Friday, August 26, 2016

A Quiet Place To Study...

We have been surveying our students (and doing a separate survey of faculty and staff) to ge their feedback on how happy they are with Library services. The results have been a little surprising, in both good and bad ways. But that's why we are asking - we don't want to just cruise along doing what we have always done with no regard to what our users are asking for.

We are getting ready to meet as a staff and talk about the results of the most recent student survey. But we have taken one early action in response to comments received in the survey - we are going to be trying some new ways to help keep noise under control. Normally, library staff tend to be shush-averse (contrary to our stereotypes). And the building renovations done in 2010 did do a lot to help reduce the "echo chamber" quality of the building. But last year, and even more so this year, we have noticed comments from students about noise disruptions in the Library. And since we are really the only space on campus that has any kind of a quiet-study mandate, we are going to try to make this a priority this year. Here is the first step:
EVERYONE knows what the mute symbol means, right? No particular language difficulties to deal with there. We have posted a number of these signs around entrances, over computers, and on tables, just to reinforce that we are supposed to be a quiet study area.

We don't expect it to be silent - that's just not realistic. But through reminders, working on arranging our study and casual furniture, and other activities, we want to try to make sure that our students have at least one place they can go on campus when they need a quiet environment for studying. While we can't give students everything they ask for - longer hours and special cell charging stations are not in the budget, though we are looking at some alternatives for charging cell phones and other electronics - we need to do what we can do.
We will be reaching out to faculty and staff for other ideas as well, since we have a lot of meetings here in the building, as well as offices for some of our adjunct faculty, and we all need to work together to make sure our students know that we are listening, and trying to find ways to improve your experience here.

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