Difficulty concentrating due to library settings

By on October 26, 2005

Quinnipiac students need a quiet place to study, but some students are discovering that finding quiet is not as easy as it seems.

The Arnold Bernhard Library’s occupancy is steadily rising along with the growing Quinnipiac population. The overcrowding of the dormitories has resulted in the conversion of most study lounges into living quarters.

The loss of the lounges is forcing more students to seek quiet outside the dorms. Students turn to the library to concentrate on work.

The library study rooms serve as a private place that students can meet to discuss class material, group projects or study for the next big test. Unfortunately, some students are realizing that these study rooms are not soundproof.

“You would think that you can put on low music or talk at a low level but you cannot,” junior Lauren Park said.

The study rooms resemble glass boxes and, at first, seem an illogical choice. Glass does not usually make the best sound diffuser. While the rooms do not drown out noise completely, they do reduce it. There are many advantages to choosing glass.

“Glass was selected by the architect to allow light. They were interested and we were interested in natural light. Also security was an issue,” said Charles Getchell, Arnold Bernhard Library director. “It is more difficult for things to go on in an unclosed room. Safety was a big design feature.”

Part of the problem is students feel at ease when they walk into the confines of the study rooms. Usually, students are working together with friends, which makes it easy to get off topic. During these tangents, students talk freely about personal subjects, not realizing that others can hear them.

“I have not said anything personal in [the study rooms], but I have heard groups talk about things that they would not want the whole library to know,” Park said.

The noise coming from the study rooms is not only embarrassing for those inside, but it is distracting to everyone else in the library.

In order to ensure that the library is providing a service that satisfies the student body, study rooms are going to be discussed in an upcoming meeting. A sign notifying students that the study rooms are not sound proof can help address the problem.

“If there are any concerns about noise levels while using the study rooms or by people using the study rooms please let a reference librarian know,” Getchell said.


About Joseph Cirillo