Things Legal and Illegal in The City Library

This librarian, working in 1964, is checking "due" dates of her books
This librarian, working in 1964, is checking "due" dates of her books | Source

S-h-h-h-h-h-h

remember that distinctive sound? It meant one thing: Quiet. No talking. No whispering. And certainly no doing your own thing. The librarian, God bless her, was more in the lines of a prison warden. She was tough, stern, and if needed, nice to students and visitors who deserved it.

I am not kidding. If you were a punk looking for problems, just step inside a librarian's world and try pulling some foolish, asinine pranks and before you could say "To Kill a Mockingbird," this thin, wrinkled-faced lady with thin wire-framed glasses was escorting you to the door.

In my days of junior high through senior high school, I really didn't like going to the library unless I was really interested in a certain subject. Then I loved taking this scholastic trek. I was always respectful to our librarians because they were old, short-tempered, and meant business.

The Bookmobile went to rural schools on certain days to allow kids to have the opportunity to read books that they loved
The Bookmobile went to rural schools on certain days to allow kids to have the opportunity to read books that they loved | Source
Students working on mid-term papers
Students working on mid-term papers
A stereotypical librarian filing her library cards
A stereotypical librarian filing her library cards

It was not

because librarians of long ago were really that mean and short-tempered. It was because rules and observing a moral compass was really important in the late 1940s throughout the 1950s. Librarians, mostly women, knew how to run the library and take care of those rule breakers who insisted on visiting the library and doing whatever came to mind.

That's why I have researched the library, still one of our iconic establishments, and found out some old and sometimes-ignored rules that I thought you might like to read. I loved them. And admittedly, I would like to see things as solid as they were when these library rules were intact.

Two librarians in the 1950's sort through a supply of books to see which ones are suitable for including them in their library
Two librarians in the 1950s sort through a supply of books to see which ones are suitable for including them in their library
Senior librarian at work on computer
Senior librarian at work on computer
Peaceful atmosphere is very important in the library
Peaceful atmosphere is very important in the library
Aisles and aisles of wisdom
Aisles and aisles of wisdom
This pretty librarian was glad to smile for the camera
This pretty librarian was glad to smile for the camera

Things That Are Illegal to do in The Library

  • Smoking--anywhere
  • Chewing tobacco--anywhere
  • Eating
  • Sleeping under on library tables
  • Talking in tones that are disturbing to others in the library
  • Shuffling of feet on the floor to make noise
  • Throwing wads of paper or any objects that cause a distraction
  • Sneaking any form of alcohol or narcotics into the library
  • No pets allowed in library
  • No talking to anyone through the library windows

Proper Wardrobe While Visiting The Library

  • Girls' dresses must reach the ankle and never come to above their knees
  • Boys' pants must remain zipped throughout their visit to the library
  • Boys' shirt tails must be tucked in
  • Girls' blouses must not be open through the second button
  • Girls' dresses must not be see-through or they will be asked to leave
  • Flip-flops for both boys and girls are forbidden
  • Cut-off shorts are forbidden for both boys and girls
  • Loud perfume or cologne is strictly forbidden
  • Cigarettes in boys' shirt pockets are grounds for expulsion
  • There will be absolutely no usage of bubble gum or regular gum

Young guys dream of a librarian like this
Young guys dream of a librarian like this
You can have fun in the library if you obey the rules
You can have fun in the library if you obey the rules
Librarians working in the library in the post-pioneer days
Librarians working in the library in the post-pioneer days

Things That Are Permitted Inside The Library

  • Quietly chatting with the librarian about finding certain books
  • Sitting quietly and studying or reading the book(s) of your choosing
  • Using our "Study Room" is permissible, but not to be used for eating, smoking or socializing
  • Asking the librarian's permission to watch films of your research topic
  • Writing papers ONLY with No. 2 pencils is allowed. No ink pens are permitted
  • Searching index cards for your book choice is permitted with librarian's permission

If These Rules are Broken, You Will Not be Allowed to Come Back to Our Library

  • Arguing with others in a boisterous voice
  • Yelling at others, the librarian, or any teacher
  • Throwing books at others or onto the floor
  • Not cooperating with librarian or teachers for any reason
  • Hiding in the aisles of books to perform horseplay against others
  • Pulling dangerous pranks such as putting matches in their shoes are grounds for expulsion
  • Destruction of library property in any form

. . .and above all

S-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h!

This video proves my point

More by this Author


Comments 10 comments

travmaj profile image

travmaj 21 months ago from australia

This was a fun read - I was only thinking similar thoughts at my last visit to the library. I can remember being in awe of the librarian and always on my best behaviour. When I called into my library last week it was children's hour and the librarian (one of them) was reading aloud and the children were all involved in the story. It was lovely but it still reminds me of how much has changed. However, there's still a respectful quietness most of the time.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 21 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

travmaj,

Your comment was so sweet. Thank you.

My librarians were old. Just like my teachers. I often ask "why" just in my heart because some of my friends who are younger and older both tell me about their gorgeous teachers and blah! Blah! Blah!

Was I born too late, or what?

And my library always had the scent of Pine Sol.

If you are not one of my followers, I invite you to that now.

I would love it.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 21 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Libraries have changed. The rule about not having food or drink, for example. The library in our town has a coffee shop which sells coffee and donuts. No pets in the library? When I was a kid I brought my dog into the library and nobody objected. I would not be able to do that now.

Inter-library loan is a service of today's libraries where one can get a book from anywhere in the state if the local library does not hve it.

Nice hub. will share.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 21 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, dahoglund,

You are correct about libraries changing. I remember mine in high school and it always had "that" school aroma. Where it came from, I have not a clue. But all school and churches smell the same. (Hub idea for you).

Your library sounds like a fun experience. Enjoy it.

And thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing.

You are a terrific friend/follower.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 21 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I've seen homeless people hanging out in ours!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 21 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Rebecca,

Seriously? That is so sad.

Does your town or county not have a program that could help them?

That bothers me.

Thanks for commenting and let me know what happens.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 21 months ago from sunny Florida

You know, I lived in such a tiny county that we had no public libraries. the only libraries were at school and in those you DID adhere to the rules...you could hear a pin drop.

Thanks for sharing.

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 20 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

pstraubie48,

What a sweet statement about angels coming to me. Okay. When they arrive, I will thank them and dispatch them back to you.

And I can relate to your libraries being quiet and you could hear a pin drop.

Stressful to try to maintain perfection isn't it?

Thanks for stopping by and please visit again anytime.


vkwok profile image

vkwok 19 months ago from Hawaii

I really enjoyed reading this, Kenneth. Thumbs up to a great hub!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 19 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

vkwok,

Thanks so much, dear friend. I needed a cheering-up. It has been a tough road since last Thursday. I am talking emotionally and mentally. But God knows best.

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