Whatever Happened To Quiet In The Library?

As many of you know, the days of libraries being as silent as the grave are long gone. Anyone who currently works in an academic library might question whether that ever really was a reality. Academic libraries these days not only provide checkout services for more and more varying materials but they provide reference services to patrons who need help finding information and/or research. Those two service areas together can create a little bit of noise, but then throw in the collaborative, group-work spaces that most academic libraries have incorporated into their spaces, and finding quiet might be a more difficult task than one would imagine.

Any of you who frequent Dacus Library probably know that the Information Commons desk on the main floor is where patrons go to check out materials and get research help. Due to the nature of those services and interactions with patrons, it’s not going to be a particularly quiet area. In addition, the main floor of Dacus contains group study rooms (no, they’re not sound-proof), over fifty computer workstations, and the main public printers for the building, so there’s almost always some level of hubbub. This should all be kept in mind if you’re doing work on the main floor.That being said, if anyone (or a group) is disturbing many around them with excessive noise, please come to the Information Commons desk to let us know. Librarians still know how to shush the noisy patrons, when needed.

The good news, for those of you who expect a quieter atmosphere, is that there are designated quiet floors in our library. The ground floor and the second floor are quiet areas, meaning that everyone is expected to keep it down on those two floors.The many stacks of books help to keep it a more quiet area, but there are also lots of little tables around for quiet study, some computer stations, and some small study rooms (only on the second floor). These second floor study carrels are unlocked rooms (look for the ones without blinds on the windows) located on the front and back side of the building  – there are eight total. They contain a PC with printing capabilities and a small white board. They’re great for one or two people and the doors can be closed for an even quieter atmosphere. Keep in mind they are first come, first served and they’re very popular, but chances are good you’ll be able to find a quiet spot somewhere on one of these two floors.

Do keep in mind that at midnight the main floor is the only one to remain open on the days we have twenty-four hour access. Unfortunately the costs to keep all three floors open are not doable all year, so we have to do it this way. We know this can make the main floor even noisier than usual, but it’s either this or nothing at all. Thankfully, we usually can hire extra security around exam time to keep all three floors open. This year we’ll be able to do this the entire week of exams plus several days before. Follow our blog, Facebook or Twitter accounts for more detailed announcements later this semester.

We hope you enjoy spending time in Dacus and can find a spot that’s just right for you – whether that’s somewhere with a dull hum, a super quiet corner, or an area buzzing with collaboration. Drop by the Information Commons desk if you have any questions or concerns. We’re here to help make your experience a good one, but we do ask that you be mindful that there won’t necessarily be silence here. If you prefer your libraries super quiet we might suggest you bring some ear plugs.


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