Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Importance of Library Etiquette

A post from The Seventeenth Century Lady takes up the problem with too noisy libraries. In the old days coming to a library meant walking into silence. If somebody wanted to say something you whispered so you wouldn't disturb the other people. As Andrea says:

"Now, in the "Look at Me" culture that seems to dominate, many people disregard basic courtesy and respect for other patrons. If anyone objects to this, they are ridiculed as being hoity-toity and old-fashioned. To highlight this, I tweeted about this yesterday, only to receive abuse from precisely those who would be loud and obnoxious in libraries."

Library in Karlskrona
built in 1959
I couldn't agree more. A library should be a place where you are quiet and try to respect other people who come there for exactly the same reason. If you want to be social you can always go to a café or a bar. You can speak, of course, but you should speak in a quiet way. I don't often go to the library in Brussels, mainly because I read in English or Swedish, but now I am visiting my parents in Karlskrona, Sweden and one of my favourite spots is the library. They have almost everything it seems. You can start one stair down in a reading room with nice tables and chairs where you can choose from quite a lot of Magazines on all different subjects. Or you can sit there and write in a quiet milieu. Back upstairs your have the main space and one floor up you have a 'balcony' where you can also sit and enjoy a book. There are computers as well if you need this service. Tables and chairs in all the different rooms for you to enjoy and sit down and go through a book even if you don't want to borrow it. I envy all of you who have this service on a regular basis.

To my great relief this is still a quiet library! It does not mean that people don't speak but it is done with a low voice and in respect of all the people visiting.

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