Loudbraries

My elementary school
My elementary school | Source

This was inspired by a hub a former hubber named Stessily. She shares my frustrations with libraries.

I blogged about this several years ago on my myspace page but, at that time, it was more of a rant than it was a story and commentary. I would like to thank Stessily for inspiring me to finish and update this piece and I dedicate this to her.

Stop by and visit her page...

children's author Judy Blume
children's author Judy Blume
children's author Roald Dahl
children's author Roald Dahl
nasturtiums
nasturtiums | Source

***


Growing up, I remember the matronly librarians at my elementary school library, that would make a point to shoosh rambunctious children when they became to childlike and loud. This was never a problem for me. Certainly I was loud, as little boys often are, but I also held in great reverence the sanctity of the library and enjoyed its hallowed silences that allowed me to explore the world of books and pen my first childish masterpieces.

It was there that I went on adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog and became friends with the Big Friendly Giant. I visited chocolate factories, Narnia and Middle Earth, without having to pack a suitcase, board an airplane or experience homesickness. The crinkle of plastic, which covered nearly all the books, was a constant companion during my explorations.

I would smell the books, enjoying the scent of stale paper on my nostrils. I’d run my fingers down the pages and across the spines and enjoy their smoothness. Sometimes I'd walk the stacks, slowly, tracing my finger along the books. In addition to names like Dickens, Shelley, Shakespeare, Seuss, Silverstein and Banks, the books had funny numbers, dots and letters. this was called the Dewey decimal System, prompting the inevitable and perpetual question of just who, in fact, Dewey was.

My school’s library had blue carpet and a sunken down reading pit, tiered with stairs. We’d sit around this pit with our classmates, staggered by the stairs, while our teacher or a librarian (usually Mrs. Kolcheski) would read us a story. It was here one day that I learned about Nasturtiums, and went to the store after school with my mother, bought some seeds, planted them and watched their failure to grow. I discovered Albert Einstein’s crazy haircut, Edgar Allen Poe’s sweet melancholy, the adventures encountered by a fourth grade nothing and witnessed the enduring magic of Cars and Trucks and Things That Go .

As we sat in the reading pit, the reader would sit across from us and hold the book, with the pages facing towards us and slowly scan the book across the room, making sure each little eyeball had a chance to view the illustrations. Sometimes the reader would affect their voice as they were reading to further our enjoyment and immersion in story.

The common thread through all this was that the only one speaking was the one reading. The listeners were quiet and respectful, perhaps fearful of an embarrassing shooshing .

It seems with adulthood, many have forgotten this etiquette. I recall one day, several years ago, where I had a library experience that would have had Mrs. Kolcheski shooshing herself hoarse.

***

My internet was not working at home, so I had been coming here for several days to check my urgent e mails until my cab;e company go around to fixing the issue.I sat between the stacks reading about dog behavior and waiting for my turn at the computer. Two little kids, apparently unsupervised and most assuredly under-parented, were chasing each other and screaming through the book stacks. If I hadn’t been so fleet a foot, I would have likely tripped one of them. There were no apparent parents, and no warnings from the librarians to be quiet or take their rambunctiousness outside.

It was clear that Mrs. Kolcheski did not work here.

My turn in the computer queue came, so I placed my book back on the shelf and left the children to continue their rambunctiousness.

Away from the kids, it was no better. Next to me, The Dude (you know, from The Big Lebowski ) sat next to me and loudly whispered everything he was reading. When he got confused (which was often) about how to log off the “internat”, or to open a new window, he hollered across the library for help. The librarians hollered back. This back and forth ensued for several minutes while I fought back the urge to “shoosh ” the librarians.

Oh, how I missed Mrs.Kolcheski!

The Dude finally figured out how to log off, but didn’t leave. This very large, crude, and foul smelling woman sat down behind the computers, waiting for either myself or The Dude to leave. She yelled across the library for her son to bring her a magazine while she waited for her turn at the computer. I recognized him as one of the kids who was running between the stacks. Meanwhile, her daughter, who was outside smoking, would periodically peer in, with lit cigarette, and holler at her mom to have her brother bring her a magazine also.

I was sad. Those children would never experience the joys of the library as a place of learning, a place of solace, imagination and reading. They would likely never journey to Narnia or Middle Earth, climb the Magic Beanstalk or awaken Snow White with a kiss. They would never inhale the stale paper, or touch the smooth edges of a page. They would never equate crinkling plastic with the magic of books. For them, the library would likely be a funny looking jungle gym where rambunctiousness was encouraged and where mom and sister yelled at them.

