Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No Longer a Quiet Safe Haven

Unfortuantly public libraries have become less and less of a quiet place to study or read books and more of a busy, bustling, and often loud technology cafe, teen hang out, and a preschool all under one roof. While most of these are welcome changes, it appears the common curtesy of maintaining a quiet enviroment for those who may be studying or reading has faded with the times. As a patron and a former library staff, it has become increasingly frustrating for me because our local public libraries are becoming ridiciously loud due to the part of inconsiderate and outright rude patrons and even staff! Also, it has been my experience that librarians and staff are increasingly becoming more hesitant to ask a patron to take steps towards remedying the noise they are causing for fear of *gasp* offending the patron. Sure, nobody likes a grumpy librarian, but no one likes a headache, either! So in closing I ask of this:

1) Please set your cellphone ringers to silent or vibrate mode.

2) Please make haste to the foyer/entrance or a designated area of the library when receiving a call or to make a call on your cellphone, as to avoid disturbing the other patrons.

3) Parents, please teach your children and reinforce library manners, starting at a young age, i.e. to use an indoor voice; walk, not run in the library; and to not climb library furniture or bookcases like they are a junglegym.) And if your child is being disruptive (yelling/screaming, crying, temper tantrumming), please remove them to the foyer/entrance or your vehicle.

4) Parents, the library staff are not your babysitters, nor do they get paid to be your sitter, if your child is under the age of 12, please have a designated guardian stay in the library with them (this could be an older sibling, a neighbor, an after school sitter, a grandparent, or an aunt or uncle) and have a designated pick-up time so the library staff does not get stuck babysitting your child after the library closes.

5) Please do not hold conversations by yelling accross the room, instead walk over to the person. You will not only save others a headache, but your message will be much clearier as well.

6) Library staff, you have been just as culpable: Please moniter the volume level of your conversations, with patrons and other staff.

7) Library staff, please don't allow teens to gather around computer stations, as their excitement over their friend's updated Myspace page, the newest video game, or the latest school gossip may become disruptive for their neighbor at the next computer station over.

In taking these steps, we will be working towards creating a quiet enviroment, which is more conductive to learning, as well as considerate to others.

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