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August 07, 2006



Interesting they mention a desire for quiet, since, like you point out, it seems the library world is bending over and backwards in creating social spaces in the library. It seems that the louder and more playful the better. And there is a place for collaboration and social spaces, but there should also be respect for those who actually expect a library to be a quiet place. It's one of the things about the whole L2 evangelism that I strongly disagree with. From my days as an undergrad as well as a graduate student, I remember there were moments I wanted to go "hide" in the library to get away from roommate, so on. I don't think that has changed that much, yet you would get the impression from the L2 literature that all we should be doing is making libraries into taverns and playgrounds. It seems the balance is lost. You should compile those replies and send them to the administration. I'd be curious to see what other students in other campuses would say. Best, and keep on blogging.

steven bell

Their responses do not surprise me. If you had asked "What is the first thing that comes to mind when you visualize our GT Library" I would suspect you'd get "study space" or "books" as the response. It was good to see one response mention "helpful staff". But what I would really like to see is more association with academic success. For example, wouldn't it be great to have gotten in response to "what do you want (or expect" something like "staff and resources that will help be get top grades" or "help in succeeding academically". Now that's not to say that finding a good space to study doesn't contribute to academic success, but isn't that the most type of connection we can offer. I'd really like to see students, incoming and otherwise, perceiving the library (resources, people, facility, etc) as an extension of what happens in the classroom. We need to further explore how to create those connections, and I think it will have something to do with re-branding and promoting good stories about the library that students can share with each other.

Jenny Levine

Angel, I disagree with your statement that L2 proponents have lost balance in the noise/quiet debate. There are always extremes and maybe that's what you've chosen to focus on, but most of the voices I've heard are advocating for zones of space - some quiet, some not-so-quiet. We're not saying let everyone be loud everywhere. We *are* saying examine your signage for negative messages and make sure you accommodate as many needs as possible.

I'm sure even the students in Brian's informal survey have times when they need to use their cell phones and would appreciate positive direction to a space where they can do that. And changing attitudes ("unrelenting strictness") isn't a bad thing, either. It doesn't have to be about extremes. There are a lot of us in the middle.

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