April: Silence of the Lam

Posted by: | April 14, 2010 | Comments Off on April: Silence of the Lam

Students who use the David Lam Library use the facilities for a variety of reasons. There are groups who need to discuss and work on their assignments collaboratively, and there are individuals who need a quiet space to read, write or study. Because the library has a lot of shared, open space, the noise from group areas easily drifts into silent study areas. People entering or leaving the library often forget that they are moving in a space where others are working. People answering their cell phones often talk much louder than they realize. A friend walks by and starts talking to another friend in the silent study just for a minute but it still disturbs the concentration of their peers. We who work at the David Lam Library want the library to be a welcoming space, accommodating the needs of many different users, but we receive many complaints about noise. Staff respond to these complaints, but it is a constant challenge to balance the conflicting needs of our users.

Of course, we are not the only library that struggles with this issue. Emily Rueb, of the New York Times recently posted Some, but Not All, Savor Silence in the Stacks. The Bronfman Business Library, at York University, made an eloquent plea for the Sound of Silence.

At Lam, we’re known as a customer-focused library. With our Canaccord Learning Commons, we’re redesigning our space, and are confident that the new space will elegantly accommodate both the exuberance and the studiousness that characterize students at Sauder.


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