With reference to Kevin Sharpe's opinion piece "Quiet, please" (5 November), we'd like to make a number of points.
Librarians within higher education are trying to address a multitude of needs and are generally in close touch with the requirements of students (through student union representative contacts, surveys and such). As more and more student learning and assessment requires a group approach, appropriate spaces - accessible, flexible and technology enhanced - are at a premium. Because such space is often deficient elsewhere on campus, libraries have sought to fill the gap.
What is really needed is a coherent, well-informed and holistic cross-campus space strategy that fully underpins the university's academic strategy. This will result in spaces being identified appropriately, both for distributed learning and research, in a way that meets all needs.
Library senior management team, University of the West of England, Bristol.