When you think of a library, the first thing that comes to mind is probably books. But what’s the second thing? Is it quiet? Those looking for a silent, comfortable spot to work or study seek out a library as one of the most popular places for peace and quiet.
Whether you’re working on a public library, a university library or even a private in-home space, soundproofing is a must-have. If you want to create an environment conducive to focus and productivity, you’ll have to make efforts to overcome common library noise problems that can occur.
Your library is an important part of the community. Parents share the joy of reading with their children, neighbors socialize and discuss the latest read in their book club, and students work hard at achieving their goals.
Libraries need to have quiet places of concentration and reflection. They also need to offer areas of communication and fellowship.
However, without proper library soundproofing, the mission of the library isn’t achieved. Voices travel from chatting groups into private study areas. Group discussion rooms with poor sound quality make effective communication difficult.
Libraries come to Soundproof Cow to improve their acoustics and meet the needs of their community. Often, once library soundproofing is installed and the public experiences the benefits, membership and donations increase. In the end, by improving the function of the library with library soundproofing, they strengthen their role in the community.
What Can Library Soundproofing Do for You?
Your library is a setting for hushed study, browsing book collections, exploring new worlds through reading, conducting research on the internet and engaging with words, whether that’s through writing a paper, organizing information, learning about new topics or discovering storylines for pleasure. You want visitors and users to have the best experience possible, and part of that is the peace of mind to disappear within words.
A rowdy environment or intrusive noises from outside provide just the opposite, however. Purchasing materials for library sound absorption can help create an atmosphere that encourages quiet learning. Here’s how soundproofing your library can benefit you:
Decrease distractions. Undergraduates, thesis students and high schoolers use libraries to get the quiet they need to concentrate on researching and writing papers away from the noise and distractions of roommates, family members and crowded places or home settings. Book-lovers like to settle into a cozy chair by the window and escape reality by delving into a good book. Unnecessary noise from streets outside or voices in other areas can take away from the enjoyment and concentration library lovers depend on. Library soundproofing prevents this annoyance by keeping noise contained where it should be so your students and readers aren’t disturbed.
Create different types of spaces. In addition to its book and periodical offerings, your library can play a number of roles and serve various needs of the myriad people who visit it. While some come to read, others come to study, write papers, research online, hold book clubs, gather study groups or attend events such as readings, signings or seminars.
Supporting all your members means creating separate spaces to allow every type of activity they might come for. You may want a quiet reading area, a computer room, a study zone, a kids corner and a couple of spaces for speakers or group meetings. To make sure each of these activities stays in its own space without creating noises to disturb the others, soundproof each room or wall. The sound absorption will create the separation needed to support the various uses of your library.
Encourage more visitors and attract donors. With happy readers, writers, families and event attendees, your library will have a positive reputation for being a multipurpose space in which individuals can enjoy the privacy and quiet they need to conduct their activities. In this way, library soundproofing contributes to success and better chances of donations because everyone can better appreciate and enjoy the space.
Shut Out the Noise With Soundproof Cow
Ready to guard your library against outside and crossover sound, making sure visitors have the best experience possible? Trust Soundproof Cow for your library soundproofing. With top-quality panels, pads, systems and insulation for soundproofing for a library, we make sure every space is equipped to meet clients’ specific needs. Browse our products or request an acoustic analysis today.
Ways to Reduce Noise in Libraries
Though libraries are known for their silence, they have several challenges to overcome to remain quiet — including guests with varying work and study habits, lots of furnishings for noise to bounce off of and high ceilings where sound can carry across the building. Soundproofing materials that are built into the walls are one popular approach. But sometimes you need a little more sound reduction, or perhaps the library is already built and you can’t tear down the drywall.
Fortunately, there are many ways to minimize noise in these establishments, many of which don’t require construction.
1. Acoustical Foam
Acoustical foam is a fascinatingly simple approach to sound and reverberations. Essentially, it absorbs the sounds that hit it, minimizing any echoes. This foam is cost-effective and very easy to use, often sitting on top of an existing wall. It’s great for retrofitting your current building with soundproofing measures.
2. Absorption Panels
Simple absorption panels work similarly to acoustical foam in that they can effectively absorb sounds that reach them. They also attach to existing walls and offer a sleek design that can look more like an interior design choice.
3. Soundproof Membranes
Soundproofing membranes are a long-term option you can use during the construction phase of building design. These membranes go inside the walls and are made of Mass Loaded Vinyl, which prevents sounds from traveling through them like a paper-thin apartment wall.
