Friday, August 2, 2013

Question of the Day: Why is it so loud in the Library?

Summer Reading in particular, with the additional foot traffic and programming for children, is a very noisy time in the library. Checking the events calendar before visiting can help you target times for visiting when fewer programs are offered. For example, Fridays are often one of the quietest days in the library.

There are two additional options available for seeking quiet space in the Library: the Study Room and the bay window area on the upper level. The Study Room, along the hallway to the Youth Services Area on the lower level, is available on a first-come first-served basis. You may request to use this room by stopping at the Youth Services or Check Out Desks. It is the only quiet study room available, and is also used as a staff meeting space. The upper level bay window area, which contains the last remaining study carrels in the Library, is generally one of the quietest areas of the Library, particularly during the day on weekdays. However, with an average of 145 visitors per hour the library is open, quiet cannot be guaranteed in any open area of the Library.

Limited space makes separation of noisy and quiet uses of the library impossible. The space constraints of the Library's building, the volume of use it supports and collection it houses necessitates that each space in the Library serve multiple functions. The building is approximately 1/3 the size necessary to serve the current population of the library district, which severely limits its functionality in providing space for all of the services offered.

Community support will be needed to correct the deficiencies of the library facility. Following the failed referendum for library expansion in 2009 (which included additional quiet reading and group study rooms as well as improved program spaces), a revised plan for addressing facility deficiencies through a 2012 referendum did not garner enough community support to be placed on the ballot. The support of users, especially those who have experienced the issues of an undersized facility, will be needed in the future if these deficiencies are to be corrected.