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Title: Fine-tuning the acoustics of libraries at colleges and universities
Authors: Rosenbaum, Joyce E.
Krumhansl, Carol L.
Hove, Michael J.
Keywords: academic libraries
building design
Issue Date: Mar-2007
Publisher: Cornell University, Department of Physics and Department of Psychology
Abstract: The research to be discussed in this paper seeks to discover if the acoustics of library spaces matters in people's preferences for different rooms and if it affects people's performance in their work. This research consists of three different types of examination and analysis which seek to study the effects and significance of acoustical conditions in libraries from three different angles and with three different kinds of support. The first component, Library Activity Observations, was used to determine if the activities performed in each library room were intrinsic to that space, rather than a result of the kinds of work the average student needs to complete. The second component, Acoustical Measurements, was used to determine if the acoustic characteristics of a room were correlated with a student's decisions to work on different kinds of tasks in different spaces. The third component, the Cognitive Task Experiment, was used to determine if acoustical conditions not only influenced people's preferences for study spaces, but also their performance on different tasks.
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