(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.
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.
Answered by: Vivian Lewis (Associate University Librarian, Teaching, Learning and Research)
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