In an article in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education, Jennifer Howard reports that libraries, while traditionally thought of as quiet spaces, have actually come full circle in the past few years. The combination of group work and technology have made the library a noisier place, and some academic libraries have established official quiet zones and, at Agnes Scott College, even have a space where iPads and laptops are not allowed–at the request of the students. Apparently some people type very aggressively.
The full article (available to NMU faculty, staff, and students–you will be asked to authenticate if you’re off-campus) is available here: http://chronicle.com/article/At-Libraries-Quiet-Makes-a/132885/
Olson Library has been adding more comfortable furniture in recent years in order to emphasize the library as a comfortable place to study. In the current heat wave, it’s also nice to know that the library is air-conditioned! We have no official quiet zone, however, although the third floor is, as a rule, much quieter than the second floor, and there are study rooms available for students who want to get away from distractions or work in small groups. Our current Code of Conduct states that patrons should feel free to ask others to keep the noise level down (although some areas of the library will always be noisier than others, simply because of the traffic). If you aren’t comfortable asking someone else to keep it down, please ask someone at the Public Services Desk to do that for you.