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This was a Q&A in Dear Amy in the Tribune today. Do you agree with her answer? My library has changed in that databases/internet/computers are available, along with videos, etc., in addition to books. But you still have to be quiet and people still read.

quote:
Dear Amy: When I was in school, libraries were places where people went to read and study in a quiet environment. Librarians quickly squelched noisemakers with a "shush" and stern gaze.

I have recently begun frequenting local city and university libraries, as I am researching various issues related to starting a company. However, the noise level at these libraries, without exception, makes it virtually impossible for me to concentrate.

I'm sitting at a local branch of a city library. Children are running around talking loudly, and their parents respond in kind.

Staff members speak at a normal volume, making no effort to set an example for patrons. Other patrons answer cellphones at a normal volume. Not 10 feet from me, two people are talking loudly while using a public computer.

I recently went to a multistory library at a local university. Two floors were designated "Quiet Zones." The entire library should be a quiet zone!

Whenever I ask people to please be quiet, they react like I am crazy to expect quiet in a library.

Am I crazy?

— Frazzled

Dear Frazzled: Crazy? No, but you are very much behind the times. Today's libraries are morphing into community centers, with cafes, Wi-Fi, public computer terminals and, yes, kids.

I happen to think this is just right. If you want quiet, you can still find it in designated spaces at the library — or at home. Wearing earphones might help you stay in "the zone."
 
Posts: 23290 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Wearing earphones might help you stay in "the zone."

Is this now a necessary piece of modern equipment to cope with acoustic society?

Unfortunately, my new library has many of the same features and noise problems. In addition, the main library is at the extreme rear of the building. The requires everyone wanting a book has to walk the entire length of the building, a real problem for those with walking difficulties (as I recently had for a few years). Everything for the more nimble was located just inside the door. Great planning.

I think it is indicative of the architect's abilities that, when the model was presented for inspection (before construction began), I pointed out to the director that the drive-up book deposit was located on the wrong side of the building and was in the middle of the entrance lane. It was moved to the other side of the building, the correct spot.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
Posts: 5994 | Location: Rhode IslandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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The libraries I've been in recently were still mostly quiet. Since I detest noisy environments, I consider a library to be a refuge from everywhere else. The woman who responded to Frazzled's query is, IMHO, a first rate jerk. While noise might be ubiquitous, it is not right.
 
Posts: 4432 | Location: In a cornfield in central IndianaReply With QuoteReport This Post
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