At Libraries, Quiet Makes a Comeback

At Libraries, Quiet Makes a Comeback 1

Kendrick Brinson for The Chronicle

College libraries, like this one at Georgia Tech, are experimenting with so-called Walden zones, or deep quiet areas, designed to help students work free of the distractions of technology.

The buzzing of smartphones, the clacking of computer keys, the chatter of study groups: Academic libraries aren't the quiet temples to scholarship they used to be. Personal portable technology takes some of the blame. So does the current pedagogical emphasis on group work. In response to students' devices and habits, many libraries have installed coffee shops and embraced the learning-commons model of design, creating wired spaces where groups can gather and plug in.

Library quiet is