Ben Krimmel: Coming to a consensus on library etiquette

Since the days of Sesame Street’s Rock and Roll Readers, we’ve learned that a library is a place where “shushers” set the rules and whispers can be too loud.

The rules of etiquette are unwritten and understood. And aside from an occasional high-strung librarian, there aren’t usually people to remind us of them.

But new renovations to Gelman Library have thrown off the balance. With a spiffy new entrance to our library comes a problem: Is the new second floor part of the library or is it a lobby?

In a lobby, conversation is acceptable and folks can schmooze after stepping into a building. Polite chit chat followed by the removal of a coat and acclimation to a new surroundings is normal. But study spaces are, as we all know, quiet.

The new floor can’t be both.

It’s already difficult to study in Gelman: The din from the “superdorm” renovations can break any student’s most intense caffeine-fueled focus.

So here’s an idea: Once you break the revolving door threshold and shuffle into GW’s most recent multi-million dollar baby, let’s all agree to keep the conversation to a minimum.

If a conversation needs more time than the line for lattes at Gelbucks, then maybe it is best to set a lunch date for another time. Try The GW Deli, say, noon-ish.

Now, don’t get me wrong: The overwhelming majority of students understand the second floor protocol. The hardcore studiers are tucked away in the purple computer area on the left and the comfy post-modern study room on the right. With the amount of headphones in use, the occasional whisper won’t be cause for a Gelman kerfuffle.

There are still a handful of particularly oblivious group studiers, though – and they throw the whole balance off. They keep the library from staying quiet.

But even if we build a consensus that the second level of the library should be quiet space, the issue remains: Is a revolving door built for two?

The writer, a senior majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.