Sitting in the library on a bleak October day, you’d never know it was a bleak October day. Laughter and chit-chat pervade the air, there is a palpable “hanging-out” vibe, and all that’s missing is XM radio and a barista or two to complete the ambience of a coffeehouse.Why is this happening?
The library is an integral part of the Lawrence campus — of any college campus, presumably — so it’s natural that a lot of Lawrentians find themselves there on a regular basis. Yet it is integral because it is a place that holds open the door to greater knowledge. The library holds floors and floors of books, periodicals, computers, big study tables, and, theoretically, silence.
Silence is becoming more and more theoretical, however, even on the designated quiet floors. The first floor has always been a bit more “social,” but now this social atmosphere is gaining momentum, and rushing up the stairs to invade the other floors.
This needs to stop. There are some people who genuinely need and want to get work done and can only do so in silence. Third and fourth floors, in particular, are sanctuaries for those who need to do some serious reading or paper writing.
The upper floors are not floors on which students should meet for group discussions, chat with friends or talk on cell phones. If you are sitting with friends on the second, third or fourth floors — which is fine to do and even suggested for sanity purposes — keep the talking to a minimum and a whisper at most. If you do need to meet with a group, or think you and your friends will be particularly chatty, consider different venues for such activities: first floor, the grill, Riverview, the coffeehouse or any lounge in any dorm. But please, respect the silence in the library and your fellow students.