FRUSTRATED students have complained that Europe’s first joint university and public library is too noisy to study in.
They claim that noise from children and people playing games and video clips on computers along with a shortage of study space was proving difficult.
However, John Ryan, the university’s pro vice chancellor (students), said the Hive, which it runs in conjunction with Worcestershire County Council, was proving very popular, particularly with first-year students.
He said a small number of second and third-year students had found it difficult to settle at the landmark library and the university was working to help them and address issues that had arisen.
Facebook user Rachael Smith said she was at her “wits end” with the library, which was officially opened by the Queen in July.
Her comment on the social-networking site read: “The critical point here is that university students and children want two very different things from a library and as we pay tuition fees for the “privilege” of using this space, we really ought to have a quiet place to work.”
Third-year student Hamza Ali posted a lengthy comment saying he was “beyond frustrated” and joined in calls for a student-only area which received more than 200 ‘likes’ from people in agreement. Students’ Union president Kynton Swingle said he was aware of the messages and had also received a few comments.
“We have not had the kind of response or detail that has been on Facebook but we have had a few grumblings,” he said. “We will make sure the university hear the students’ opinions and bring them to the attention of the relevant people.” Mr Swingle said that soon after the Hive opened students complained that it was too noisy and the university responded by increasing security.
The reopening of the Peirson Study and Guidance Centre at the St John’s campus following a major refurbishment will also provide more study space.
A PC booking system is to be implemented along with screens which show where people can find available computers.
Mr Ryan said: “We are doing something very different and very exciting. It was always inevitable that there would be teething problems.
“We have made huge progress and while there is more to do, the Hive offers students a wonderful facility.
“The university enjoys a strong and productive working relationship with the Students’ Union and will continue to ensure that student needs remain a priority.”