Many responsibilities of library employees are opaque to our patrons, but the public has in mind that one of our day-to-day responsibilities is maintaining the library’s quiet environment. My family makes frequent jokes about my proclivity towards shushing, which I argue is 100% false. However, it is true that to be an environment that allows people to read, study, and research the library must maintain a certain level of muted sound.
I imagine that many of us are engaged in a balancing act of meeting patron’s varying needs for space for group work and silent study. That’s why we are interested in the flyers, signs, and other materials that you use to communicate your library’s noise levels and environment to patrons – the formal, informal, and funny! Or if you have a work-in-progress that needs some feedback from other librarians, send it here too. We’re looking forward to seeing the various ways that our community designs around this library phenomenon.
March 27, 2018 at 12:42 pm
At the Perkins Library in Watertown, MA, we are the state’s main NLS library for people experiencing difficulties reading traditional library materials in print due to an organic condition such as vision loss, mobility limitations, as well as a wide range of other reasons why someone would find reading printed materials difficult. We are a division of the LOC which provides (among many other things) an enormous amount of digital audio books to our patrons on accessible cartridges as well as the equipment to play them. The majority of these individuals have some form of vision loss and most of our materials are provided for in an audio format. This service is completely free to eligible individuals but also to institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, schools and yes, other libraries. There is a lot to be said about what and how we service those in need, let me know if you’d like to know more and I’ll be happy to do a write up.