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Monday December 6th

UNC Libraries hosts listening sessions on volume level in Davis

Second year exercise and sports science major Jordan Han causes a ruckus in a quiet first floor of Davis Library. Listening sessions were held on Oct. 7 and Oct. 8 for student to discuss the volume levels in Davis Library.
Buy Photos Second year exercise and sports science major Jordan Han causes a ruckus in a quiet first floor of Davis Library. Listening sessions were held on Oct. 7 and Oct. 8 for student to discuss the volume levels in Davis Library.

UPDATE: This article has been updated to include additional contact information for University Libraries

Prior to the pandemic, Davis Library was known to UNC students for its lively community, collaborative work environment and loud volume levels.

But as students have returned to campus, Davis has remained quiet.

“We know that there are a lot of students who are on campus for the first time this semester,” Community Engagement Librarian Emily Jack said. “And so we’ve heard that this has created some confusion around shared expectations of those shared spaces.”

Jack, along with Outreach Projects Librarian Karina Soni, decided to face Davis’ controversial volume levels by hosting two listening sessions for students to share their opinions.

“We have heard both direct and indirect comments and feedback about the noise levels in the space, just like hearing it from people, like the circulation desk, also from flyers and comments on TikTok and Yik Yak about the volume," Soni said. "It felt good to actually talk to students face to face and figure out what their needs were.”   

Jack and Soni led sessions on Thursday and Friday that allowed students to share their opinions about volume levels with their peers and library leadership. Students were also able to share what qualities of Davis they enjoy the most.  

“I like the windows in Davis,” first-year Erin Ma said. “I also like the furniture, the couches and any study rooms with whiteboards upstairs.”

Throughout the discussion session, many students agreed that the first, second and third floors of Davis should have a more social and talkative environment. The higher levels of the building, students said, should remain quiet. 

Jack and Soni suggested the idea of placing signs on each floor to establish the expected noise level. 

Soni, who also manages the University Libraries' social media accounts, said she received positive feedback through Instagram polls from students about the idea of creating the signs.

“Putting signs will definitely help,” junior Jerry Xu said. “Especially with new students this year, because they expect it to be quiet all the time but in the past it hasn’t.”

Library staff said they will continue to hear students' opinions and suggestions on noise level. 

“There are many different opinions on the spaces of Davis Library, and we’re trying to take all of them into account,” Soni said.  

Students can share their opinions by communicating with the Student Library Advisory Board. SLAB includes of a group of graduate and undergraduate students who are responsible for advising the University Libraries staff by talking with students and discussing ways to make libraries on campus better.

Students can also reach the University Libraries staff by messaging @unclibrary on Instagram or by email at libraryfeedback@office.unc.edu.

“We’re definitely grateful for the students who we’ve heard from so far," Jack said. "And it’s always appreciated knowing how much students really value the libraries.”

@CarsenSmith9

university@dailytarheel.com

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