4. Soundproof Curtains
A soundproof curtain is just what it sounds like — a curtain that blocks sounds. These are great for cubby areas and outdoor-facing windows where they can eliminate outside noise. If the library is situated in a busy metro area, soundproof curtains could be a good option to reduce the sounds of the city buzzing by.
5. Door Seals and Sweeps
Libraries typically have a variety of private rooms for people to do group work or use presentation resources. Gaps in the doors of these rooms can allow sound to reach the rest of the library. Door seals and sweeps create tight fits around the edges of a door, so minimal sound escapes through them.
Reasons to Soundproof Your Library
Is it really that big of a deal to make a library quiet? A few noises here and there surely aren’t hurting anyone, right? That may have been the case a few decades ago, but since then, libraries have become bustling hubs for collaboration and technology.
With all these new developments come new noises. People may click away on their laptops, chat with their group partners or scribble down some notes, all of which are sounds that quickly add up when you’re looking for total silence. How can you address these sounds without squashing collaboration or innovation? With soundproofing measures, you can control the sounds in your library and keep group spaces or technology areas from overtaking traditional quiet spaces.
One study conducted at the Glucksman Library at the University of Limerick in Ireland showed that library noise reduction measures significantly improved students’ perceptions of quietness. These noise reduction methods didn’t detract from the feel of the library or other important aspects, but greatly boosted the perception of a quiet space. Following soundproofing, student responses on a survey about the library showed the quiet space improved almost twice as much as other most-improved questions and three times as much as the overall library improvement.
Another component of that survey was comments about noise levels. The change in noise was easily perceptible and people were noticing its effects. Comments about the noise went from 35% in 2007 to just 8.6% in 2014, showing that people responded to this change.
Students and people who are working will notice when their workspace is too loud. It’s impossible not to notice the jabber of a crowd doing work next to you or someone clicking loudly on their laptop. Some people say they work better with background noise, but typically it’s only white noise that helps productivity — chatter and conversation tend to be distracting.
Creating soundproof areas and reducing overall library noise allows your visitors to focus, enjoy their time at the library and get more work done.
Best Products for Soundproofing Your Library
When it comes time to soundproof your library, you have a wide array of options. You can install features as you build from the ground up or insert sound-dampening equipment to limit the movement of sound waves without tearing up the walls. Below are some popular products we carry for library soundproofing.
Isotrax™ is a multi-faceted system that goes in before the wall is built. Though the science behind it is a little complex, this system prevents sound waves from traveling through dense materials like drywall and sheetrock and into neighboring spaces. Installation is straightforward and only requires basic construction skills.
With a Quiet Barrier™ system, you can dampen the sounds within a space and keep other sounds from getting in. The Quiet Barrier™ material roll is low-profile, with easy installation and a variety of options. Some of these options are better suited for different types of sounds, but Quiet Barrier™ MD is the best choice for the everyday conversations you’d find in a library.
Our acoustic panels offer a visually appealing soundproofing option. We print your choice of an image onto a piece of fabric with high-quality materials and rich colors and then wrap it around a sound-dampening acoustic panel. We can also use attractive fabrics in place of an image to match your interior decor. These panels look great on the wall or hanging from the ceiling and can help reduce sounds while maintaining the look of the library — whether that’s elegant, fun or something else entirely.
Echo Absorber™ Acoustic Cotton
With a lightweight construction, superior sound-dampening properties and fire code-friendly materials, Echo Absorber™ cotton panels are an excellent, cost-effective way to reduce the sounds in your library. They’re resistant to fungi, mold and mildew and are great for oddly-shaped areas. Plus, they work on all frequencies of sound, often better than other man-made substances.
Purchase Your Library Soundproofing Products at Soundproof Cow
If your library is getting a little too loud for your visitors’ tastes or you want to make sure a new construction is as quiet as possible, you need soundproofing products you can trust. After all, if you install ineffective soundproofing materials in a wall, it’s not exactly an easy fix if they don’t work.
At Soundproof Cow, we carry an array of high-performing acoustic materials for library use. Our products are backed by plenty of satisfied customers, and if you’re not sure where to start, we can help. Get in touch with our herd if you need some help or check out our online selection of library soundproofing supplies today.
I just wanted to let you know that in the end, sealing the air spaces on this door worked just fine and took care of the problem.
I really appreciate you taking so much time to share your expertise with me, and in particular recommending I try the simpler solution before investing in more expensive noise barriers. That is a big credit to you and your business.