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Thursday, October 6 • 14:25 - 15:10
Raspberry Pi Prototype Project: Measuring and Displaying Noise Levels in an Academic Library

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Problems associated with noise in academic libraries are an ongoing concern for patrons and library administration. Loudness is subjective, so what may be noisy to one person is acceptable to another. In our pilot project, we used sensors to measure decibel levels in order to quantify what is “silent” versus what is “quiet”. Decibel measurement data were visualized on screens, allowing visitors to see the noise levels in their area or in other areas of the library. This display allowed visitors to choose the area with the right amount of noise for their purposes (e.g., 2 students working quietly together would go to a semi-silent area; whereas 1 student going to read a book would want to pick the quietest area in the library). In addition, decibel levels taken at regular intervals were sent to a database which could be queried in order to make informed and targeted interventions.
We used an Arduino microcontroller with a decibel measurement sensor which continually measured the decibel levels in an area. A Raspberry Pi computer collected this data from the connected Arduino and the Python programming language was used to format this data to display on multiple screens with HTML5, jQuery and Google Charts.
This prototype project is ongoing and presenters will provide a demonstration of how the Arduino and Raspberry Pi work together to display the noise levels. Results and conclusions drawn from the pilot project will help inform library policies on space planning, library services, and enhancing the user experience.

avatar for Pamela Carson

Pamela Carson

Web Services Librarian, Concordia University
Web Services LibrarianConcordia University
avatar for Janice Kung

Janice Kung

Librarian, University of Alberta
Public Services Librarian John W. Scott Health Sciences Library

Thursday October 6, 2016 14:25 - 15:10 ADT
Wu Auditorium