May 092004
Authors: B.A. Klaene

Every day an estimated 5,000 students visit Morgan Library,

which can sometimes make it a place of learning and


“From May 2003 through April 2004 my office received 157

comments, suggestions and complaints; 19 comments were on noise,”

said Allison Cowgill, coordinator for Reference Services

Information and Reference.

According to the Morgan Library Web site, quiet study areas are

designated for no cell-phone use and minimal talking.

Quiet areas are located in assigned sections on every floor and

the entire lower level is designated as a quiet study area.

Todd Hardin, a senior computer engineering major, tries to

utilize this space.

“I always come downstairs in order to keep myself productive.

Sometimes it’s not even quiet down here,” Hardin said. “It is

really annoying when a bunch of kids sit down underneath the ‘quiet

area’ sign and start talking.”

The library staff is doing what it can to combat noise issues in

designated quiet areas.

“We have added three new study rooms this spring and will add

another presentation room this summer,” Cowgill said. “We also have

plans to add two more study rooms on the third floor in the


Study rooms, which are equipped with tables, chairs and

chalkboards, are designed to accommodate individuals or small


Large groups have access to presentation rooms on the first

floor. These rooms can accommodate up to 10 people and provide

Internet access, DVD and compact-disc-player access, a ceiling

projector system and a whiteboard.

Reservations are not required for use of these rooms, so they

sometimes fill up quickly.

Michael Paige, a senior English major, said his experiences in

the library have not been very quiet.

“People don’t respect the quiet area very well; that’s why I

have ear plugs. Cell phones are a big problem, people get on their

phones and talk loud,” Paige said. “There is no reason to disturb


Lauren McElroy, a junior marketing major, said studying at the

library is better than other options.

“My house is worse,” McElroy said. “I have three roommates, so

it is still better to come here.”

Julie Conroya junior chemical engineering major, agreed.

“There are less distractions in the library than in my house,”

Conroy said.

Addressing some students’ concerns about the quiet areas,

Cowgill said a future project would develop another type of area in

the library, deemed a “deep quiet area.”

This area will provide seating for at least 80 students and

create a soundless study-safe haven surrounded by walls. No date

has been set for construction, Cowgill said.

Taylor Felton, a junior chemical engineering major, said she

believes the current quiet areas are sufficient for students.

“If you have an issue with the noise, there are enough areas in

the library that are designed as quiet areas. If I need to study I

go to the study rooms with my group, where you can be as loud as

you want to be,” Felton said.

Regardless of the current or future library resources, Amanda

Morrison, a senior animal science major, thinks library etiquette

amounts to simple courtesy.

“I don’t mind when they are talking about school stuff,”

Morrison said. “But it’s when they sit down and talk about what

they are going to do for the weekend, that’s annoying.”

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