How golden is silence?

With the results of our library survey coming in and being analyzed, one of the most common issues we’ve come across here at the library is regarding noise control. This is a tough issue to tackle, for several reasons:

  • As modern librarians, we constantly do battle with library stereotypes, which involve a lot of shushing and pointed looks. This negative image has kept people out of libraries for many years–the exact opposite of what we want!
  • Many have expressed their joy in being able to use the library as a communal space, which is suffocated when one is unable to speak freely

Now don’t get us wrong–we know the library is still purported to be a safe and quiet place to study. To help members from both parties feel at ease, we have designated the computer area near the reference desk as more of a moderate noise level zone, but there are several places you can go to find your preferred level of quietude!

The Reading Room

Located through the doors to the left of the main staircase, the reading room is a large, open area, that allows for minimal levels of noise–but not much. There are plenty of tables and sofas for relaxing, and of course studying!

The Silent Study Room

If you swing a left a the top of the stairs, another left, and then walk straight–you’ll find the silent study room in a far corner away from all possible noise. Here is it understood that absolute quiet reigns, and it’s a great place for those who get distracted easily by outside sounds.

Study Carols in the Stacks

Interspersed between our cases of books you’ll find individual desks, for quiet, personalized space. These are also great little hideaways for those who enjoy a secluded place to get work done.


The ERC by its nature is a boisterous place where many congregate to work on group projects or grab a quick meal between classes. Because it is so small, it is a challenge to support communal space conversation and the need for a quiet study area. However, currently there is at least one place you can go for some peace and quiet in the ERC!

The General Collection Room

At the far back of the general collection room there are two computers that sit far away from any noise the ERC endures. It is a nice, secluded place to study that can provide just the right atmosphere!

We are in the works for deciding how we can create a silent study space in the ERC and will keep you posted as we do! In the meantime, THANK YOU to all who took the survey and provided candid feedback for us to improve upon. Your suggestions have been spectacularly helpful, and have given us much to think about and act upon in the months to come. Stay tuned!


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