Library Sound Expectations and Policy

Historically, reading and research have been viewed as solitary activities. Libraries restricted noise to protect the concentration of those using the library for these purposes. This is still true, and we affirm the principle that libraries need quiet, comfortable, well-lit places for reading, writing, and contemplation.

The libraries at Kenyon have more roles, however. Classes are taught, meetings are held, and students consult with reference librarians and technology specialists. They are important places for faculty and students to work collaboratively on academic projects as well as a space to meet and socialize. Many of these activities necessitate a certain level of noise, while others require quiet. 

To accommodate the needs for both individual and collaborative study, different spaces have been designated across campus. We rely on our community to work together to insure that everyone's experience in our library spaces is productive and positive. As the library adjusts to the interim spaces and user needs, these expectations may evolve.

Library Building Service Areas And Sound Expectations

Conversations and library transactions occur in and around the following locations:

  • All of the service points; Research, Helpline and Circulation, in Library Building B
  • Library Conference Room A, in Library Building A
  • Library Classroom A08, in Library Building A [during a class] 
  • Greenslade Special Collections and Archives, in Library Building C
  • Group Study rooms, available in Library Building B and C
  • MultiMedia viewing room, Library Building B.
  • LBIS staff offices, in Library Building A, B, and C

Spaces for Quiet Study

Quiet conversations can take place, but long and animated personal conversations should move to another space. Group conversations at tables can continue in low tones. Sound levels are regulated on a peer-to-peer basis.

  • Library Building A, evenings and weekends (exceptions for classes, events, and employees working)
  • Library Building C, evenings and weekends  (exceptions for classes, events, and employees working)
  • Ascension -- Nu Phi Kappa (3rd floor) and Philomathesian (2nd floor)

We cannot guarantee constant quiet in the these spaces. Employees may need to talk to each other in these areas for business reasons, sound may bleed through walls from adjacent work areas, and people (like you!) will generate some noise (keyboard clicks, pages turning, coughing, etc.). These rules assume that students, staff, and faculty will take responsibility for abiding by the sound expectations.

*Special events occur in the classroom and lobby of Library Building A and the Greenslade Special Collections and Archives reading room in Library Building C. Staff may also be working in the various office locations during evenings and weekends. In those cases, the quiet rules of the library are relaxed. 


Cell phones are permitted in all study spaces, but we respectfully ask that you set them to vibrate. Brief calls may be permitted, but please take extended calls outside.