Enough already! Libraries are being overrun by boorish patrons

Opinion piece

I’ve always enjoyed libraries, mainly for books, of course, but recently I came to rely on computers at four different local branches for e-mailing and writing. This has given me a whole new level of appreciation, as well as dismay, about how our libraries have changed.

By their very public nature, they are showcases of the decline of civility. I’m writing this column in a public library as children run around screaming, patrons talk loudly with each other or on their prohibited cell phones and librarians are chattering at the check-out.

We used to enter and work quietly in these almost sacred places. Anything above an occasional whisper invited a stern look or raised finger to the lips and hushes from the librarian. Children were taught this library behavior by respectful parents at an early age and it carried on into all libraries, many of which also had even more strict “quiet rooms,” as we have in some of our branches.

Full piece