Noisy libraries have become the norm because of an increase in people talking, eating and entertaining. These libraries have lost the distinct quality of quiet.
The library proper has become the meeting place, the group study area, the lunchroom, the theatre and the chitchat lounge. Quiet space has been relegated to back/side rooms.
An improvement in the layout of libraries would help. The open, main areas need to be quiet spaces. Then, when you enter you immediately know that you are in a different place, a place that is in sharp contrast to the world outside the door you just came through. If people need to study together, chitchat, or even talk to themselves—group study rooms are the place to go. The library’s overall quiet ambiance is then unmistakable.
Let’s remember a library is first and foremost a place for QUIET individual reading, writing, study and contemplation. If you love to talk, please remember that a library isn’t the place to practice your craft. To understand the importance of SILENCE click here. The digital age makes policymakers question a library’s future. A library that promotes its distinction as one of the last bastions of quiet has a greater chance of survival.