CSUN Introduces New Library Noise Policy

  • New Library Policy indicates to students how loud they can be. Photo by Luis Garcia.

California State University, Northridge’s Oviatt Library is a focal point for students, faculty and members of the community — providing much more than a place to study.

This fall, library staff have unveiled three distinct noise-level areas, conveniently defined by the large building’s floors.

“Oftentimes [students] are alone and looking for a silent space to work without interruption, but sometimes they are working in a group and need an area that is more noise friendly,” said Jim Lunsford, special assistant to the dean of the library. “Our goal with the new Quiet Level Campaign and noise policy is to clearly delineate zones by library level, so that students are able to find a study space with noise levels that are most conducive to their needs.”

The Teacher Curriculum Center (TCC) on the garden level, the first-floor Learning Commons and the second floor of the library are labeled as “Social Levels.” The third floor is the “Quiet Level,” which allows for minimal noise levels for individual and small-group study. The fourth floor is strictly silent for students who may be preparing for an upcoming exam.

Lunsford credited student feedback as a major factor in the development of the Quiet Level Campaign.

“The response from a survey we conducted clearly showed that the overwhelming majority of students wanted the option of all three levels for different types of study,” Lunsford said.

According to Lunsford, the survey — conducted during finals week of the 2015 spring semester — showed that students were very supportive of a more defined noise policy and were interested in having more study environments available to them in the library.

“There’s a big difference [in the library] because now, students have options,” Guest Services Supervisor Mike Villalobos said. “If it’s too loud on the lower levels, people have the option to go to the fourth floor.”

By keeping the noise levels separated by floors, the updated policy clearly communicates to guests that the higher they go, the more quiet they will find.

“The new library noise policy is extremely beneficial to our students,” Associated Students President Jorge Reyes said. “This will help students select their area of study a lot more efficiently.”