Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Question of the Day: Is there anywhere quiet in the Library where I can study?

With an average of 1,500 visitors per day to our 27,000 sq ft facility, finding a quite time and space in the Library is challenging at best. At just over 1/3 the size it should be to serve today’s population of 75,000 residents (according to Illinois Public Library Standards), the Library building just is not large enough to provide all of space our residents want and need. 

There is a single Study Room, available on a first-come, first-served basis. But that room is also regularly scheduled for staff use and for our literacy volunteers to meet with their students. The Study Room is also adjacent to the Youth Services area, which can be noisy during times when lots of classes and programs are being held. The Original Library Room is available, but quiet cannot be assured, since tables there are frequently used by tutors and newspapers and magazines are shelved there. 

Making do with the building we have requires compromise on all sides. The constraints of our current space are apparent everywhere in the building, from using top and bottom shelves on the 90” shelving units in the Adult collections to the tight aisles that just meet ADA accessibility requirements to the lack of quiet study space. With your support, the Library will address these space needs in the future.

As you may notice, this is a variation on the same theme as the last Question of the Day. It is feedback we hear frequently. Unfortunately, there simply isn't anywhere in the Library to put another Study Room or designate as a quiet area because every room, every area in the Library is multi-purpose to the point of excluding those options.