Library Acoustics

/Library Acoustics
Library Acoustics 2017-08-23T12:01:29+00:00

Library Acoustics For User Comfort & Comprehension

Not all spaces requiring acoustic treatments are noisy and clamorous. In spaces where quiet is encouraged, noises can pierce peaceful atmospheres and cause significant disruption to users. Libraries stand as evidence of this.

Footfall and other activity in libraries can raise noise levels to a point where it becomes distracting if effective acoustics are not in place. Libraries also need to facilitate collaborative learning, open communication and discussions between staff and library users. Therefore, library acoustics need to be flexible enough to provide quiet and ability to concentrate, whilst also allowing users to users to openly communicate.

Every environment governs the behaviour of its users, and libraries are no exception. Old libraries and modern libraries are strikingly different in design and layout, significantly altering the behaviour of its users. In turn, this affects the rooms’ sound environment and the acoustic treatments required to achieve a comfortable sound environment.


The library at Spain’s University of Salamanca is representative of the lofty, hard surfaced design of old libraries.

The key features of old libraries include:

  • High ceilings.
  • Hard floor surfaces, often marble or wood.
  • Large empty spaces, often with built in bookcases.
  • High, arching glass work.

The result is a highly reverberant and ‘dry’ acoustic environment. While noise is inefficiently disposed of in old libraries and echoes are often apparent, users are often hyper aware of any noise created and therefore moderate their behaviour to minimise noise in the space. This means that any noise that is generated in this space is likely to pierce through the quiet environment and have a ‘pin drop’ effect.


Resonics provided an acoustic treatment to the Southsea Library in Portsmouth. The space is reflective of a typical modern library design.

In contrast to the grand designs of traditional libraries, modern libraries are much more modest in design:

  • Often smaller, community spaces.
  • Low level ceilings creating compressed spaces.
  • Use of softer, more absorptive materials such as carpets and curtains.
  • Exposed bookstacks filling otherwise hollow spaces.

Whilst these spaces are somewhat effective at disposing of noise, they promote the production of more noise from users who aren’t as aware of the reverberation and echo caused by their noise.

Additionally, these spaces are more community oriented, often used for larger, more collaborative learning groups, including children. The result is a more bustling environment compared to older, more academically-focused libraries; with greater noise disruption to other users.

Our Work In Libraries

Why Choose Us

  • Our acoustic survey, full design and no obligation quotation service is completely free of charge throughout the UK.
  • We focus on design, creating innovative, visually pleasing installations.
  • Our noise assessment and design process ensures we specify the exact quantity of acoustic treatment required. Ensuring there is little waste and our customers are not over spending.
  • We work closely with the leading acoustic product manufacturers to get the best prices for our customers.
  • Our installers have a wealth of experience and knowledge meaning they can install even the most complex of acoustic systems.

What Clients Say

It has made a huge difference for both the dining hall and the gym. Everyone loves it – especially the teachers!!
Chantelle, Langford Primary School
The Resonics installation at The Glebe Centre was completed courteously, efficiently, on time and to budget. The improvement was immediately obvious.
John, All Saints Church
Thank you. I am delighted with the quality of the work. The final solution, attitude and communication were excellent.
Adrian Allen, AKA
We are absolutely delighted with the work! What a difference to the acoustics of the hall – so much better! 
Dianne, Drummuir Village Hall, Scotland
We are delighted with the work and attention to detail – especially in designing an interesting and aesthetic layout. There is also, of course, a considerable improvement in acoustic performance.
Jim, Desford Community Hall
Thank you very much for your work it has made a vast amount of difference to the atmosphere and means quite a lot of people can work in the same room without annoying each other
Anne, Longhurst Group
The panels have made a significant difference to the noise level in the restaurant and we have had lots of positive feedback from customers. I would like to thank you and your team for providing this solution and the high level of service.
Anna, Brodie Country Fair Restaurant

We offer a range of acoustic solutions for libraries experiencing acoustic issues. Contact us to get a quote or to arrange a free-of-charge acoustic survey and consultation.

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