We desperately need more group study space. Study groups are beginning to spill out into other floors of the building and they make an awful lot of noise. I prefer to study alone and I prefer to do it in the library. I'm sure you can appreciate how incredibly annoying and distracting it is to have a ton of chattering study groups in the Sotto Voce/Quiet areas.
From: an undergraduate student
Pat Flanagan, Associate University Librarian for Public Services, replies...
Thank you so much for your comments. We are indeed short of group study spaces, and in fact are short on all varieties of study spaces for our students. We share your concern and have created the floor themes to try to segregate group study - and its noise - to lower floors of Cabell. We’ve also hired two full-time and several part-time guards to help enforce these policies, stationing the second guard on duty on the 3rd and 4th floors.
Nevertheless, the building was built in 1975, and because of the growth of library collections and the allocation of some of its space to University priorities, it now provides 40% less space for students than it did in 1975, for a student population that has doubled in size since that time. VCU's library buildings had an original planned capacity of 1 million volumes maximum, but now house nearly 2 million volumes, almost 200% of the planned capacity. These basic figures translate into a building that is very crowded, and where noise control is a recurring issue. Needs are frequently shared with appropriate campus decision makers by the University Librarian, Student Senate members, and others. We are very hopeful that library space needs, both at Cabell and Tompkins-McCaw Library, will be considered in upcoming fund raising and legislative funding cycles. Discussions about spaces for an addition to Cabell Library focus almost exclusively on student space for both group and individual study, technology-rich spaces, and inspiring, pleasant environments in which to study, interact, and learn.