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Letter to the Editor: one student’s take on the new library quiet space

Editor’s note: During the inter-semester period between J-Term and Spring Semester, the MC library staff created a new quiet zone in the ground floor annex space. This space previously held several tables and was often used by student group-study leaders to host group study sessions. The library staff chose to designate this area as a quiet zone in an effort to give students more opportunities to study uninterrupted.

On the first day of Spring Semester, I walked into Thaw Hall heading towards the back to my usual study spot. I was shocked to find it gone and replaced with a quiet area. The tables were moved up front and there were small study carrols where the tables used to reside. Coming back from J-term and ready to start the Spring Semester, my favorite study area was gone. It was okay, though and not something I can control. So, I attempted to deal with the fact that the solace of the back of Thaw was gone.

This didn’t stop me from continuing to study in Thaw Hall, but now I sit by the stairs to the basement. I find the new locations of the tables extremely distracting. Even with headphones in, I can still hear when someone comes into the library, and the ground moves whenever someone walks by. This new location of the tables also causes way more than uncontrollable distractions. By sitting in plain sight, this location makes it much easier for friends and peers to spot me and to, therefore, distract me by creating small talk. All of this to say, I am not happy with the tables new locations. So, I thought I’d see what other students have to say about it.

I was wondering if any other students were feeling this way so, I spoke to sophomore Katherine Zacapa.

“I like them better this way,” she said. “It makes sense for the noise distribution in the library.”

I also spoke with junior Boomer Russell.

“I don’t like it,” he said. “I will say that some of them are close to the outlets, which is nice, but I still think it makes the main floor much louder than usual. It’s also not an efficient use of space.”

Sophomore Samantha Burke also shared her dissatisfaction with the new library configuration.

“I honestly really don’t like the new table configuration,” she said. “ I enjoyed being in the back area more because it feels more sheltered from the noise of the library but was still a nice place to have my group studies. Most people aren’t abiding by the quiet area constraints anyway, so I think it’s pointless to not have the tables in the back.”

No matter if the tables in the library stay where they are or change, Thaw will still be the place where countless students, including myself, spend their time outside of class studying and collaborating.  


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