Friday, January 06, 2012

The Modern Library

      So I spent some time at my friendly local library the other day, and I guess the first thing that I noticed was how much the library has changed since I remember being there as a kid.  First of all, at my library the main draw seems to be the Internet.  Now, I understand that the library down the street from the Worldwide Headquarters is pretty small, and doesn't have a ton of books on hand.  But they ARE part of a pretty impressive sharing network, so there really isn't much that you can't get your hands on if you are just a little patient.  But no one other than some kids seemed to be checking out any books.  Most of the people were either using the computers that the library provides to surf the Web (one lady was looking at a site in French, which she couldn't read, and one guy was looking at pictures of World War II airplanes) or people who were there just sucking off the free WiFi.  In fact, there were power strips in every outlet, because I have seen it in the summer when there are literally more laptops than chairs and plugs.  So somewhere along the way books just stopped being to focus.
     But that was not the thing that bothered me the most while I was there.  What really got to me was the fact that somewhere along the way quiet stopped being important at the library.  The days of completely hushed rooms with the stern librarian hushing everything the comes in over a whisper are apparently gone.  I got a phone call while I was there, but I went outside into the entrance to talk to my Baby Doll.  I guess that I was just a little old school, because while I was there like four people got phone calls and just took them right in the library like they were in the park or something.  Talking full volume, not even saying a word, not even realizing that they are breaking a code that is as old as books themselves.  Here is a little hint, people: YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO TALK ON THE CELL PHONE WHILE YOU ARE IN THE LIBRARY!  That is the end of the story.  That is it.  That is all there is.  And I don't know if the librarians just got tired of fighting the good fight, or if they just think they are up with the times, or if they just realized that no one is reading anymore.  But it needs to stop.  It is just wrong.  It is like someone sitting and reading a book at the mall.

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