Although I am not a librarian, I do appreciate the library as a place for quiet study and contemplation. I know that the trend these days is for libraries to move away from their traditional image of stodgy, silent study halls to be more like fun places where one's entire mind and spirit can be engaged and entertained.
However, there is such a thing as taking this concept too far. I cannot count the times my quiet enjoyment of using my laptop in a library study carrel has been ruined by some small child having a screaming tantrum (the latest such episode was this very afternoon). In order to spend some quality time on-line I've had to put up with the following sampling of annoyances:
- ringing cell phones
cell phone conversations
laptops playing log-on and log-off sounds
chronic shuffling of papers, crinkling of plastic bags, twanging of rubber bands and zipping and unzipping of zippers as someone in the next study carrel takes hours to reorganize their overstuffed backpack
shrieking children child singing the entire ABC song, with a lengthy ad-libbed coda
someone in the next study carrel quietly clapping
someone in the next study carrel quietly snoring
someone in the next study carrel cracking their knuckles
elevator dinging every time the doors open
doors to the admin wing of the library slamming shut whenever staff go in or out
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for one's entire mind and spirit being engaged and entertained. I just prefer it happens quietly when in a library, that's all.
BTW, my local library has a separate "quiet study room," but computer use is not allowed in it, for some reason.