Library Posts Stop Signs to Enforce Silent Study Policy in Garver Rooom

Students halted to a complete stop this week in reaction to the regulation-size stops signs placed outside the doorways of the Garver Room. The three signs that read “STOP Entering Silent Study Area” are the library’s newest attempt to enforce the Garver Room’s new silent study policy. “We got the signs to serve as a reminder that the Garver Room is a destination rather than a passage,” said Director of the Library Elisabeth Tully. “Frankly, we didn’t think they would be so large.” The Library paid $90 for each of the signs, which were made by OPP. “They were supposed to have been there since the beginning [of school]. Because they were late students may have interpreted them as a criticism of their behavior,” said Ms. Tully. Evidently, the silent study policy has encouraged more students to study in the Garver Room. Associate Director of Instructional Services Michael Blake said, “The Garver room has become much more crowded because of the policy. The signs make the point.” Some students, however, believe the stop signs to be ineffective. Scott Morgan ’06 said, “I think the signs encourage kids to misbehave rather than honor them because they are ridiculous. My first reaction was to laugh (at the signs) rather than respect them.” Despite the success of controlling traffic and talking in Garver, loud voices still carry far into the room from the computer lounge. While prior to the policy students could regularly find silent spaces in the basement, now some students feel that the noise has spread throughout the library, leaving them to settle for the hushed Garver. Dean of Students and Residential Life Marlys Edwards said, “Now we are receiving complaints from students that while Garver is quiet, the noise has moved to other parts of the library such as the basement… I think there should be a general shift in the whole library when studying starts, not just Garver.” The silent study policy in Garver was introduced after the Dean of Students Office received complaints from students about the level of noise in the library last year. At a meeting earlier this year, the Deans’ Council and Ms. Tully discussed the possibility of creating silent study spaces in the library. Ms. Tully said, “The Deans’ Council said that making Garver a silent study space was necessary and we couldn’t prove that it wasn’t, so we decided we needed to give it a shot. They proposed that Garver be really, really enforced as a silent study area.” Ms. Edwards said, “The Deans’ Council raised students’ concerns and it was the library staff’s decision on how to create a silent study space.” The library staff is working with the Student Advisory Committee to conduct a survey of students’ opinions on library study in order to help create better study areas on campus. Ms. Tully said, “Librarians don’t want to be the police; we need to keep a positive relationship with the students in order to help them. We want the library to serve the whole community.”