It is bad enough that the library's policy on cellphones is so loosely
enforced that I must listen to the ringing phones and conversations of
those who are rude enough to ignore it completely, but when I have to
listen to the incessant yakking of those who are actually WORKING IN THE
LIBRARY I find it incredibly ridiculous. I am sitting here with
headphones on to block out the noise and I can STILL hear the two
loudmouths at the desk yelling their heads off. I understand that there
are "quiet" floors, but this is a LIBRARY and I should not have to go up
to the fourth floor in order to be in an environment peaceful enough to
get a little work done. I have never been in any other university
library that would tolerate the things that go on in this one. Could
anything be done to lower the noise level? Thanks.
Mary Ellen Spencer, Head of Research & Reference Services replies...
I'm so sorry that you had this experience at the library. There are many parts to your message, and I'll try to respond to them all.
First, if you are disrupted by noise at the library, please alert a member of our staff. If we are the culprits, we'll be glad to lower our voices. We really do want your time at the library to be productive!
You are right to note that Cabell Library has designated areas for various types of learning activities. We recognize the need for library spaces that promote both collaborative group work as well as quiet study. According to the VCU Libraries Quiet Building Guidelines:
"The first floor of Cabell Library has areas that by their nature
are not quiet: the entry lobby, the Java901 cafe, and the busy
circulation and reference desks. Even in these areas, users should
be mindful that they are in a library and that students and faculty
are enganged in academic work nearby. Users in areas away from the
entrance to Cabell Library should not experience disruptive noise
from other users."
These same rules apply to library staff, and your message is a good reminder to those of us who work in the public areas of the library. We should be mindful of the noise level we ourselves create. We can also work harder to enforce the library regulation for the use of cell phones in the building. That said, areas away from the first floor entrance and service desks will be much less noisy and a better place for you to study.
Student enrollment at VCU has grown by leaps and bounds since Cabell Library opened over thirty years ago, and the size of our collection has increased as well. Our current facility simply wasn't designed to accommodate so many students and faculty; and, we continue to retrofit existing space to meet our users' needs. Feedback from students like you is critical for us to know how we're doing and how to design for the future.
I hope I've responded to your message in a helpful way. Thanks again for taking the time to let us know about your concerns.