Students lack library courtesy

Caroline Schaeffer

There comes a time in your college life when you realize you have a staggering amount of work to do and almost no time to complete it. Desperately, you seek out the library in an attempt to get some peace and quiet. Unfortunately, before you even make the slightest dent in your staggering workload, you realize that between the guy sitting next to you loudly discussing his weekend plans and the music junkie blasting Pitbull straight through his headphones, you’re not going to get much work done there at all. Why is it that sometimes even the library is too loud to get anything done? Are people that out of tune with those around them to be considerate of people actually trying to study? Sadly, this lack of consideration seems to be all too common of an occurrence as of late. People think less about those around them and more about their own personal needs.

Of course it would be impractical to expect people to remain completely silent at all times while in the library. After all, there are already specific silent zones for students in need of that level of concentration. But just because a certain area isn’t labeled a “quiet” zone, doesn’t mean it’s okay to talk as loudly and freely as you would in Bostwick Marketplace. No part of the library is truly meant to be the social epicenter of campus and, more often than not, people in the library are there for a reason. To loudly joke with your friends about that funny thing your roommate said yesterday is not only distracting, it’s a little rude.

The problem is that most people aren’t thinking about the guy studying for a bio exam next to them or the girl practicing Spanish two tables over; they’re only thinking about themselves. Most people are more focused on what they and their immediate friends want and are less concerned with the people around them who may actually be doing work. Everyone is guilty of this to some degree (I can’t say I’ve never been a little louder than I should in the library), but all it would take is some common courtesy to correct this problem. For some, a gesture as small as lowering your voice could greatly improve the experience of those around you actually doing work. There are many other great places to socialize with friends on campus besides the library, and a lot of them would welcome all different levels of noise.

By no means should the library turn into a place devoid of all sound and activity–that would be depressing. Instead, students just need to be aware of people around them, and remember that the next time they have to study for a colossal exam, they’d be pretty thankful to have a relatively distraction-free place to cram for their test.

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