Please enjoy the fourth installment of Ask Ms. Shelved, the irregularly scheduled advice column from HHSL!


Dear Ms Shelved:

 Last night I studied, stressed and sleepy, sitting on the 7th floor,
And heard a phantom laugh–so creepy!–from behind a closèd door…

Oh, sorry about that…I still regret not being an English major.

What I mean to say is that I was on the quiet floor and everyone around me was working independently in carrels, but I could sometimes hear voices coming from different areas of the floor. Is the library CuRsEd??? Are these unsettling utterances the work of the phantoms of past pupils… crying out in eternal agony about an exam they never quite felt prepared for? Will a ghastly ghoul set upon me should I fall asleep at my books? Please let me know, for I am quite spooked and not at all procrastinating.  


Haunted in Hirsh


Dear Haunted,

Well, you certainly do have an active imagination. Perhaps you should consider creative writing as a hobby.

Fortunately, these voices you hear are not the work of otherworldly spirits, but rather the high spirits of your fellow (living) students. The group study rooms are not soundproof, so when one gets overly enthusiastic about biochemical pathways, one’s voice might carry across the rest of the floor.

Let this serve as a reminder to those who use the rooms—be mindful of your volume! Though you might feel tucked away in your own private space, if you get too loud, you will perturb (or possibly spook!) one of your compatriots. A measured, “indoor” voice should suffice for communication.

And, my dear Haunted…might I suggest that you use headphones or earplugs? You can find both at the Library Service Desk. While we encourage the users of group study rooms to moderate their volume, total silence cannot be guaranteed. That being said, should niggling noises continue to break through your noise-dampening efforts, do not hesitate to gently ask the room occupants to be quieter. Or, if you are too timid, ask a friendly Library Service Desk staff member to speak to them.

Ever yours,

Ms. Shelved


A ghoul is specifically associated with graveyards, so even were the library to be haunted…it would not be by a ghoul. –M.S.

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