Libraries: silence is the only way

Mia Hail discusses how our library would be more effective if it was a silent study space.

The LM library currently serves as a collaborative environment filled with boisterous students clamoring together at the small round tables. During free periods and lunches, dozens of students seek out the library as a place to gather with their friends, not necessarily a place to do some quiet studying. But should the library become a quiet study area dedicated to focused work? Typically a library is a place to study, but LM is unique in the sense that most use it as a space to hang out with friends. LM should retain that idea, but perhaps not throughout the entire day. 

Libraries are universally acknowledged spaces where people go to be productive, yet at LM it’s hard to find a quiet spot in the library at any point during the day. While LM has plenty of tables around the hallways designated for students to use during free periods, the hallways can be distracting: people constantly walk by and the voices of teachers carry through their open doors. Right now it can be difficult to find a spot during a free period to work undisturbed. However, if the library was available as a quiet space throughout the day, it would provide a great location for students wishing to work in a designated area. Understandably, the library does provide a spot for students to work collaboratively, which is an aspect that should definitely remain. Students collaboratively working on something like a group project or the same assignment, not just goofing off with their friends. During Lunch and Learn the library should definitely maintain its location as a prime spot to eat lunch with friends. But currently, anytime you walk into the library it feels like lunch for the amount of people who are in there, which isn’t the learning space some people search for. 

Though many students vehemently oppose the suggestion of making the library a quiet learning place, it’s important to remember that the purpose of a library is to be a quiet learning environment.Noah Barkan ‘24 shares his thoughts: “I’m all for collaboration but there are plenty of areas around the school where people can chat. The library should be an area where people can find some peace and quiet. That being said, it’s hard to keep an area quiet when so many people are shoved in there.” There are so many areas outside of the library open to students that want to talk aloud and not bother others such as the courtyard or the upper atrium, but the library truly should be kept towards people who want a space to focus. 

Switching the library to become a permanent study area would help boost student motivation and focus. For those struggling to be productive during free periods, seeing other students working or at least promoting a learning environment in the library could potentially help increase their own motivation. In the past year the library has become a spot where students are expected to go when teachers aren’t there.  This can actually help students complete their assigned work in the time given instead of becoming distracted. Overall, there are already many spaces throughout LM where students can go if they want to take a break from school-work, but the library should not be one of them. The library should become a space where students can find guaranteed quiet and focus, not groups of people shouting. 

Silence in the library. | Graphic by Emmi Wu ’23/Staff
Talking in the library. Graphic by Emmi Wu ’23/Staff
Talking in the library. Graphic by Emmi Wu ’23/Staff


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