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Manners And Etiquette: How To Act At The Public Library
A Computer Lab Learning Center
Is the Library a Workplace?
Our public libraries are inconsistent in the behaviors they permit to patrons. Some post guidelines in their foyers, while other hire uniformed guards and police officers to patrol the building.
Although public facilities, public libraries are workplaces for library administration, staff, volunteers, and tutors and professional etiquette is important for these groups as they offer good customer service to patrons. Even though you as a patron are not usually purchasing something at the library, you are a customer or client in the facility.
Researchers, students, and online workers also access library facilities and equipment in order to compete their studies and to make a living. Professional etiquette is a must among these groups of people as well.
What is good etiquette in a public library?
Some Good Rules For Enjoyment Of Libraries
Some Elements of Library Etiquette
The following tips are not all-inclusive and you might think of some others. Feel free to leave your advise in the Comments thread below.
- Please limit your talking and maintain your voice at quieter levels of sound in a library. If you need to speak with a business colleague, tutor, student, or someone else involved in a project with you, please use one of the small study rooms available, the foyer, the snack bar, or a corner of the library that is furthest away from most customers. In the large Quiet Study Areas, please do not talk, play music, or create other noises.
Peace and A Little Quiet
- Some libraries have different sections for quiet and for noise. One of ours has a Children'' Department, noise allowed; a homework and reference/research department (quiet please), and a teens and media section, some noise permitted.
You might want to plan which section is best for you and your family, especially if the sections are all furnished with public computers.
- Put cell phones on "vibrate." If you need to take or make a call, please use the dedicated area for that activity -- Many libraries have an atrium or foyer for this.
- Please be careful with beverages in the library, especially near computers, and drink as quietly as possible. Be careful with foods as well. Once, several of us in the quiet area of a library were interrupted by a gentleman opening cans of soups and vegetables and eating them noisily from the cans. A librarian did intervene, though.
- Please take care with library books, CDs, DVD,s computers, and other equipment and materials. Make them last as long as possible so that other patrons can also enjoy them. Often, when a book is destroyed or lost, a library cannot purchase a new one.
- Please refrain reading over shoulders or craning your neck to look at the screens of computers, laptops, Kindle, and iPad users in the library. This is rather intrusive and some individuals steal personal information in this way for Identity Theft.
Refrain from using the tabletop as a drum. Use headphones and please don't sing with a video.
Dude, That's Rude!
- At computer bays and shared tables, please do not slam your body down in a chair, pound your stuff onto the table, and then create additional unnecessary noise. Refrain from using the tabletop as a drum. Use headphones and please don't sing with a video. Please use calm and considerate actions overall.
- At computer terminals, please do not talk to the computer! Refrain from pounding on the table, kicking your feet, leaning over into another patron beside you on a different terminal, etc. When you need serious help with a computer, please see a library staff person, instead of engaging three or four patrons around you in loud complaints that disturb those who are working. If you need to do so, please go to the rest room and blow your nose; refrain form sniffing 100 times. In addition, please do not wipe you nose on your hand or sleeve and then onto the computer housing or keyboard.
- Please refrain from taking a bath or washing your clothes in the library restrooms; and take care about extreme body odor. Just FRI: This is an actual guideline posted in our libraries in Central Ohio.
- Please do not steal your parents' car and drive it through the library wall. This has happened in my city and that library was completely rebuilt form the ground up.
Our Local Code of Conduct
- Customer Code of Conduct | Columbus Metropolitan Library
Here are about 75 rules for using our libraries successfully.
Very good instructions for younger children from K-Grade 2.
- I think there is no cause for a loud argument or a fistfight in a library, although I have witnessed both.
- Try not to fall asleep in a comfortable chair in the library. It happens and the staff of some libraries do not like this, because the homeless often take refuge in libraries to sleep. We may need daytime homeless lounges or some such.
Use good manners in the library and we can all have a good time there!