Friday, November 21, 2014

A lament for libraries

Is my library a special one as far as libraries are concerned? In a couple of my unfinished works bits and pieces have taken place in libraries. But the libraries in my written works are never anything like the library I frequent. The libraries in my stories are large buildings with rows upon rows of bookshelves which reach nearly higher than an average person’s arms. These libraries are usually full, but not crowded. They are frequented by older citizens looking for a good read to pass the time, students searching for some piece to use as reference material for their next big essay, and individuals who just want to immerse themselves in the writings of others. Sometimes my stories have people working at the library, plugging in a laptop to pound away code or write an article.

But do you know what the libraries in my stories never have? Crying babies running and stomping across the floor, causing such a ruckus that no matter where you hide or how many books you bury yourself in, the noise cannot possibly be blocked out. There aren’t smelly, bedraggled, supposedly homeless people begging for money at the front entrance. And there aren’t thoughtless individuals talking loudly amongst themselves or, please, please, please, heaven forbid – having their cell phones blasting their ringtones, and answering the freaking things right then and there, before continuing the conversation where they sit instead of getting up and politely leaving the premises.

None of that happens in my stories, but that happens all the time at my charming, little library. Does any of that happen at your library? For your sake I hope not. The library isn’t a playground, or a daycare, or a nightclub. It’s a place where people who require a little peace and quiet can search for information, read a good book, and simply enjoy the written word.

My library is nothing but a free-for-all, it would seem. And what ever happened to using your “Library Voice”? Yes, the books, and movies, and CD’s have titles on them. And yes you are meant to read them. Just not out loud. Not every, single, bloody title on the shelf, one after the other, out bloody loud. SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT YOUR MOUTH RIGHT UP BEFORE I STUFF IT FULL OF BOOKS AND LEAVE YOU TO CHOKE ON POE AND BRADBURY, AND PRATCHETT, AND REMARQUE, AND GINSBERG, AND VONNEGUT, AND DUMAS, AND DICKENS, AND STEVENSON, AND BLOODY BLOODY SHAKESPEARE, SO THAT YOUR LAST BREATHS ARE CAUGHT AND SNUFFED BY THE PAGES OF THOSE BOOKS, YOU STINKING AND UNCULTURED MORON!


My library can’t be the only one, can it? It kind of bothers me.


  1. Sadly, my library is the same at times depending on the time of day I go

  2. I'm thinking that this is the perfect submission to the local paper. Perhaps you are not alone in your lament and desire for a return to traditional library decorum!
    What I think is sad is that those who work at the library no longer expect that order and consideration should be the norm. They seem to turn a blind eye and shrug their shoulders instead of enforcing library conduct.