The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday February 5th

Davis Ready for Broader Clientele

The food and noise policies at Davis will stay the same despite the closing of the more relaxed Undergrad.

But Davis Library officials and librarians say that by not changing food and noise policies in Davis, students accustomed to the Undergrad will learn to adjust to the new environment.

"We'll have the same food and noise policies that we've always had, even with the increased traffic," said Joe Hewitt, associate provost for University libraries.

Unlike the Undergrad, Davis does not allow any food to be eaten within the building, a policy that Davis librarians and officials say will be enforced through an increase in hired security.

"We recently established security guards to patrol the lower levels for food," said Clifton Barnett, a Davis staff member at the circulation desk.

But Hewitt said the noise policy in Davis will require student enforcement. "Noise is something we hope students will control themselves by asking others to display courtesy," he said.

Hewitt also said noise complaints from students will be handled by full-time employees trained to deal with the situation.

"We don't want just any employee approaching a student," he said, citing an incident last year caused by an employee trying to handle noise complaints in an overly confrontational manner.

Barnett said that the circulation desk staff, along with the security guards, can handle complaints relayed by the reference librarians or students.

But Carol Tobin, who heads the reference desk at Davis, said that the responsibility of dealing with concerns varies according to the complaint.

"It depends on the situation," she said.

"We may talk to the person ourselves, go to the circulation desk or call security."

Whether such complaints will arise is something library officials say is too hard to predict and will require some flexibility in policies and services.

"Our policy is not going to be static; it will be responsive," said Diane Strauss, the associate university librarian for public services.

"We may not have anticipated all the student needs that will arise."

Hewitt said that one possible change in Davis policies is making study rooms available only by appointment, which would help deal with overcrowding.

"The policy as it stands is that a single student using a study room can be moved out by a group wanting to use the room, but a lot of students don't feel comfortable telling someone to leave," he said.

Davis librarians said that with the migration of students from the Undergrad, the change in the dynamics of Davis can not be foreseen.

"One thing we can't predict is whether the atmosphere of the Undergrad will come over to Davis or whether the atmosphere of Davis will impact the new students," Tobin said.

But Strauss said she is confident that the current atmosphere of Davis will not clash with its differences from the Undergrad.

"I know there's a different perceived culture between the two libraries, but I think students will respect the need for quiet in Davis, and there won't be too many problems."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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