Noisy Libraries

To those with ears to hear, libraries are really very noisy places. On their shelves we hear the captured voices of the centuries-old conversation that makes up our civilization. ~Timothy Healy

Recently, I posted the quote above on my Facebook page, and while I got several “likes,” the only comment came from someone who complained about cell phone conversations and screaming kids. It made me thing about how libraries have become more social places, with an increasing variety of resources and services available.While the public library I go to does seem “noisier” than the library I grew up going to, I witness a lot more interaction, overall, and I think that’s fabulous! I love walking around “my” public library and seeing all of the people and how they interact in the space and with other people, including other patrons and library staff. Just recently, I’ve witnessed a singing, dancing, clapping storytime in the middle of the library, and later noticed a sign advertising an upcoming yoga class there at the library. It seems like they are looking for ways to serve the users and bring them to the library at a time when books are competing with computers and other electronic devices, in addition the multitude of activities that are part of our daily lives.

At the academic library where I work, a wonderful (I think) renovation has brought about new group study spaces and a very cool coffee shop with lots of windows and natural light. Yes, there are designated quiet zones, and the students here are studiers, but the library is now a place to be seen studying! I think it’s neat.

What are some of the neat and interesting things you’ve seen libraries do?


About Lesley Looper

I'm a full-time library employee. I enjoy reading, photography, travel, blogging, and geocaching.
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