New study spaces help students find silence amidst library construction


Claire Seinsheimer

Junior Asher Moll takes advantage of the quiet study space to finish his homework.

In the midst of a busy day of classes, many students use their free period as an opportunity to get a little peace and quiet so they can catch up on homework. But with the Upper School library currently undergoing renovations, silence has become difficult to find.

Noticing the absence of a quiet study space for students, Upper School librarians Suzanne Webb and Peg Patrick instituted silent study halls in the Quad for students each carrier. Monitored by the librarians, the study spaces serve as temporary replacements for the silence formerly provided by the library.

“Some students can work just fine with a hubbub around them, but others can’t do it,” Patrick said. “We’re trying to provide a silent space where those students are able to find what they need.”

Because only the library is under construction, students still have alternative locations in which to collaborate with others. According to a recent poll of 101 students, 36 percent of students prefer studying in the Great Hall, 17 percent in the Quad and only 12 percent in classrooms. Still, Patrick says that parents were concerned about the lack of a silent work environment.

“It’s been a difficult year for students,” Patrick said. “On campus, there are plenty of places where [students] can sit in groups, but if you want silence, it’s hard to come by.”

According to Patrick, the new study spaces have attracted fewer students than expected, but the number of students utilizing the silent study rooms is on the rise—once, seven students attended in one carrier.

“When papers are due and tests happen, it’s going to be a much more popular space,” Patrick said. “We appreciate that students are using that space for the right reasons.”

Some students see the addition of the study spaces as a way to get away from noise and friends.

“I plan on using them several times a week,” sophomore Alex Konar said. “It’s quiet, so I can focus better. Having other people being loud is a distraction.”

The newly constructed library will eliminate the need for quiet study rooms as silent spaces will be incorporated into the library in the form of a reading room. There will also be 13 study commons, each accommodating two to six students.

The study spaces are available for Grades 10 through 12 in Q219 during A carrier, Q207 during B carrier and Q110 during C, D, E, F and G carriers.