New Study Zones Regulate Noise in Gleeson Library

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Students talk quietly in a conversation zone near the computer lab in Gleeson library. The new zones are marked with signs and indicate the level of noise permitted.  Photo by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn
Students talk quietly in a conversation zone near the computer lab in Gleeson library. The new zones are marked with signs and indicate the level of noise permitted. Photo by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn

With the start of a new semester, students heading to the library to hit the books will be welcomed with the new Gleeson Library Study Zones, marked in various locations around the library according to three different standards of noise tolerance.

Jasmine Santos, a student assistant in the library, explained that the zones are essential for Gleeson and have made a difference in mood of the people in the library.

“Last semester, a lot of noise could be heard from the third floor,” Santos said, “and it didn’t seem like a library. It’s good to actually hear the changes now. It’s quieter and the zones lead to more study opportunities.”

Vicki Rosen, head of Distance Learning Services at Gleeson Library, said “We hope these clear designations will make it easier for people to find a spot to sit and study.” Rosen plans to conduct a survey in December to see how students feel about the noise zones.

The different levels of noise in the zones depend on general student preferences, like location and necessities. Conversation Study Zones tolerate “library voices” and brief cell phone usage, and Quiet and Silent Zones cater to students looking for more privacy and relaxation, admitting less use of laptops and headphones and allowing minimal conversation.

And these locations are not hard to find; almost every wall in Gleeson posts a reminder of what Zone a student finds him or herself in.

Freshman Samantha Kwan agreed that posting the signs really makes it easier to abide by the noise tolerance. “It also makes the library easier to study at,” she said, “because everyone has a different style of studying, and for me the silent third floor is perfect.”

The zones present one less place to worry about disturbance in the library.Even though there is the spacious hushed atrium open 24 hours all week, students do vary in study habits and may even want to just simply be alone for relaxation. About the silence that overcomes the library,   Kwan said, “Just peaceful, very calm,but at times a little bit eerie.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. I am glad the study zones are a big hit! I am a Gleeson Employee and have spent countless hours working on this — from coding the initial maps to setting up the focus groups last spring to designing the signs… so it’s great to see it’s being warmly welcomed 🙂

  2. I definitely appreciate the new noise zones. I realize people meet to work in groups at the library, so it’s nice to have areas that are dedicated to that and other areas that restrict noise. I’m glad that Gleeson responded effectively to meet different student needs.

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