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This Isn’t Your Father’s Library

, , , , , | Learning | January 5, 2018

(It is the last week of a 13-week semester at our very small college. The college has no dedicated study space and our one-room library is packed. Through diligent outreach efforts, the other librarian and I have increased the number of students we serve by 400% over the last four semesters. I get this email from the vice-president of the college.)

Vice-President: “I hear it is too noisy in the library. Students are complaining. I need you and [Other Librarian] to come to a meeting tomorrow at 10:00 am to explain why it is so noisy.”

Me: “I’m sorry; this week is our busiest week of the semester. We have about 150 students in the library right now, and there are no down times throughout the day. We cannot possibly be away from the library at this time. Could you find a time next week when we could meet?”

(The vice-president then proceeds to send me a 500-word essay on the importance of quiet. Then the principal, who has been cc’d in our emails, sends his own essay about how “in the old days,” libraries were quiet places, and asking “what’s wrong with kids nowadays?”)

Me: *to other librarian* “You’d think they’d realize that if there are 150 students packed into one room, it is going to be loud!”

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