EDITORIAL: Raise your awareness and lower your voice

At issue: The lack of library etiquette

Our take: Please use your inside voices

As due dates for papers, projects, and tests for finals loom, it seems like the entire student body will be occupying the library. It’s a stressful time and while we all feel like yelling, the library is not the place to do it—even if you’re in the active study area.

Presently, there are limited spaces to study on campus. There are various study lounges and rooms, but none possess the capacity for educational resources that the library does. Other places—departmental floors in the Ansin building, the Campus Center, Center Stage—prove constantly disruptive with their ongoing bustle and flow of students in and out. And while the college has, and is currently, attempting to increase this number of student spaces, the fact stands that Emerson occupies a small, metropolitan location where the real world persistently interacts and disrupts the microcosm of the college. Yet, there is no reason that the liveliness of this city setting should carry over into our quiet spaces.

That said, the library is not a social space. It is an establishment for research, studies, academia, and the occasional napper. When students behave as if the library is the Dining Center, the Student Lounge, and the Max Cafe, it not only does a disservice to students there with purpose, but the resource Iwasaki Library provides to the entire community.

With ample table space, power outlets, and other useful amenities, the front room of the Iwasaki Library is often the most crowded and a popular spot to study. Although the front room invites conversations at a normal noise level, students’ interactions should still be library-appropriate and not distract others. Even in the presidents’ room, designated for quiet study, loud voices still carry over. Loud conversations and noises from students can be more than enough to force a student to move to a separate area within the library.

One might say a simple solution to distractions in the active study zone would be to put on headphones. However, a recent article from The Guardian explains that listening to music while trying to learn something new is counterproductive––music, especially songs with lyrics, take up processing space within the brain.

But aside from this, the larger issue is that irrational and unreasonable behavior in the Iwasaki Library shouldn’t happen in the first place.

If on-campus students can quiet themselves during 24-hour quiet periods in residence halls for the finals season, then so can those in the library.

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