Re: group viewing rooms

Gail B. Fedak (
Fri, 26 Jun 1998 09:22:13 -0700

Rhonda Rosen wrote:

> hello,
> i am planning on renovating, remodeling, etc. our media area. currrently,
> we do not have any rooms set aside for group viewing, but i would like
> to include some in my plans. we have small groups of students studying
> slides and videos....
> anyways, from your experience, what do you think in terms of security?
> do i need them to be viewable from the main media area? someone here
> suggested that we have them acoustically designed, but have one wall glassed
> in so that we can monitor them -- seems like that would destroy the acoustics
> first off, and secondly for appropriate lighting, each room would have to be
> dark, and thus either 4 walls or closed shades which would defeat the security
> issue.....
> i'd love to hear from any of you who have group rooms....
> thanks,
> rhonda
> Rhonda Rosen
> **************************************************************************
> Loyola Marymount University phone: (310)338-4584
> 7900 Loyola Blvd. email:
> Los Angeles, CA 90045-8206 web page:
> personal/staff/rrosen/rhonda.htm
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We have two sizes of small viewing rooms, some that seat 2 people, others up to 6
people. For about 17 years, we had 9 of each. Because we have been "reorganized"
a couple of times since 1991, we now have only 3 such rooms. However, their use I
subsequently describe applies to the time when we had all 18 rooms as well as to
the remainaing 3. They are located across the room from the circulation desk and
recessed from the main wall. The architecture makes for a strange-looking
building from the outside, but works well from the inside. They are not
accoustically designed, but we have not had trouble with adjacent study groups
disturbing each other or patrons on the main floor. Viewing carrels are located
just a few feet away from the rooms' doors. The rooms have solid front walls, not
glass, but do have a long narrow window in the doors so we can determine if the
rooms are occupied, if patrons are consuming food, etc. without having to open the
doors and disturb occupants. Lighting, or elimination thereof, has not been a
problem. Because the doors do not face windows nor are in direct line of lighting
fixtures and because media equipment and projection screens do not face the
windowed door, we have not had complaints of lighting glare or the inability to
sufficiently darken the rooms. Actually, we have had students use our study rooms
because they say our study rooms are quieter than many of the group study rooms in
the library.

We leave viewing and projection equipment in the rooms at all times so we don't
need double space to set one unit of equipment. When we had 18 rooms, we kept
each locked when not in use. But with only 3 rooms and patrons required to sign
in before using them, we find locking is not necessary. We do lock at closing for
our own peace of mind. We have never had equipment stolen or intentionally

Good luck with your remodeling project. Hope this helps.

Gail B. Fedak
Instructional Media Resources
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132