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Quiet, Please

With respect, could I please ask that you enforce policy with regards to cell phone use and excessive noise? (I know that you have a policy against cell phone use in the library. I assume that you have one about noise as well.) I am posting this from the library. I've just had to get up and move from my place to another part of the library because two individuals sitting at the table next to me entered, sat down, and proceeded to have a very noisy conversation that disturbed myself and some other people in the area. They talked, laughed, giggled, and made no effort to keep quiet despite the fact that their noise was disturbing everyone around them. Further, one of them took at least two cell phone calls while I was there. One of your employees sat at a desk on the other side of their table and did nothing to encourage them to respect the policies of the library or other patrons in the area. I finally couldn't take it any more and left. This is the second time that something like this has happened to me at a public library. (My other experience was of a gentleman who decided to play a portable DVD player in a study cubicle, much to the dismay of other people working around him.) It's a shame that our libraries are not as quiet as they once were. Thank you for your attention to and consideration of my concerns.


Thu, 2010-01-14 16:21

I am sorry that your recent visits to the library have been disturbed by conversations and other noise. You are correct that the library has a Code of Conduct and I hope that you will let us know when your visits to the library are being disrupted by others so that we may address it. In today's instance, we could have asked the couple next to you to please speak more softly, or asked them to move to an area more tolerant of noise (depending on where they were already sitting at the time). In the previous instance, if you let us know about the man playing a DVD on his laptop, we could have referred him to our Copy Center to purchase ear buds for $1 and eliminate the noise from disturbing you. We are happy to do this; just let us know.

Libraries generally have changed over the last 50 years; where once the library was silent and conversation was allowed in a designated area, changes in society and education--particularly the increase in group assignments and collaborative projects--have led libraries, Canton included, to flip that arrangement. Generally speaking, we allow conversations in the library, whether in-person or via a phone, as long as they do not disrupt others and do not take place in a Quiet Zone area.

For the solitude you seek, you may wish to use our Quiet Study Room, which has individual study carrels and a door to separate the quiet from the general noise of the building. Please ask any of us and we will show you where the Quiet Study room is located.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us, and I hope we will continue to see you in the library.

Eva Davis, Director