Noise Policy

Firestone Library

Today's Hours

For summer, holidays or recess hours, please consult the full schedule.

Contact Us

Firestone Study Areas by Noise Level

Firestone Library offers multiple environments for working, from silent individual study to group collaboration. The following is intended as a guide to help you select an area of the Library most appropriate for your work. 

The entire library is intended for academic engagement. It is not a place that should ever be rowdy or boisterous. Spaces not noted below as silent or conversation are quiet. 

In general: 

  • Audio should be listened to with headphones in and the volume should not be so loud that another person sitting near you can hear. 
  • Zoom and cell phone conversations should never be held in quiet or silent zones. 
  • Areas near service points, offices, stairs, elevators, printers and classrooms may, at times, be noisier. If you are looking for truly quiet study, seating in the stacks or around the perimeter of the library may be best. 

Silent Zones by Floor

The following spaces have doors so that ambient sound and quiet conversation is less likely to disturb study.

  • First Floor: Trustee Reading Room; Dulles Reading Room
  • Second Floor: Reading Room 2-7J*
  • Third Floor: Elfers Reading Room
  • A-Floor: Cheng Family Reading Room (History Reference)*
  • B-Floor: African American Studies Reading Room

*Silent unless being used as a meeting or group study room. 

Conversation Zones on the First Floor

Most areas of the first floor are designated as conversation zones. These include the Tiger Tea Room, the Discovery Hub adjacent to the Information Desk and printers, seating near the Holden collection, and the lobby. If you are studying with friends, these spaces are ideal. 

Sound Level Definitions

  • Silent: No talking, cell phones off; the only noise is the sound of turning pages and a chair being pulled out from a table
  • Quiet: Minimal talking, cell phones set to vibrate; there may be ambient sound but there should be no full-volume conversations
  • Conversation: Speaking at normal volume is ok, cell phone are still set to vibrate; these are areas where people are working together

Group Study Rooms

Book a group study room. If you have questions, please email

Tiger Tea Room

The Tiger Tea Room at Firestone Library offers coffee, tea, pastries, and sandwiches. For hours visit the Campus Dining website