>What Happened to Silence in the Library?



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?


7 responses to “>What Happened to Silence in the Library?

  1. >I dont think your old school at all – I think that's just being rude 😦 Sad state of affairs this worlds in.

  2. >Oh, eating and drinking in the library would be really annoying, and then talking on her cell? That's just rude to everyone around her! I agree with you. The library should be a place of silence.

  3. >hehehe I love your sound effects! I know what you mean. My local library is combined with the council/bank/postoffice so it can be quite noisy, so thats ok. But last time I visited the big library in the next town there was a woman with a couple of kids, they were running riot, she was yelling and the library staff did nothing to stop it. I was horrified as I still think of the library as a peaceful, relaxing place to be. If my kids even speak a bit loud, I say 'shhhhhh' :o)

  4. >Nah, you're not old school. What you've encountered is becoming more of an issue everywhere I think. Luckily, our library is still quiet and most of the time the patrons are respectful of maintaining the quiet environment. There is such a thing as 'library etiquette' IMHO. Like you, I would have had to give it up too. If the librarians aren't ssshing people, what else can you do?

  5. >Angie I don't know if I have ever spent time in a library – I go in, get my books and go…. too much activity for me to read there – noize and/or movement.

  6. >Like Sheila, I run in, get my books on hold and go. But you're right! While I AM in there, I notice how loud it is in there, especially after school. I notice the same thing in doctor's offices where people just let their kids run wild and be loud. Things are definitely changin'. And not for the better either. Sad.

  7. >! I agree with you. The library should be a place of silence. Work from home India

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