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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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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)