For the first two years of my college career, I hated the library. I found the environment too sterile, too academic, and too quiet, instead preferring the atmosphere of the Brett Hall Slounge, also known by its more formal name as the Study Lounge. Also, the Slounge was just a few flights of stairs from my room, whereas I actually had to walk outside to get to the Library.
After moving out of Brett, I no longer had a Slounge to study in. So, I reluctantly started going to Alex. Soon enough, I grew accustomed to the library and was pleasantly surprised by how productive I could be there. Key word, could. Silence used to distract me. I could not get any work done if things were too quiet, which is why I enjoyed the Brett Slounge — you could often hear people chatting in the regular lounge through the closed door. But now, I require silence for concentration. I walk into the library, search for an open spot, ideally one by the window, and get down to business.
Over the past few weeks, I spent most of my time in Alexander Library, studying for midterms. Last week, as I desperately tried to focus on the words right in front of me, my concentration was broken by the loud voices of two students sitting behind me. The first issue I had with them was their volume. They weren’t even trying to keep quiet and talk in whispers, and that bothered me. I guess they didn’t realize that they were in a library. I tried to get back into studying but they continued talking and I couldn’t block them out. I could have said something to them. I should have, but I wasn’t in a confrontational mood. Also, I couldn’t help but listen in on their conversation since their voices were so loud. It was quite enthralling, in a “Real World” kind of way. This was even more distracting. After 20 minutes of talking, one of them leaves. Did she even get work done?? I don’t think so.
This isn’t like The Breakfast Club where you can chat around with your friends for your entire stay at the library. And even so, those five were the only ones in the library at the time and didn’t have to worry about other people trying to study.
I could have changed spots, but that’s not how it should work. Where are those librarians who are infamously known to “shhhh” people even for a sneeze or a cough? I could have used one of them a few times this month.
So when you go to the library, please be considerate. I’m not saying don’t sit with friends. Sometimes friends are great motivators for when you really need to do work. But if you need to talk about things irrelevant to the work that brought you to the library, please keep your voices hushed. Everyone actually trying to study will thank you.