, but a reminder of the issues and solutions is important. At McMaster, undergraduate Biochemistry students are considered part of the Faculty of Science, not the Faculty of Health Sciences. However, as more programs move to a problem-based/inquiry-based format, the need to create more group study rooms is recognized. You will be glad to know that adding enclosed group study rooms is a key objective of the Thode Library renovation. According to Vivian Lewis, Associate University Librarian, Teaching, Learning and Research, the last set of revisions show 12 rooms - although the final number and location is yet to be determined. All rooms will be open and bookable by the entire campus community using our online room booking service. When the other libraries set up a laptop lending program, we extended the Health Sciences Library lending to all McMaster students. In the same way, once more study rooms are available in Thode, we will certainly re-examine our policies. (Jan 28/08)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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