By Veronica McAsey
Libraries need to effectively combine traditional aspects such as study carrels, quiet almost whispery conversations, and librarians in sensible shoes with the new environment of coffee shops, e-readers, and socialization. As much as the introverted librarians may wish for the days when dropping pins could be heard, libraries need to welcome the change and offer places for both purposes.
Ideally, the building would have the layout to provide space for studying and for socializing with both areas in pleasant surroundings. There would be a buffer between the two places to prevent noise pollution. In reality, some libraries like ours don’t have this option. To ensure areas for quiet studying, we do encourage patrons to use the basement or second floor, thus, allowing studying and socializing to occur on the first floor. However, we did not designate an area for disruptive behavior. Patrons need to respect the studying of others regardless where they are in the library. Appropriate first floor behavior does not include yelling across the room, using abusive language, or Skyping in a loud voice. Our library should provide a comfortable environment for students to study and socialize while respecting others.
Veronica McAsey is the Library Director at the Deet’s Library.