I am writing regarding a routine problem with the Regenstein library facilities, namely, that the first floor is always excessively noisy. I am wondering if anything can be done, for example, if the library personal could start asking people to be quiet or to go outside in the lobby. I have tried to ignore the noise or go elsewhere but the majority of the computers are one the first floor or A level, both of which are very noisy. There is no longer even a pretense of trying to speak quietly. People freely talk and laugh loudly and when I have asked them if the could speak more quietly they have not done so or even told me, well, you know, the first floor is kind of like the noisy floor. But I dont think this is acceptable. The only places on campus where one has a right to silence are the libraries. These are also the only places where there are computers, printers, and all the other work supplies we need. Please consider changing the policy regarding talking on the first floor, or consider enforcing it. Either way, I would like to know what the official understanding of what the first floor should be like is.
Thank you for your comment about noise on the first floor. Officially the policy is that the "first floor lobby" is a place where cell phone conversations are permitted. We admit "lobby" is an ambiguous term and could be interpreted as the carpeted area in front of the turnstiles (before one enters the Library proper), or the terrazzo floor behind the turnstiles but before the computers.
However, all other areas of the first floor -- and indeed the entire A-Level excepting the MacLab -- are officially designated as quiet space.
Now, before you judge the Office staff as completely off their rockers [the A-Level a quiet space?!?] we admit in practice that the first floor will always be somewhat noisy given people entering
and exiting the Library, checking books out at Circulation, and asking
questions at the Ask a Librarian desk. And it's become accepted campus
culture that the A-Level is a "noise-friendly" area -- although on both
floors we'd prefer people keep in mind they are still in a library. (The A-Level may be a pit, but it isn't The Pit. OK?)
You should always feel free to politely ask people to lower the voices or take their conversations elsewhere. If they look at you oddly or fail to respond, please refer the matter to Library staff.
Interestingly, the issue of noise also came up at a recent Library Student Resource Group meeting. One student representative suggested that, instead trying to make the first floor quieter, we instead deploy more computers in a quiet area of the Library, in essence creating a space where people could work on papers without distraction. If this would be of interest, please let us know in the comments.