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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)

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