Background noise has a significant impact on our ability to relax, concentrate, meditate, and sleep. Rod Library provides spaces for those who want either silence (fourth floor) or a little chatter (second floor) while they work.
Several free Web-based noise generators are also available, if you're looking for a particular background sound while you study, or to set a particular mood for your classroom or office.
One library staff recommendation is MyNoise.net, created by Dr. Stéphane Pigeon, a research engineer and sound designer. MyNoise.Net boasts over 100 unique soundscapes (from coffee shops, to babbling brooks, to creepy dungeons), many of which are free to the public. A small donation unlocks the remaining channels. MyNoise.net features multiple tracks per 'soundscape', so that you can tweak volumes of individual tracks and save your own perfect custom soundscape URL. An iPhone app is available, and Android app is forthcoming.
Speaking as a sci-fi geek, I keep Stardust and Warp on together in my office, while I do my web development work. Coffee Shop is also great, if I just want to feel like I'm around people when I can't be.
Other free generators
Several other free generators are available, like SimplyNoise.com and Noisli.com. Many generators are also available as apps for iPhone and Android. And don't forget YouTube, which features a variety of soundscapes from many artists.
Do you use a white-noise or sound generator for studying? What's your recommendation? Let us know in the discussion below!