Due to complaints of unwanted noise and disruptive behavior, library officials have recently hired monitors to enforce quiet zones, ensure general cleanliness and help deter theft with the goal of establishing a better study environment for students.
Terry Hutchings, the library operations manager, said monitors have the primary task of providing comfort and safety for all students.
“Our goal is to make sure everyone has a great study environment,” Hutchings said. “We have a lot of collaboration going on, but we also have people who want quiet spaces.”
According to Hutchings, the job is simple. When there’s a loud group or a noisy person disrupting the floor, monitors approach the person or group and ask them to keep it down. If the situation isn’t controlled with the gentle reminders or warnings, the next step is to notify one of the librarians and let them handle the situation from there.
The monitors are paid minimum wage and their pay comes from general library funds.
The fifth floor, also called the “Quiet Zone,” was designed to meet the needs of students who seek to avoid the noise and chatter on other floors. Some students have complained that this hasn’t been achieved.
“We’ve gotten a lot of complaints,” Hutchings said. “Many people don’t realize what the floor is for.”
Students are able to make complaints using postcards with QR codes that are spread throughout the library.
Although unawareness is expected from new students, library officials decided to take action for the sake of those who want complete silence as they work.
Carolyne Tuwei, a graduate student majoring in finance, said the need for monitors shouldn’t exist.
“You can clearly see this is a quiet zone,” Tuwei said. “Why would you be noisy?”
Victoria Mischley, a junior majoring in biomedical science, said she thinks the fifth floor was designed for more noise-friendly studying.
“I think the floor set-up was made to talk,” Monasterio said. “You just feel more motivated to study here and work in groups.”
Hutchings said the duties of monitors go beyond enforcing the quiet zone rules.
“Their sole purpose is not just noise control,” Hutchings said. “They are there to check for cleanliness, let us know if there’s building issues and having their presence around helps to deter any thefts that may happen in the library.”
According to Cetwinski, there theft is a problem because a lot of students tend to leave their personal items unattended.
“We have issues sometimes with safety and security,” Cetwinski said. “I walked around the fifth floor and there were three cubicles where there was a laptop, a phone and a book bag and nobody was there.”
Alicia Drayton, a senior majoring in finance, thinks that having monitors around to enforce a quiet environment is a great idea.
“I don’t mind it at all,” Drayton said. “I like this floor because it’s quiet and I get a lot more work done due to that.”
Cetwinski said he wants students to respect each other’s needs despite the new renovations.
While the monitors will help control noise, Cetwinski and Hutchings think it’s important for students to respect each other and their needs without the assistance.
“Some students don’t realize how loud they are talking when they’re in a group,” Cetwinski said. “We want students to self-monitor their actions.”