New in the Library: Group Study Tables


Signage on group study tables (near entrance)

The Library is pleased to introduce two group study tables immediately inside the GC Library entrance. This offers library users a place to hold quiet conversation, away from the 1st floor dissertation reading room and the entire 2nd floor designated for quiet, individual study.

Graduate Center students consistently request that the GC Library be as quiet and as distraction-free as possible without excessive policing. Inevitably, however, students need space to have conversation or to collaborate on a project with others. This designated space, near the library entrance and the library circulation desk, is necessarily one of the library’s least quiet places given that library and security staff must speak with people entering the library and borrowing books.

GC library provides a couple of additional super quiet spots: the Dissertation Reading Room (1st floor) and, at the behest of the Doctoral Students’ Council Executive Committee, the northeast corner of the library’s 2nd floor.

As with all GC Library space, the super quiet spaces are peer-monitored. Instead of calling for security or librarian enforcers in the case of a perceived offense, we ask quiet study space users to ask others directly and politely to check any distracting behavior. Now, the group study tables offer an in-library location for groups to meet. Departmental lounges and the GC Dining Commons offer additional spaces for group study.

We also remind library users at the beginning of the year that while covered beverages are welcome in library space, eating is not. Library users are justifiably annoyed and certainly distracted by others eating snacks and meals in quiet study space.


Signage in Dissertation Reading Room and 2nd floor quiet space, respectively

About the Author

Prof. Polly Thistlethwaite is CUNY's Interim University Dean for Library Services.