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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