We think most people would agree the word “library” generally refers to a place containing a collection of books where people go to borrow such books, or study, due to it’s lack of noise.
Auburn’s library, Ralph Brown Draughon Library, commonly referred to as “RBD,” seems a little different, however.
While the concept of RBD is the same as most other libraries, it is certainly not a quiet place.
During the fall and spring semesters, not only is it difficult to secure a parking spot or find seating inside, but it is almost impossible to actually concentrate on school work due to the constant chatter and laughing.
It seems as though students go to the library to socialize, not to study.
This issue can be problematic for students who need a quiet place to study, especially those who live in dorms and may not have the option to leave campus.
If the library isn’t an option, where else are students supposed to go to find a quiet place?
While studying at home can be an option for some students, roommates can easily become a distraction.
And while many students like to take advantage of local coffee shops as a study area, unlike the library, most coffee shops aren’t open 24 hours a day.
Further, students shouldn’t have to go off campus and purchase a pastry or drink to gain WiFi access, as some coffee shops require, just to find a place to study when there is a library on campus.
Many students take advantage of a room or study area that has been set aside by their major or department. However, some majors do not offer this at all, and as with coffee shops, many of these places are not open 24 hours a day unless you are given access.
Organizations who require their members to complete a set amount of study hours in the library in a given time frame contribute to the problem.
Often times, members will go to the required library hours, meet up with friends and socialize. This distracts those in the library who are actually trying to study.
Study hours are great for organizations to have.
However, instead of being held in the library, maybe these study hours should be proctored in meeting rooms in the student center or chapter rooms.
Also, there’s something ironic about the fourth floor of the library being a “quiet, study floor.”
Any student visiting a university library should be expected to be quiet and studying, regardless of which floor they are seated on.
This fourth floor, quiet floor concept should be done away with completely.
We feel as though students assume that because the fourth floor is the only floor labeled a quiet study area, it is not necessary to be quiet on all other floors and areas of the library.
Instead of a quiet floor, people should be required to remain quiet on all floors of the library.
Then, set aside one or two floors for group studying or tutoring sessions.
However, even these groups should be expected to be respectful and talk in a lower tone than they usually would.
While we have mentioned several points we feel are necessary, we understand that these changes cannot be made overnight.
Until a solution to this problem has been put into place, the very least that could be done would be for students using the library to be respectful of others.
Someone should monitor the library to make sure this is the case.
If students fail to do so, they should be held accountable.