Library renovation noise disruptive to students


    Students who study in the Mary Couts Burnett Library often complain about loud whispers and laughter, but these days the drilling and pounding from construction equipment sometimes drowns out those sounds.

    Work on the newly designated front side of the library and the adjacent Rees-Jones hall has created a din—particularly in the quiet section.

    First-year strategic communications major, Lauren Goulet, who works in the basement of the library scanning books that will be moved off campus, said the noise can be distracting while studying or working in the quiet section.

    “If I’m not wearing headphones, I will deliberately, like, put headphones in to block out construction noise,” Goulet said.

    June Koelker, the library’s dean, said the library is doing what it can to combat the noise. An interior wall on the east side of the library is set up to help keep construction separate from students.

    Koelker said that if students find it difficult to study, they should look for a new place within the library that can suit their study needs.

    “There’re different niches, different parts of the library, different seating, different quiet zones, different conversation zones, there’re group study rooms,” Koelker said. “So if wherever they’re at specifically is not working for them, go ahead and look for another place.”

    Students should fill out a form for suggestions or complaints if they are having trouble with the noise, Koelker said. Students can find the suggestion box near the Burnett Bistro, or fill out the form on the library’s website.

    The construction will be done in two stages, the first of which is set to be finished in early June and will be ready to be seen by graduation. The second stage of renovations will begin after the end of the spring semester and continue through August 2015.

    Harold Leeman, the director of facility planning and construction, said even though the building will be under construction until the end of the semester, he is aware of the noise that comes with construction.

    Leeman said as the construction progresses through the final weeks of the semester, the noise should subside.

    “We are very conscious of exam time,” Leeman said. “At that point we’re finishing paint, we’re finishing inside work that isn’t very loud, so we really monitor it closely.”