Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Commentary on SW library noise

Robyn Clark-Burns of Valley Station has written to me about a subject that has been on her mind lately. I have edited it for clarity and am posting it here with her permission. If you would like to write a guest commentary, please contact me.

As recently as Saturday May 16, 2012, I spent a good part of my day at the local SW library by Wal-Mart and Radio Shack on Dixie Hwy. My air conditioning went out at home, so I decided to take advantage of some "free" cool air at the Library as well as reading a book and futzing around with my new Kindle Fire - and the Library offers "Free Wi-Fi" .. So a  few "Freebies" I latched onto while visiting.

Since I am not a "regular" library hanger outer.. I usually run in.. check the cork boards to see what is going on locally and browse the New Book Arrival and check to see if there are any free library seminars coming up, I grab my book I put on a request - via the website the LFPL has. Then, I leave.

Saturday was different. I was there longer than my normal visit. I found a comfy chair near where the magazines and newspapers are in the front of the place. I dragged out my 1000 page novel I was trying to get going on and relaxed.

In the door comes a few "non library" types. I just observed. I am and a people watcher and can tell who is a reader and a library connoisseur and who is not.

Here is my bitch:  What happened to being quiet in libraries?  I was sitting there reading my book and two "street peeps" plop down their dirty-clothed behinds on the chairs next to me and crack up a conversation. Not a quiet one, but loud and rude. I understand folks with no air conditioning on a 90 degree day want to take advantage of the cool air as I was doing, but c'mon! Loud bar-room banter in a library is just plain "out there".
I shushed them and the look I got was one that they wanted to bitch slap me, so I moved to another location near the PC's.

It was worse. Cell phones ringing off, people talking in their Bluetooth devices like they were schizos, chattering about shit that should not be said or heard in the library at all. Funny, the kids on the PC's and in the book reading areas were quiet as church mice. It was the friggin adults!  What happened to quiet libraries and courtesy to others who are there for learning, reading, thinking and just plain taking in the scent of books old and new.

I remember when I was younger in the school library or the public one, if you made a peep the librarian shot fire from her eyeballs at you so you did not make a sound. EVER! It was like a mind meld from Dr. Spock -via the scary librarian. DO NOT MAKE A SOUND OR YOU DIE!

Don't get me wrong. I love technology. Cell phones, tablets, PC 's etc.. but please, when there is a posted sign in an institution such as a library, please wake up! Have some courtesy for others and TURN OFF THOSE BLASTED ARTIFICIAL BODY PARTS YOU CALL SMART PHONES. Do you really need to chat up with your buddies on the phone while being in the library, disturbing the tranquility of the environment and others folks peace of mind while visiting?

The Librarian was not even paying attention to the racket going on.. That is another disturbing thing I observed also. What ever happened to the fiery eyeballs?

Thanks for reading, Robyn Clark-Burns

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