Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Art Galleries and Noise in Libraries

Why do so many schools put their art galleries in the library? Does this go back to a lack of respect for the libraries? I really don't want to spend any more time complaining about that. Tonight the seniors are putting up their exhibit, and they are making so much noise. There were many students in the library quietly studying. Many of these students have either left the library or have given up studying and are adding to the noise level.

We recently completed our fourth annual library satisfaction survey among students. This survey reaches over 25% of the student body each year. I explain all of this because the library being too noisy seems to be a growing trend here. It has been mentioned in the past, but with equal numbers of students saying it is too quiet. Yet this year no one said it was too quiet and a number of students said it was too noisy.

A recent issue of the Library Issues newsletter discussed this trend which probably affects public libraries as well as academic ones and this just goes to show it's not just us having this problem. We've worked so hard to make the library a desirable place for students to be, yet those efforts have been condusive to noise, and now students don't want that. The Library Issues newsletter suggested building physical walls to create noisy and quiet areas. Maybe other libraries have money for that, we definitely don't.

To make matters worse, in our library the first and second floors are open to each other (including the art gallery), and the third and fourth floors are open to each other. We would like to keep the third and fourth floors quiet, but they're hard to monitor when everything is on the lower floors and we have a small staff.

But first and foremost would be to make the darn administration find someplace else for the art gallery to go!

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