LACUNY Mobile Technology Roundtable

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Orality in the Library: How Mobile Phones Challenge Our Understandings of Collaboration in Hybridize

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    Stefanie Havelka

    very interesting article – you can access it via Science Direct

    via Current Cites on 3/29/12
    In this article, the authors explore the tensions between the traditionally quiet atmosphere of the library, and the “increasingly vocal” users who are coming through the door, mobile phones in hand. Many libraries have morphed from a place for silent, independent work into an interactive area that is specifically built to encourage collaboration and group learning, but noise policies often do not consider the role of cell phones in collaboration. To explore this, the authors conducted a review of library and information center policies, observed and interviewed students, and also measured sound levels. They discuss some very interesting findings – including the fact that on average, cell phone users were 25 decibels quieter than people having face-to-face conversations, but were perceived to be louder. Overall this was a very interesting read and provides some good food for thought for any library that is struggling to bring policies more in line with user expectations and habits.

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