As previously mentioned, last Friday was the due date for 131/504. It is not an exaggeration to say students in the IRC were lined up five deep to make Ellison letters (we have 6 machines), muttering about the time it was taking to pick up print jobs (someone printed a 150 page article during a particularly busy time), and the table by the binder was full as students waited their turn to bind their final portfolio project. The noise level on the second floor was higher as discussion ensued regarding the best way to finish quickly. No one was exceptionally loud, everyone was using their "inside voices," but there was a constant muted conversational buzz throughout the day. During this time, no one mistakes the second floor of the library for quiet space. Not so during finals week.
Yesterday every computer, study table, and miscellaneous available work space on the second floor was occupied by students studying. The quiet, a definite contrast from last week, was almost deafening. In the midst of the quiet came a first for the IRC. On my way to lunch and then a technology search committee meeting at the College of Education, I was chatting with two student workers (I think dolls for toddlers might have been our subject) when a very polite young man came asked if he could shut the IRC door.
I was chagrined to realize that indeed we were the noisiest people in the IRC!