Dec01

Libraries - A Quiet Place To Read?

Posted by admin on 12/01/18  ~  Posted in: Uncategorized

Libraries - A Quiet Place To Read?

If you haven't visited your local library lately you might want to check it out. Your memory of what a library is for and about is most likely the same as mine and that would be that it's a place to find books and old newspapers and then to sit quietly by yourself to read or study, you check books out and bring them back after a predetermined amount of time like say two or three weeks. This is of course the general purpose and function of the library and for the most part it still is but for sure a lot has changed. Some things for the good and some things not so good. I am also aware that libraries are different everywhere from State to State and City to City. In some places you may find that library in your town has not changed at all in the last 100 years but I'm pretty sure that even then there are some changes.

First and Formost Quietness

The library today is anything but quiet so if you are looking for that quiet space to read or study you might be in for a surprise. While you might be able to find some quiet little corner most likely in the stall at the far end of the restrooms in the back of the library, you will probably have to reserve a private room which comes with some unrealistic time limits that don't allow you to get very much done. Therefore you should not expect to camp out for the entire day, meaning you should choose a short book to read. People seem to have forgotten that a library is supposed to be a quiet place. They (meaning people) sashay through the doors phone in had and stay on their phones sometimes the entire time. There are phones ringing and people talking everywhere. Librarians have somehow or another lost the ability or power to control anything and in fact many times it seems that much of the noise comes from the librarians themselves the very people who are supposed to control the noise. The one person who I see that does control some noise is the security guard when he or she makes his/her rounds. But for the most part it's like the wild west and I haven't even mentioned the kids. Yes kids even in the adult section, they are everywhere like the plague running around yelling and screaming and sometimes not a supervising adult anywhere to be found. Keep in mind also that there is a kids library here as in most libraries but its small and after school lets out around 3pm there just isn't enough room for all the little urchins. There are kids who's parents have dropped them off to be with a tutor or kids who just come here because they can't go home yet. Kinda like an after school daycare without the care part.

Dressing Down

My personal opinion is that people should at the very least dress appropriately for different things. Traveling on a plane or train, going to the gym, church or yes even the library. It seems to me that lately eveyone wants to just dress one way for all occasions and that one way appears to me to be more appropriate for the beach and anything else. Sorry people call me a prude if you like, but shorts, tanktop and flip-flops are not appropriate for the library. I had thought that maybe it's because this is Las Vegas and a tad bit casual at times, but after confiring with a few others I've found that this is a country-wide problem if not epidemic which has been festering for quite some time. Putting aside the fact that I hate...really hate the sound of flip-flops, I just don't think that flip-flops should not be worn anywhere other than a beach.

Cell Phones

I touched on this earlier but it is a pet peeve of mine. Cell phones should be put into quiet mode when in the library so everyone does not have to listen to your goofy ringtones and if you have to take a call take it outside. I think I am about the only one that quiets my phone so not to bother anyone. The worst however are those people who think that not only does everyone else want to hear their ringtone but the entire conversation also by putting it on speaker. Who are these people and what are they thinking? But once again the librarians do nothing about it.

Events

And as if it isn't noisy enough along comes the events. Here at the library I go to, it's not just a library it is a Library and Performing Arts Center where they put on plays and other events. So on the weekend the crowds line up in the lobby and it gets extremely noisy. To avoid this problem you can avoid weekends altogether or you can do what I do and use listen to some music while I work....with headphones of course.

Tutor Torture

There is a lot of tutoring that goes on at the library and nobody is quiet about it. Most of the tutoring is with younger kids but some are with junior high and high schoolers. Many of the tutors reserve a room but there are only so many rooms available. If you want to avoid the tutor torture you should probably plan on leaving the library before 3 pm or arrive after 5 pm. 

Summerlin Library Overview

Charging

Believe it or not charging your phone or laptop at the library, at least the ones here in Vegas, is a challenge, and nobody who works here seems to think this is a major issue that needs to be addressed. The only way to get access to an electrical outlet is if you happen to be lucky enought to sit at one of only three tables that are next to an outlet. This is a real pet peeve of mine so I may ramble on about it for a while. This library and many like it in Las Vegas were built in the mid 90's and early 2000's when the internet was young, laptops and cell phones were few so there was no need for anyone to have access to electricity at the library since of course libraries are for books not electronic gear. However since these devices are here and hungry for power one would think that somebody in the Library District would say "hey we need to get some electricity to those tables that we have sitting out there in the middle of the room so people can plug in their laptops and cell phones". Or at the very least say "ya know, maybe we should rearrange the furniture a bit by putting the tables along the walls where there are outlets and move all the crap we now have along the wall out to the middle". I personally have posted comments on their website and sent emails and have gotten no response. It just is not a big issue for them, they work for the County after all.