A Guide to Library Noise Levels and Etiquette

It’s 10:32 p.m. and while you’ve been working for six hours already, you know that you’re going to be sitting in the same graffiti-ridden carrel until the staff has to physically force you out. It’s bad enough that you’re in this situation in the first place, but to add insult to punishment, there is someone on the phone in the carrel next to yours. Do you say something? Do you passive-aggressively move while shooting them a dirty look? Fear not, Kenyonites, for here is a guide to noise, your tolerance for it and what to do when you encounter it delivered to you in a series of handy graphs:


Your tolerance increases during the final stretch, since any form of human activity becomes important and precious as you feel your own humanity slowly slipping away.

graph (1)

Slices of the Pie: Sophomore Girls, Fraternity Bros, Frazzled Members of a Group Project, Seniors Finished with Comps, Food Wrappers, People In Study Rooms/Carrels Who Don’t Realize They’re Not Soundproof, The Sound of Your Own Anxiety As Your Deadline Approaches.

graph (2)

Leave it to a history major to get a graph that randomly says “Noise Level” at the bottom.

Of course, there are many shifting variables in this equation, such as location in library, difficulty of assignment, tolerance of rude humans in general, etc. Another variable is if you’re one of the people making noise. If so, stop. It’s because of you that we have to write articles like this. Dishonor on you. Dishonor on your whole family.

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