Library reverberates with chatter

Staff and students speak of the loudness of the study space during finals week.


Caroline Sommers/THE CHIMES

Jessica Goddard, Writer

As finals week approaches, so also does the amount of needed study time. Exhausted students pile into the library seeking a peaceful environment in which to complete their copious amounts of work, only to find the library resembling more of a social gathering than the expected quiet oasis.

Firm action

During finals week, when the library hosts its greatest number of students, people often talk too loudly for others to study, causing the library staff to take firm action to instill a pleasant atmosphere.

For many students, this environment can prove extremely vexing. Many cannot go back to their room late at night to study because they live with a roommate. However, they can go onto the library chat and post a complaint or go up to the reference desk and report. A reference services assistant or one of the circulation workers will deal with the noise accordingly.

“We do go around and we actively tell people to keep it down, to be respectful of those who are studying. And we go into study rooms and remind people that those are not soundproof,” said Cameron Osborn, library building and safety supervisor.

Order of operations

The staff has a loose order of operations they follow when dealing with noise in the library. First, they approach the group in question and give them a warning. If the noise continues, the staff will ask for the IDs of the students to record them, and if that still does not work, they ask the students to leave.

“Everyone who comes into the library, whether they’re students, community members, students from other schools or guests, they’re all obligated to follow Biola community standards that exist within the library and part of that is being mindful of other people, and if you’re breaking that rule over and over then there’s going to be consequences,” said Rose Borrero, sophomore Biblical studies major and library staff.

A noisy incident

One of the worst cases the library has seen in awhile occurred late one night last week. Emily Roberts, junior intercultural studies major, tried to study in the library, but the noise reached too high for her. After she left, however, she heard that a library staff member ended up confronting the chatting group and nearly told them to leave.

Throughout the years, the library staff has learned and continues to learn new ways to keep the library a comfortable environment, such as posting reminders that study rooms do not keep in sound, and they can take notes on how other areas on campus handle such issues.

“I think something that the dorms do pretty well is, like, quiet hours. Maybe they need the library to start having quiet hours,” said Yansong Li, junior sociology major.

The main reason the staff concerns themselves with ensuring silence in the library includes showing respect to both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as guests.

“As undergrads, we also need to understand there’s a lot of grad students at this school too that use the library, that are there from opening or closing, and there’s students from other schools that are working on their doctoral programs that are here literally from opening to closing,” Borrero said. “We’re not the only ones powering through a tough semester here at Biola.”

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