Egg cartons soundproof walls of noisy MiniMudd library

By Rachel Schwartz

What appears to be textured wallpaper in MiniMudd library is really a puzzle of cardboard egg cartons plastered on the walls to soundproof the temporary space. Maintenance imported the cartons from Texas as a low-cost solution to the intense noise problem in the smaller library. Librarians didn’t want to invest in an expensive sound-abatement system like acoustic foam used in recording studios, but the echoing sound in MiniMudd was too much for them to handle.

Head Librarian Shannon Acedo spearheaded the initiative to soundproof the library.

“We didn’t realize that the amount of flat wall in the new space would echo when we moved in,” Acedo said.

She contacted the maintenance department to try and find a cheap solution and temporary.

Acedo said that they kept on discussing possibilities to solve the noise and the librarians brought up egg-cartons. Plant Manager Felipe Anguiano,took the request literally and found that egg carton producers market their product not only as packaging, but also as inexpensive tools for sound-abatement.

Although it took a few weeks for the materials made of paper pulp to arrive from Texas, the actual application took the crew two Saturdays in November.

“It makes a difference and I’m just thrilled with it,” said Acedo. “I think it looks cool too. That’s just a personal preference, but I think it looks like Japanese matting.”

Acedo added that she would like to let students decorate the cartons.

“That’s the freedom of something temporary,” she said. “You can do anything. It has been crazy for us this year. We’re off balance. Put some egg cartons on the wall — it’s not that crazy.”

For students who still feel the library is too noisy, noise-canceling headphones are available for checkout from the librarians’ desk. Students are allowed to use them in the library but cannot remove them from MiniMudd. 

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