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why do you have to be quiet in a library

An article in today s LA Times, has, once again, gotten my blood boiling. It seems that the Newport Beach Library Nazis want stricter rules to keep the riff-raff from disturbing their solitude. I can understand wanting to kick out thieves, people who desecrate library materials, and those who bathe themselves in perfume or cologne without a shred of concern for the allergic among us, but I absolutely fail to comprehend the basic library commandment of thou shalt not speak unless in an unintelligible whisper. Who does not read when there is noise in the air? How self-absorbed does a person have to be to demand total quiet to be able to absorb the written word? I read all of the time with the TV or radio blasting, and two or three times a week for 10 years, I rode a commuter train, along with, I would guess, millions of people around the world, and amid the talking, shouting, public address announcements, ear-shattering noise of the rail, and noise from the freeway traffic 20 feet from the rail line, I managed to read.


See all of those people on buses reading, among even worse bus noises and traffic sounds? How about on an airplane? How noisy is a commercial jetliner? People don t read on planes? And what about in all of those Barnes and Noble and Borders stores? Any time, day or night, couches and chairs (and often the floor) are packed with people reading, amidst the sorting, searching, selling and stocking going on.


Ever go into a Starbucks where the seating was not full of people reading, sometimes books or newspapers, but usually laptops, despite the noise? What gives with libraries?
To teach people to think only when is is quiet, and that is perfectly fine for SOME people. Others, like future pediatricians NEED to learn to focus in. To teach people to think only when is is quiet, and that is perfectly fine for SOME people. Others, like future pediatricians NEED to learn to focus in noisy environments. I hear almost everything, though not as loud as I did, but I cannot block out noise. I was the one tapping the shoulders of nurses and others blocking out their patient s heart alarms while they were charting or otherwise not listening.


Maybe one day society will catch on and make libraries where one CAN talk. Then more people like me can work in noisy environments and be able to focus no matter the workplace. many workplaces are NOT quiet. But I understand the need for quiet, I need it several times a day for my mental health. I love the quiet of libraries. But it s not best for everyone for studying and learning to focus. I have 2 grown kids, one needed quiet and became an engineer, the other loved noise during homework time and thrives as a food manager in busy cafes. Both made/make A s.

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