I left appalled and vowed never to return to that library branch. I longed for the days of elementary school when the threat of detention and an embarrassing Mrs. Kolcheski shooshing was enough to keep your voice down.



All rights reserved. Copyright Justin W. Price, March 26th, 2012.



More Hubs on Libraries

More Hubs on Rude Behavior

Do you enjoy the library?

See results without voting

Do you think people have forgotten their manners at the library?

See results without voting

My poetry collection

Thanks for Reading

A FREELANCE WRITER, HONORS STUDENT AND GOVER PRIZE FINALIST, JUSTIN W. PRICE (AKA, PDXKARAOKEGUY)IS A POET, SHORT STORY, BIOGRAPHY AND HUMOR WRITER. HIS POETRY COLLECTION,DIGGING TO CHINA, WAS RELEASED FEBRUARY 2ND, 2013 BY SWEATSHOPPE PUBLICATIONS AND IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND THROUGH YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER.

HIS WORK IS ALSO FEATURED INBEST NEW FICTION (2014 EDITION), AND HAS APPEARED PREVIOUSLY INTHE RUSTY NAIL, EFICTION, THE CRISIS CHRONICLES, THE HELLROARING REVIEW, BURNINGWORD, SEE SPOT RUN AND THE BELLWETHER REVIEW. HE PREVIOUSLY SERVED AS MANAGING EDITOR OFEPOETRY MAGAZINEAND THE BRIDGEONLINE NEWSPAPER.

HE WORKS IN A MEAT AND SEAFOOD DEPARTMENT FOR A HEALTH FOOD GROCERY STORE. HE ALSO WORKS AS FREELANCE WRITER, EDITOR, AND GHOSTWRITER, AND IS WORKING TOWARDS HIS PH.D. HE LIVES IN A SUBURB OF PORTLAND, OREGON WITH HIS WIFE, ANDREA, THEIR LABRADOODLE, BELLA, AND A NAMED SHPOO, SAUVEE.

PLEASE VISIT HISPROFILE FOR MORE INFORMATION. THANKS!

This was originally published on Hubpages under the name "PDXKARAOKEGUY" on the above date. He owns the copyright. If you are viewing this elsewhere, then you are reading stolen content. Please notify the author and the thief immediately and vacate the page.



More by this Author


Please leave a comment, after voting for and sharing this hub! 60 comments

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks neny for sharing. Different cultures and different countries. Different perspectives. Thanks for reading and commenting.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Emer, I just use the computer labs at school. Seems quieter, plus, the computers are faster :-)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Derdriu, I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner. I must have lost your comment. Haven't read that article, but I think I will. Thanks a lot for stopping by and I'm glad you enjoyed this :-)


nenytridiana profile image

nenytridiana 4 years ago from Probolinggo - Jawa Timur - Indonesia

Library is one of the perfect place to be alone and learning. We don't have that big library in my town (small town), it would last longer if we had by the way. Our library is just small library with lack of books, but many of the same title. The library keeper has never yelled at us to leave, because no one could stay there longer, the room's temperature makes us sweat.

I am not complaining... just sharing.

Thank you for sharing PDX!


Emer420 4 years ago

I couldn't agree more that Libraries have lost their quiet, tranquil reputation. I am a college student, and with that I am promised a quiet place to study, and relax, in the college library, however, every-time I go there I can never seem to get anything done, because of all the noise. There are other students, way out loud, planning what they are going to drink next, where the next party is, who won the latest football game, what happened last night, how much they hate a certain instructor, etc. Yes, I do agree that people can talk about whatever they want wherever they want, but do they have to do it so loudly in a library? Go ahead and chat away, but please be respectful to the others around you. I haven't gone to the library to actually do homework in about 2 years now. I only go there to check my facebook. ugh.


Derdriu 4 years ago

PDX, This is every bit as belly-laughing, foot-stomping, hee-hawing amusing, entertaining, funny, hilarious and humorous as the title led me to believe. I love reading both this excellent article and Stessily's excellent earlier one on library shushings.

Have you read Stessily's article on mowing the Sargasso Sea? It's another favorite that I nearly split my (not at all tight) seams laughing all the way through. I'd love to see you do your take, such as how you each in your inimitable ways present the non-shooshing scenarios in the loudbraries of nowadays.

Up + UFABI. Shared.

Respectfully, and with many thanks for sharing your experiences with Mrs. Kolcheski and her dubious successors, Derdriu


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks so much, Jacqui. Glad I'm not alone int his and that people understand the point I was trying to drive home. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment!


jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 4 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

A wonderful piece which I enjoyed very much. I agree with molometer, people who want to be loud in the library should go along to a football match or other venue and allow those who enjoy being there, to appreciate it. Voted up interesting/awesome.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks a lot, Teylina. I get so mad at poor parenting, even though i myself do not and will not have children. Disrespect and general rudeness are my pet peeves. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!


