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.
Answered by: Tom Flemming (Head of Public Services, McMaster University Health Sciences Library)