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In 2014, why are there rooms where you can't use your computer?

Hello, I'm just wondering why, in the 21st century would you not allow students to use their computers in the silent study room? Do you think people still hand write papers? Do you think that people who need to use their computer don't also need silence to get their work done? Are my keys typing louder than the constant flipping pages and rustling through papers? I came to Canton Library because it is a beautiful facility, and I was looking for a silent place where I could be productive, but that didn't happen. I saw the sign on the silent study room that said "please step outside to use electronic devices," which I assumed to mean cell phones. Of course no one wants to hear someone talking on their cell phone in silent study, but who was going to step out for a moment to use their laptop? Just to be safe, I walked around the library to find some place else. The individual study rooms were filled, there were no seats in the "quiet area," and there was no way I was going to sit at a table with 10 people or in the loud, common area to try to write an essay, so I went to silent study - an area where I have been able to use my computer at every other library I have ever gone to. No one studying there asked me to leave or even appeared annoyed that I had a laptop open, but an employee came in and asked me to leave. I never thought I would get kicked out of a library, but it happened. I made another trip around looking for a seat, but still could find any. So instead of having a productive afternoon, I wasted my gas and time to drive to the library for ten minutes of working before getting kicked out of one of the only open, quiet seats. As I stated before, I have never been to a library where computer were not allowed in silent study, and in 2014, I don't know why they wouldn't be. Students today depend on their computers to write their papers, do research, and read their notes. To prevent them from using their computers is to prevent them from accessing the resources that they need to get their work done. You can say that the designated quiet areas are available to laptop users, but if there are no free seats, that's really not true. Furthermore, "quiet" does not equate to "silent," and the main reason many students go to a library is for the silence, so this is another moot point. Needless to say, I will not be returning to Canton Public Library to study unless this changes, because it's the only library where I am not allowed the space to study in silence with the resources I need to be efficient and productive. Frustrated and disappointed, S. Wilson


Mon, 2014-03-03 12:05

Dear S. Wilson,

I am sorry to hear that your recent library visit was a disappointment to you, and that you did not understand the sign prohibiting electronic devices in Quiet Study.

As my staff explained, you may use electronic devices anywhere else in the library, but not in Quiet Study. This was a conscious decision and policy made by the library board of trustees in response to library users who wished to have a small area of our 53,000 square foot building retain a "traditional" library atmosphere.

We have no plans to change the policy at this time. You have stated very clearly that you will not be returning to the Canton Public Library unless we change our policy for you. While I do not understand your position given that we have ample space of more than 52,500 square feet elsewhere in the library where you may use your laptop, I respect your decision and wish you all the best.

Thank you for taking the time to let me know your thoughts on the modern public library.

Eva Davis, Director