On behalf of the UFV Library, I’d like to respond to Katie Stobbart’s opinion piece in the May 8, 2013 issue of The Cascade.
In order to facilitate the different needs of library users, the UFV Library has established zones for quiet conversation and for silent study. In Abbotsford, the entire first floor is designated as “Quiet Conversation.” Since 2008, we have removed the majority of the individual study carrels, and replaced them with group study tables and chairs. We have also added some clusters of comfortable easy chairs. This revamped area is a popular place for small groups to meet and converse, and for individuals who prefer to spread their work out on a table. The area is light and bright, with a great feeling of openness. Conversations abound.
For library users who need a more silent atmosphere in order to concentrate, the second floor is designated as the “Silent Study” zone, with individual study carrels only. The expectation in this area is for users to study independently, without conversation. I agree with Katie that these carrels are large, enclosing, light-blocking cubicles. We have been gradually replacing these carrels with smaller, lower-sided carrels. I hope that we receive more capital funding in the future to continue to update this furniture.
For more details on the library’s study zones, please see the UFV Library Noise Policy on our website.
University Librarian (Interim)