To shush or Not to shush

Everybody has heard the same tired stereotype of a “shushing” librarian.  Believe me when I say I try very hard not to live up to that expectation.  So I want to be clear, this blog post is not about noise level, or even shushing, it is about respect.

Our library encompasses a very small physical space.  Additionally, we have a computer lab directly in the middle of it.  When you couple that with the daily classes we host in the library, the various and continuously ongoing group projects, and the number of students we serve, volume control is a constant balancing act.  The library staff works very hard to strike a balance between all our students’ needs.

But I don’t want to focus on noise control, because I don’t feel that is the real issue.  What is the focus and what we all need to work towards in our school community, is showing each other respect.  Whispering in the library is fine, but talking is not.  This is not an arbitrary rule that the library staff thought up one night, this is about showing respect for each other’s needs.  Because while today you may need to use the library for a group project, next week you may be studying for a test and need it to be as quiet as possible.  We fully support both of these activities; therefore we want everyone to think about how your actions affect those around you.

We encourage you to self-monitor your behavior in the library.  If you are unable to effectively do so, you will be given a verbal warning.  If the behavior continues, a second warning will be issued.  In the event a second warning does not achieve the desired effect, you will be asked to leave the library.  The library staff does not want to live up to the tired stereotype, but we will if required. 

I’m interested in student (and faculty) feedback – about this and anything else regarding the library.  Please feel free to post a comment.

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