Library users plead for quiet places to read, write and study

Libraries are LOUD... For rich people, that’s not a problem. They live in spacious homes, glide along in hermetically sealed cars, book weekends in restful spas, dine in restaurants where the nearest table is 6 feet away. Quiet is one of the sweetest luxuries they’re able to afford. But most rich people don’t use libraries. For the rest of us, refuge from this cacophonous world is getting harder and harder to come by. Let’s hope librarians are listening to all the patrons asking them not to take it away.


A few loudly squeeking patrons have influenced the library board that they do indeed need to talk on their cell phones while in the library. Of course they claim to speak softlym which we all know is a crock!

nationally representative sample of 2,252 can represent the thoughts of 319,000,000 people.

I am not speaking to the question as to whether or not this specific work is a valid survey. Maybe your comment is meant as humor or a satirical reference to the lack mathematical ability in our country, or maybe you actually were referring to a mathematical problem with the methodology. If so, I apologize for missing the point. However, the tenor of your comment reinforces the assertion that innumeracy is as big a problem in the US as illiteracy. The message I get is "Because I don't understand statistics, the entire discipline is unreliable."

My comment is that it is a very small number even for a real survey (as accurately mentioned by the person below) but also the fact that such big assumptions can be made from so few people (even if at the 16,000 level) is amazing isn't it.

I'd believe, or rather accept the results from a survey taken at the library more than I would one just done by phone as well. I think it's a valid survey, just a pretty pointless one.

If there is supposed to be a quiet space they should be getting it enforced and if there isn't and people want one they should get together and talk to those in charge. Problem is you can't help all people all of the time. If the majority want a place for the kids to play instead of a quiet room then that is what they will probably get.
It's not perfect and not always possible but there is always the idea that people could take out books and study at home. Unless the poor all live in ramshackle huts next to the wrong side of the traintracks and mommy is cooking meth in the kitchen so little Johnny can't concentrate?

I have no knowledge of levels of innumeracy or illiteracy in the US so that wasn't what I was talking about no :)

For 320 million people if you want to have a 95% confidence rate you need to have a sample size around 9500 people. If you want a 99% confidence rate you need a sample size of around 16,000.

In that respect a sample of 2200 could be considered low.

One of the most common requests for improvement at our (50k+ sq.ft.) public library is a space for the traditional pursuit of quiet scholarship. The requests are thoroughly ignored, even though there is a space that could easily be designated as "quiet study". Our library has always strived to be a community center, and the echoed voices are testaments to our success in that regard.

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