A Return to Law & Order in the Library

Finals week is around the corner and I’ve noticed a decline in library etiquette recently. Considering many people who don’t usually spend much time in the library will be hitting the books to study, it seems like people could use a refresher on the written and unwritten rules of the library.

First, it seems that people have forgotten that the floors get progressively quieter the higher you go.

It is acceptable to talk in the basement and on the main floor. These are ideal places to complete group work or do homework if you are someone who likes ambient noise.

The second floor is a Quiet Zone. This means no talking. If for some reason you really need to talk, only a whisper is acceptable. Even if you are lucky enough to snag a table in one of the nooks near a window, this does not mean that the people around you cannot hear you talking. Eating, however, is still acceptable on this floor.

The 3rd floor is a Very Quiet Zone. This means absolutely no talking and probably no eating (unless it’s something quiet.)

The fourth floor is a Very Very Quiet Done. Definitely no talking and absolutely no eating. I definitely wouldn’t venture up there if I had a cough.

Another issue is that people leave their books on those coveted window tables on the 2nd and 3rd floor, and then simply leave. There ends up being otherwise empty tables, but they’re clearly taken by books whose owners are nowhere to be seen. I’ll admit that I’ve left my books on a table when I probably should’ve just taken them with me, like if I was going to Servo for example. There are situations where leaving your books on a table is acceptable, like if you’re just running to Bullet and back. But if you’re going to be gone for more than a half hour, just take your books with you.

I know how hard it is to snag one of these tables, so once you have one you want to hold onto it. But it’s a vicious cycle because the reason it is rare to get a table is because people hold onto them for an entire day by leaving their belongings there when they are not present. So if people rotated the tables more often, they wouldn’t be so hard to get and people wouldn’t feel the need to leave their belongings there all day.

I know this all seems really nit picky but it really all just boils down to be quiet, which is the cardinal rule of any library and if you weren’t already following that rule, maybe just study in your room.

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