Library Policies

Quiet Policy

Does the Library have a quiet policy? Why is it sometimes noisy?

Historically, reading and research have been viewed as solitary activities. Libraries restricted noise to protect the concentration of those using the library for these purposes. This is still true, and we affirm the principle that libraries need quiet, comfortable places for reading, writing, and contemplation.

The modern academic library has more roles, however.  Classes are taught, meetings are held, and students consult with reference librarians and computer specialists.  Students and faculty meet and socialize.  Students work in groups on academic and co-curricular projects.  These activities, while not necessarily noisy, are not completely quiet.

To accommodate the need for both individual and collaborative study, three zones have been designated within the Linn-Benton Community College Library. Different parts of the library are assigned to one of these zones. These designations will help library users with their  expectations about noise levels in different parts of the library, so that their experience can be useful and pleasant.

(Adapted from Kenyon College Library’s Library Quiet Policy)



 Library quiet zones

The Library provides an environment that is comfortable, inviting and conducive to study. To accommodate the needs for individual and collaborative study, research and public service activities, the Library has established the following guidelines for all users.

There are three main areas with corresponding noise levels:

Zone 1

Normal conversations are appropriate here all the time. This zone covers the area from the entrance up to the classroom, including the drop-in computers. Interactive groups of two or more, tours, and classes working on projects may meet here. Quiet cell phone conversations are permitted. In the evening, the expectation is that this area is quieter.

Zone 2

Low to medium volume conversations are appropriate here all the time. This zone covers the area from the service desks across to and including the classroom. Small groups may meet here. A certain amount of noise can be expected at all service desks where staff is helping library users.

Zone 3

Conversations are kept to a minimum. If talking is necessary, do it very quietly. This zone covers the area that includes the book stacks, the study carrels and the Reading Room. Please refrain from speaking on cell phones in this zone.

  • Cell phones need to be on non-audible settings. Individuals are encouraged to take their conversations  to the lobby or outside.
  • Individuals accessing applications with sound effects need to use headphones, set on a low volume, inaudible to others.
  • Special events do occur in the Library. In those cases, the quiet rules of the Library are relaxed.



What should I do if the Library is too loud?

If people around you are disturbing or distracting you, you may ask them to be quieter. If you are not comfortable doing this - or if individuals do not comply - these problems need to be brought to the attention of library staff who will follow-up to address them. Also, if the general noise level in the library is unacceptable, please direct your complaint to library staff. There are ear plugs available for your use as well. Please feel free to ask for them or pick them up at the Circulation Counter.

If you are dissatisfied with the noise level where you are seated, staff may suggest an appropriate area of the library.