Teylina profile image

Teylina 4 years ago

One of the sad commentaries of our time. I found it useful and interesting, and I'd like to shove a copy in the face of every single poor-influence parent out there!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for reading,l commenting and sharing, Au Fait. We seem to have similar ideas about manners, so, that's comforting! Hope all is well..


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas

I rarely visit the library, especially now that my daughter is grown and pretty much everything I need is online or I can order it from eBay. The last time I was there, just a few years ago, things were still pretty quiet. None of the behavior you describe here. Your experience sounds like people have become far worse than just just rude.

More and more people seem not to care about anyone else or who they may be inconveniencing. My pet peeve are the motorists who are on their cell phones talking or texting. They mosy along at 2 mph or wander (with their cars) through stop signs, and cause serious accidents. I don't see things getting better in this area any time soon.

Great hub, and maybe someone will read it and think about having some consideration for others -- for a while. Voting you UP and interesting!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

That's fortunate indeed. To me, it goes back more to rudeness and being inconsiderate. That's probly what irks me most about it


DoctorDarts profile image

DoctorDarts 4 years ago

Fortunately, our local library is a 3 minute walk down the road where I've decided to start working in the day rather than at the home office; and mercifully, it's quiet!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Stessily! I look forward to your thoughts on it!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Frogy, I would trip him, if I could do it over again.... :-) Maybe next time...

(I even run into this problem now in my school's study rooms. So much talking, loud whispering and phones ringing. Drives me bonkers.)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Natash, thanks for reading. Sounds like you and I are on the same page, at least as far as pet peeves go. Thanks for reading and commenting!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Cindi, I do wonder where people get their sense of entitlement and narcissism. What makes them so sure I want to listen to their bratty kids or listen to them blab on cell phones about their sexual conquests or their political views? I've been looking for some part or full time work, including applying at several book stores. I think I'd enjoy that job. Plus, discounted books would be nice...

Thanks for reading Cindi!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

jeannie, I still post my links on myspace but, at this point, I think I'm only a spammer there.

It is sad... the library used to be a place of quiet respite but, now, it's just another unruly and annoying public place. very discouraging, and makes me turn into an agoraphobe. Thanks for reading and commenting!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Tammy, thanks for reading. I always do love your manners hubs. In fact, if you wanna e mail me one or two that you'd like linked here, I'd be happy to link them... I just don't have the time to go searching for them :-)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

TSmog, I enjoy getting coffee and reading a book or two at barnes and noble. Also, here in Portland, we have Powell's Books. It's called a city of books. It literally takes up a city block. It's heaven for me!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Thomas. I'm glad you enjoyed this and that it brought back some memories. I'm waiting for my schedule to calm down a bit so I can have some time to get back over and read some of your wonderful stories!


stessily 4 years ago

PDX, I am on my way to read your hub, "The Dude Abides"!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America

I'm with you...I MISS that shooshing too! And hey, trip that kid next time...! :-) Had to punch several buttons here...great hub!


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

Your title caught my attention! I think people have lost all sense of decorum, no matter where they are. I am so tired of hearing people give a blow by blow of their shopping trip to some poor person on the other end of the phone! And people talk on the phone while checking out at stores, too. When I worked retail, that was one of my number one pet peeves.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Funny story. I agree that libraries have become loud. So have bookstores. Eh, I worked in a bookstore for three years (I actually really liked that job). There were times I had to tell people not to step on the books, to put it back in the exact spot they found it, or let me do it; I had to clean up those coffee stains on the floor, and I even went down the middle of a busy highway in clunky boots and a skirt chasing a shoplifter screaming at him for a quarter mile down the road. Oh, the 21st century world of books. Funny hub. :)


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

Hahaha... the behavior at the library has gotten really out of hand. I've also been forced to use the library computer when my home computer is not working (it does that a lot) and there is a lot more noise at the library than I remember from before. I actually forgot it was a library for a while. It just seemed like another public place with unruly children, ringing cell phones, and chatty people. Sigh. Oh well. I just carried my earbuds with me now. Interesting hub and voted up!

P.S. You still use MySpace? Yay! Good to know someone else still appreciates it, too.

