I went to the library the other day to write a paper, and a group of noisy students, gathered in one of the study rooms, constantly disturbed my writing. Soon, the noise in the library reached an obnoxious level, with much chit-chat and laughter, and my concentration level decreased significantly. Although the librarian asked the students to keep quiet, the students ignored the request and continued chattering. I had to leave and continue my writing elsewhere.
The incident at the library did not happen for only that one time. Our library is always noisy, at least, that is the case every time I am there.
Libraries at universities offer a learning environment to support the institution’s curriculum and to provide assistance for research and educational purposes for students, faculty, and staff. When we think of libraries, we often conjure up images of quietness and peace, but that is not the case with our library.
One explanation of the reason for norm violations is introduced in the article Breaking the Rules to Rise to Power: How Norm Violators Gain Power in the Eyes of Others, published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal. The article studies how violating norms signals power. According to the study, norm violation implies that people have the power to act in a way that satisfies their own volition. The article supports this hypothesis by experimenting four different scenarios, in which people who violated norms were perceived as more powerful than those who did not. The study concludes that norm violations augment the individual’s power, therefore causing a self-perpetuating sequence of power and immortality.
The research also suggests that norm violation can be understood in terms of volition inferences. This means that norm violators have the capacity to act the way they want and believe they have power. Based on this analysis, it is possible that some AUA students violate norms to have the power of willing and act as they please. Then willpower could be the reason behind all the nosiness in our library.
Well, guess what? Violating norms and being noisy at the library does not make us more powerful, it just makes us uncivilized and inconsiderate of others. Let’s forget about the library’s regulations and think about norms. If we use our common sense and understand that a library is a learning hub; we can also realize that we should guarantee silence for fellow students, so they can concentrate on the tasks at their hands.
So, if you are a shusher then great, because AUA’s library definitely needs some.