Silence no longer reigns in today's libraries, but every so often, patrons need a place for peace and yes, quiet.
Around the country, more and more public libraries provide designated quiet rooms to take the edge off their transformation into chaotic hubs, which was done in part to draw more visitors and keep pace with the demands of frenetic, technology-driven lives.
While adding toddler playtime and teen dances, library officials discovered that many patrons still longed for a traditional, less hectic atmosphere.
Says Rhoda Goldberg, director of the Harris County (TX) public library system, ""People wanted a place for quiet study. It takes them out of the hustle and bustle in buildings that are very busy. We're going to be putting in quiet rooms as much as possible."
Inside the Clear Lake quiet room, the loudest noises are whispers and the faint rustling of turning pages. Even the overstuffed upholstered armchairs encourage patrons to sink into stillness. Story from the AP.