.... never mind... I just read you posted in years ago. Sigh. I like to remember the good old days of MySpace sometimes, too. :-)


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

As you know from my hubs, I think that the lack of manners in today's society is a real problem. From libraries, to movie theaters, to Walmart, it seems that people have lost their senses. Great hub with a very interesting spin. Well done!


tsmog profile image

tsmog 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

A great piece PDXK. Yeah, I'm still kicking about. I do read, but miss the library at times. This hub got me thinking of the public 'kids story time' at the local Barnes & Noble. That location also has a Starbuckes in it. I use to get a cup and stand listening to the story time before going to work. Come to think of it, it is quieter there.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

Justin...

This brought me right back to Prussing Elementary School's library and hours of enjoyment I spent hiding in the history section reading whatever I could find!

The experience you relate here is suggestive of some experiences I had in the Bay Area...not so much the kids...but the homeless were rocking that place. Reminds me of the Dude...

Which also reminds me...I love that you put The Dude in here!

Great Job!

Thomas


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

it's a great movie. one of my favorites. I wrote a hub about it called "The Dude abides" based on Joseph Campbell's view of the hero. Let me know what you think of it... :-)


stessily 4 years ago

PDX, Last night I finally watched "The Big Lebowksi", so I can now fully appreciate your "Dude" clone in the loudbrary! Those Lebowski characters are archetypes, and they're everywhere!

Hilariously, Stessily


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Library Girl, lighten up.Read what i wrote with comprehension before commenting again. Thanks


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for the share, Julianna, Glad we're not alone.


Library Girl 4 years ago

Well your parents might have got angry by someone telling you to behave in public, but I have actually seen some people thank other adults for telling kids not to run and stuff. People need to get over their egos, and if a parent is failing to parent correctly, maybe adult or two commenting on the misbehavior is what is needed to shine a light on not so helpful parenting. Besides, you commenting on how you had wondered why the librarians did not tell the kids not to run, be quieter, and you were essentially saying they should tell these parents how to parent. See you cannot shift wanting one person to do something, and then act appalled someone would suggest maybe you point something out.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 4 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

Sadly manners are gone in this day and age. I would have addressed the unruly children and the guy next to me would have gotten on my nerves too. lolo! Thumbs up and shared! :)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

It makes me really sad when kids aren't taught proper manners but, like a misbehaved dog, a bratty child is more the symptom of bad parenting than it is of inherent badness. Sounds like your parents were very similar to mine.


stessily 4 years ago

PDX, My parents also taught me manners, and I deeply appreciate them. Unfortunately, there are many who do not seem to value manners, and I think that's the reason for all the imbalances in the world.

Take care, Stessily


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Stessily, who knows really. I come from a pretty artistic and eccentric background, so I'm sure I'd be somewhere in that field. Also, my parents taught me manners, which many parents don't bother to do today.


stessily 4 years ago

PDX, I'm back for a re-read! Your reminiscences of your childhood library experiences are enchanting. I still remember how excited I was to have my own library card. I've seen bizarre behaviour on both sides of the checkout counter; my best defense is to try to retrieve some chuckles from the unusual scenarios.

It's so fortunate to have the kind of warm, enduring, endearing memories that you and I and others have from our childhood journeys through bookland. It's these experiences which inspire kids to treasure reading and writing throughout life. Would you be PDX on hubpages and in a creative writing program without them or if you'd seen loudbraries as jungle gyms, etc.? Probably you'd be PDX on hubpages and in a creative writing program, no matter what, because I think that you have that poetic creativity already within you; your library experiences just gave important encouragement to something that was already there.

UABI.

Kind regards, Stessily


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Your welcome, Suzie. It's pretty amazing how adults can forget their manners!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for your comment Michael. It was fun for me to stroll down memory lane with those books as well. Many fond literary memories


Suzie ONeill profile image

Suzie ONeill 4 years ago from Lost in La La Land

I've had similar experiences at my local library lately. It's such a shame! It's gotten to the point where I now check out the books and do the reading and research at home.

I have similar memories of visiting the school library as a child. I remember lining up outside the double doors and having our teacher remind us all to be quiet and be on our best behavior before she'd let us go inside. I also have fond memories of the children's books that you mentioned. Thanks for brining back memories of visiting Narnia and the BFG (Big Friendly Giant)! :)


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

I like the way you mentioned all those great authors that surround us in libraries.

I still enjoy being surrounded by all that collected talent and still have a reverence for the work.

I think loud characters should go to a football match or similar, and leave the tranquility of the library to those who appreciate it.

