Prim Library aims for quiet

The library divides into sections for quiet study and group work in effort to make space more versatile for SNC students.


Nick Galantowicz

The second floor of Prim Library is now a “quiet zone.”

With only three weeks until finals, Library Director Betts Markle is implementing a new plan to provide students with a conducive environment to study.

Students complained about the high noise-level of the library this fall, saying that the sound made it hard for them to get their work done. As a result, Markle has implemented a new strategy to make the library better suited to the needs of students, who make use of it for both group and individual projects.

How? She has divided the space into different areas that are designed to group people with similar needs.

“We tried to indicate the green areas, where it’s okay for normal conversation, yellow areas for less, softer conversation and red areas for quiet sections,” said Markle. “The signs are situated on the tables in the library, and they indicate what zone it belongs to.”

Yellow-zoned tables are mostly on the first floor, while the second floor is designated as a silent zone and is marked red, according to Markle.

The plan was implemented during the last week of October, and many students are still unaware of the different areas.

On a Tuesday afternoon, Senior Andrew Clifton sat at a table on the first floor,  a part of the “yellow area”, and worked on his business plan.

“I did notice there was a sign on the table, but I didn’t realize that the colors have different meanings. I usually study with headphones, so I haven’t noticed any big difference since the plan has been implemented,” he said. “I am just used to it. The library has been loud the whole time I have been in college.”

Similarly, Senior Haley Graw and Junior Erik Unterberger noticed the signs but didn’t understand what they meant.

“It might have been good if they had put a little box on the signs that explains what the other colors and zones are. I didn’t know that yellow meant that,” said Graw.

Senior MeiLi LeRoy, president of the Student Government Association, helped Markle put together the new plan, giving her advice on what might work better from a student’s perspective.

“It’s not just the color. It says in writing ‘silent area.’ It could be useful for Betts to send out emails explaining what each means, just to bring more awareness as to why she put these out,” LeRoy said.

The separation aims to remedy issues that arise from the library being used for many activities all in one place. The new plan is the first step toward a more coherent organization of a common space that still has to serve different functions, according to Markle.

At this early stage of implementation, Markle aims “to draw people’s attention to the need to keep their voices at a reasonable level.”