Disruptions in library: how not to be one

The library is meant to be a place to find quiet time to study.  Many students, like the one pictured above, get aggravated when their friends or neighbors play their music too loud. -Mary Sergeant
The library is meant to be a place to find quiet time to study. Many students, like the one pictured above, get aggravated when their friends or neighbors play their music too loud. -Mary Sergeant

With midterms quickly approaching, many students are going to spend their days holed up in everyone’s favorite place: the library.

Whether it is completing a speech, finishing that big term paper the night before it’s due or quietly poring over last week’s lecture notes, the library is intended to be a quiet sanctuary for all students.

However, we know the idyllic undisturbed paradise is never the case in Cook Library. There never fails to be at least one person speaking way too loudly to their partner or that group who fails to understand the principle behind the phrase “group study room.” If you cannot find that person, there is a likely chance that you are that person.

Here are a few tips and tricks to avoid what I call “the stank eye,” and act like a decent human being as well as an efficient student.

Respect the noise rules on every floor.

For those who are unaware, the higher the floor, the quieter it should be. On the first floor, also called the Learning Commons, it should still be quiet, but using lower toned voices is perfectly acceptable. Now, this doesn’t mean that you and your friends can come and hang out.

Starbucks or the courtyard are good places to catch up with friends.

On the second floor, it’s pretty quiet and whispers are acceptable. The third through fifth floors should be absolutely quiet.

Brianna Wells, a senior theatre major, expressed her irritability with people who are disrespectful to noise levels.

“We’re all students trying to get our work done, and it’s really disrespectful when people don’t consider other people’s time (when it’s) the only quiet place they have to go,” Wells said.
The issue of noise includes guidelines specific to music. I love music and am personally unable to study efficiently without my foot tapping to some Led Zeppelin or Imagine Dragons. However, some students may not appreciate listening to the slightest strains of “Ramble On” while trying to study.

Drew Raspino, a sophomore forensic science major, stressed the importance of using earbuds. “If you’re going to listen to music, use earbuds,” Raspino said. “(Also) make sure the earbuds work and (that) the earbuds are actually plugged into the right socket on your computer.”

It’s also important to remember that even though one may wear earbuds, remember to turn the music down to a reasonable level. In a quiet environment, everyone can hear you rocking out to Iggy Azalea. You can’t be “Fancy” when your study neighbors are staring at you with annoyance.

When it comes to printing and copying, there is one cardinal rule: be courteous. If you’re in the copy room doing something that can be done another time, let the harried looking student running to class go in front of you.

You’ll get karmic brownie points and feel like a great person for at least five more minutes. This principle can also apply to the printing stations.

Don’t use a study room if you’re in there by yourself. There are plenty of cubicles on the fourth and fifth floors if you want some privacy. Also, no one enjoys that awkward, terrible moment when a study group has to evict the loner that’s hogging the study room.

Finally, don’t eat full, smelly meals in the library. First of all, no one wants to smell last week’s tuna rice pilaf. Second of all, food allergies are more and more common nowadays and you never know who might have an allergy.

A pastry from the library Starbucks or a cup of coffee is completely acceptable, as well as delicious.

When it comes down to the line, this entire article could be summed up in three words: use your head. If you treat others as you wish to be treated in your study experience, that bibliographic haven we know as the library can be a truly pleasant place.

For more information on hours, special events and updates, check out the Southern Miss Cook Library page.