It would not be allowed when I was a kid.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Audrey, come to think f it, one of mine does too, but, fortunately, it's separate from the library itself. Thanks for reading!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

I just want people to be polite and considerate, no matter the venue. Rudeness makes me angry :-)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

I still love libraries-but they have gotten louder and people are much more brash these days---we even have a cafe in ours now--yikes


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

I understand what you are talking about in this Hub - I really truly do. However, I live in a small town and the majority of the people there still respect the traditional rules of a library. Once in a while you will get a parent who doesn't watch a child and the librarian will ask the parent to respect the rights of others to enjoy themselves in the library. And every once in a while you get someone who talks too loud but the dirty looks from other patrons usually hushes that individual. But I have been in the larger libraries and witnessed the acts you wrote about. As a past librarian's assistant it drove me NUTS!!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Hi Trish. Thanks for writing. Certainly this was an extreme example, but, probably not as rare as one would think. Thanks for stopping by!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi :)

Although I agree that libraries aren't what they used to be and that, sometimes, they are noisier than I would like them to be, I don't think that I have ever suffered quite this badly :( :)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Blossom, thank you for your input. there is a time and a place for everything, certainly


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

Libraries are great places and while people should not distract others, there are often corners where friends can meet together and enjoy the company of each other as well as of good books, DVDs etc. Voted up.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Sam, the library is still a great place. It's fun just to roam the stacks and skim through the books. Let me know if you make it back and how it goes!


sam209 profile image

sam209 4 years ago

I haven't been to the library in so long! I guess the history channel and the internet have replaced my interest in public libraries. After reading this hub, I do feel the urge to wanna walk through the doors of my nearest library and become dazzled by the literature that'll surround me!

You and I would certainly be on the same page if my next library visit turns into a loudbrary visit!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Aurda... the original rant is unrecognizable. I'm glad you enjoyed this and I'm glad that hubpages finally republished it.


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

Justin,

I did not see your original rant. However, it looks to me like you developed into a great story :)

I only go to the library to take out music and then run for the hill! It is not the soothing place I remember as a child for reasons you mentioned. Voted up and shared!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Library Girl,

thanks for stopping by. you make excellent points. I still go to the library, including the public library. Most of my experiences have been better than this one. However, I went to this one several times (it was near where I was living at the time) and it was never a good experience and it made me sad every time I left.

I disagree with you on my point about telling kids how to behave. if I wanted to tell children how to behave, I would have my own. It's not my job. When I was a child, if another adult told me what to do, it not only made me mad, it made my parents angry.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting and thanks for all your kind suggestions!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thansk Stessily. I'm so pleased that you're pleased by this. It is amazing how we grown ups often forget the manners we learned as children. It also makes me sad that many people won't have the same joyful experiences I had as a child. Sometimes, the ignorant youth know more than we learned adults.


Library Girl 4 years ago

I think you need to visit again, and not write everyone off because of one bad experience. One thing I would like to point out is the difference between an elementary school library and a public library is that it is open to the public, and thus some people who visit might not be the most upstanding citizens of the world, but there are other people who are like minded. Also, now that libraries are places where people come to use the computer, these tend to draw in more of the general public than in years past. Rather than just focusing on the negative aspects of a public library, you can do something to get past this. For instance, you know how you said you were sad those kids might never enjoy a good novel? Well, there are adults who never learned how to read properly, and you could join an adult literacy program and help someone who wants to learn how to read. Also, in public if I see a kid running and I think it is dangerous and it bothers me, I have not guilt about telling them to walk. Their parents might not be role modeling the skill needed for library use, but they are more likely to learn the right way to behave if someone points this out. You might even be surprised to find out one day years later they will remember someone cared enough to point out the right thing to do.


stessily 4 years ago

PDX, It's only fitting that I should be reading this bittersweet, hilarious reminiscence in the library! I am so pleased that you were inspired to share this with your inimitable style; I'm proudly linking it to mine. For those of us who journeyed, like you, through the joyful unfurling of the imagination and through those vicarious yet seemingly real adventures which we discovered as we enjoyed reading, this tribute recaptures the pleasurable reading experiences of childhood where the storytime "reader would sit across from us and hold the book, with the pages facing towards us... making sure each little eyeball had a chance to view the illustrations".

Then, fast forward to the 21st century! Hilariously and compellingly, you've epitomized the new style of library patrons with the Dude and rambunctious children. It oftentimes does feel like a jungle gym or the broadcast of a coffee chat (Kaffeeklatsch). Then add the patrons who eat greasy fries and dripping cheeseburgers (true words!) while at computers even though nearby signs disallow eating and drinking there. And don't forget the pizza deliveries!

Well told, PDX! The nostalgic libraries of childhood are juxtaposed with the jarring reality of loudbraries.

All the votes.

Kind regards, Stessily

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working