Struggle for Quiet in the Library

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Not everyone in Atkins expects absolute silence. Some of you are actively searching for spaces that are “just noisy enough” to allow you to focus. Spaces that are too quiet freak some people out, and don’t allow them to concentrate.

Then there are those of you who want quiet quiet quiet. And when people are talking on their cell phones, or to each other, you get frustrated and move in search of new, genuinely quiet spaces.

Some of you want people who are noisy in the library to be “punished” somehow. I am struggling to figure out what that would even look like, in a context where we are all over the age of 18 and so, nominally, all grown-ups here.

When you encounter unwanted noise, is it in the “official” Quiet Zones? Does asking people to be quiet ever work? If you are trying to do quiet work on the first or second floor, why is that?

I am not trying to blame the victim here, I’m trying to figure out where the balance lies among all of the different ways that people (legitimately) do work, are quiet, make noise.

Should we be encouraging more self-policing? More peer pressure to keep Quiet Areas quiet? Is the Struggle for Quiet as big a deal as the suggestion box entries imply, or is this a vocal minority?

Help me out, here.

20 thoughts on “Struggle for Quiet in the Library

  1. Anonymous

    Personally I think it is a vocal minority. However, I understand that they deserve the right to ask for a quiet environment to perform at their best level of competency. Should we be encouraging more self-policing? More peer pressure to keep Quiet Areas quiet? Yes, we should.

  2. Priyank


    Conscious effort needed and not mock the Sign where it says “Quiet Zone”

    Maybe we need a sign that says “Noisy zone”

  3. Karsten

    you’re in a tough spot.
    I want UNCC to mirror the academic environments of the ivy league school i did my undergrad study. unfortunately, i believe the rudeness and bellicosity found amongst the students of this public university will not change. all attempts forward seem hopelessly nugatory.

  4. Anonymous

    Since the third floor QZ zone is the only floor that is suppose to be totally quiet with computer access you would think those who enjoy talking would go somewhere else in the library. They have so many other areas. When asking someone to read the sign “QZ – no cell phones, no talking, quiet study” would be difficult to read and understand but it should not be for college students – or maybe placing a card tent at each table would be more appropriate also.

  5. Anonymous

    I don’t see another place to post my suggestion, so I hope you don’t mind my putting it here. I am a faculty member and would like to suggest a faculty reading room. Such a room would be quiet, but also a place with large tables to lay out our work, a place to escape our students (sorry guys), and while I don’t care, I know other faculty I’ve talked to about this idea want a locked door with a key code. In essense a giant carrel for faculty.

  6. Dalen

    similar to the open computer tracking screen, how about letting people make reports on noise levels that are disfavorable. so, if i am next to someone with headphones on that allow me to still hear their music, maybe i could send them an anonymous note that says to turn their music down a little. i think people would be very receptive to this.

  7. Dalen

    sorry about the repeat comments but…

    y’all should move the front door sensors over a little bit, because they way they are now, when youre standing in the right position to open the door, the sensor does not always sense you and unlock. then, people pull on the locked door, it flexes (which will break it in the long run), and then it doesnt open…which i know may makes me angry and i imagine it does others also.

  8. Anonymous

    You should open a Ritazza branch on the first floor, Mezannine, because the NOISE is here, you are only missing the coffee.
    THIS IS A LIBRARY, there is no need for a Qzone or a none Qzone. The library as a whole should be treated as one and people with cellphones, ipods, loud music and such don’t need to come here to study, if noise is what makes them “focus”. We have been endlessly… hearing how UNCC is stiving to be a better university yet you are afraid to make a change. I drive 35 miles to come to study and prefer it over any other place but I always have issues with noise..always. And by the way Donna, some young ones here are just out of high school and are still not to the level of responsibility to handle the supposed to be library atmosphere. Self-policing is not enough. There should be tougher measures, at least at the beggining so this noise problem would not roll over to future students.
    one more thing if I may; why don’t the copying machines print on both sides? I think it would make more sense and less money.

  9. Anonymous

    I just wanted to express an idea that just hit me: I was going throught he magazine section in the second floor and Irealized that the Library is not a subscriber to “Scientific American”,”popular Science”,and the “Wall Street Journal”… just a thought

  10. Debbie Myers

    Regarding the copiers, they will copy on both sides, and the printers will print on both sides. It saves paper but doesn’t cost any less; if you print or copy two pages you are charged for two, whether you print it on two sheets of paper or one. Staff at the Technology Support desk can help you with copier or printer settings.

  11. Anonymous

    I understand that some individuals come with study partners or groups to work on projects and that does require talking or noise. However, it is a LIBRARY so I would think that some common courtesy would make people look around and choose an area which is designated for quiet talking. The quiet zones should stay quiet quiet quiet!! Don’t get me started on the cell phone usage and loud ipod users….

  12. Anonymous

    Quiet, focus, concentration; these things are extremely rare in this world. The library represents THE place where people should be able to focus. If you can achieve this goal, it will lead to success.

  13. Anonymous

    IT IS A LIBRARY. It is not party city.
    A library is not a place for socialization: that’s what the student union is for. Also: throughout the history of universities the library has served as a place, not merely to store books, but for people to work and study in peace and quiet. This is basic stuff.
    Perhaps part of the problem is that there is a conflict of interest between individual study and group study. The University of Georgia in Athens created a building designated solely for group studying, leaving the library quiet. I realize that UNCC cannot do that right now, but I think UGA illustrates a valuable principal: the library—at least the library common areas—is for quiet, personal study.
    Yes, we are adults. Therefore we should know better than come blasting into the library with loud music.
    Those who are upset about the noise are completely justified.

  14. Anonymous

    This is slightly off-topic but actually it is relevant.
    The reason many of us want quiet is that noise breaks concentration. But there is another thing, related, that also breaks concentration when one is on the computer: a person opening up a bag of chic-fil-a right next to you and then loudly eating while you are working. This is a major distraction because the chewing is distracting and often annoying. It is also a distraction because it is usually chic-fil-a which has an extremely strong greasy smell that overpowering and overwhelming—a major distraction.

    I think this is a huge problem.

  15. Anonymous

    I think that the computers should be concentrated in one or 2 floors then leave the rest for reading and studying. I also think that if the faculty staff show more initiative in enforcing quiet, we should see a difference in less than 3 months. They should be more hands on in being quiet in thier student service first( because I saw them being loud sometimes) and also confronting students when thier phone rings, are being loud, music or other. With this being enforced, a change will be seen.

  16. Anonymous

    IT IS a struggle for quiet in the library.
    I think small noise leads to bigger noise.
    I suggest moving the copiers to a seperate room, copy room. I also think that the empty space on the first floor behind the attendant should be filled with tables and cahirs. It looks enviting as a hang out area, hence noise and better space managment. I also think that library attendants should be more hands on when it comes to noise, and not just sit and ignore loud people and crowds sitting or passing by.

  17. Anonymous

    I think designating the 3rd floor as solely a Quiet Zone is an excellent idea. Study groups will bypass that floor, and only students who can concentrate in bare silence will frequent the space.

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