Lately I have been frequenting the library more often then usual and one thing I’ve noticed is that no one knows how to be quiet in the library anymore. When I was a youngster (and really it was not all that long ago) a library was a place of solitude. Students went there to use the encyclopedias for research (okay, maybe longer ago then I want to admit), parents went there to check out books for their children and the older generation checked out novels and read the newspaper.
I know the times they are a changin’. Now more and more students as well as adults are bringing their laptops to the library to do their research or their work. And while I can live with the clickety clack of the computer keyboards- what I can not deal with is all the extra unnecessary noise.
Tonight for instance I stopped off at the library to do some research between work and a meeting. I was doing just fine until a young lady in her early 20’s set up her laptop next to mine. Her volume must have been on high because when the computer booted up the Windows music was really blasting. Then the website she clicked on had some crazy special effects noises which she did turn down as she loudly “shushed” her computer. While noisily rummaging through her tote bag she pulled out a large bottle of water (did she not see the No Food or Drink in the Library sign posted at the door?) and proceeded to “glug, glug, glug” it until it was almost gone. Next came the “crinkle, crinkle” of a candy wrapper (again I refer to the sign) before her cell phone rang and she answered that giggling with a friend.
At this point I powered down my laptop and packed it away. Am I too “old school” as my 14-year old thinks or should I still be able expect silence in the library?