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Libraries are NOT free playgroups!

(111 Posts)
autumn99 Wed 14-Nov-12 15:14:04

When are mums going to stop using libraries as free playgroups stroke chat sessions at the expense of those hwo wnat to use libraries for their proper purpose, No one objects to children being introduced to books - but hand in hand should go the condition that libraries are QUIET places where people go to read and relax. So many mums I see just aren't laying down the behaviour rules to their children, so are not introducing a new generation to the joys of reading but just nurturing a generation that doesn't give a hoot about the purpose of libraries and the respect for quiet that should prevail.

Cortana Wed 14-Nov-12 15:17:18

How old are the children you refer to?

Mathsdidi Wed 14-Nov-12 15:17:48

I think your idea of a library is a bit outdated really though. Our library positively encourages people to come in for a chat while they look for books, and they have quite a variety of toys around in the childrens' section specifically for young children to play with.

If the library had to be a QUIET place then I couldn't possibly take my toddler because she just doesn't understand yet why she should be quiet in there (she's not badly behaved, just a toddler).

Tweasels Wed 14-Nov-12 15:20:20

Do the library staff agree with you?

Libraries are struggling to survive and are therefore adapting to changing demands. Our local library welcomes young children and whilst of course they shouldn't be running riot, they should be learning that books and reading are FUN.

ObiWan Wed 14-Nov-12 15:21:48

Our library encourages normal speaking voices, and hosts loads of childrens craft and homework groups. The childrens book clubs can be fairly raucous, and no one minds at all.

Parents are encouraged to make full use of the toys and garden, and noise is part and parcel of that.

An academic might be more your thing OP.

Flisspaps Wed 14-Nov-12 15:22:00

Our library is part of a secondary school (they use it as the school library and an open plan corridor upstairs leads to classrooms, mayhem at change of lessons). They do bounce and rhyme groups, toddler sessions, all sorts.

Attitudes like yours are the reason so many people don't use libraries which leads to them closing. I don't care how noisy my fellow library users are, I'm just bloody glad they're using it at all

ObiWan Wed 14-Nov-12 15:22:09

Academic library obvs.

ihavenofuckingclue Wed 14-Nov-12 15:22:14

I don't really use our local library much tbh, but when I have they have absolutely encouraged what you describe.

Less people use libraries for research and studying so they are going after new market. Can't blame them really, all businesses must move with the times or slowly die.

pictish Wed 14-Nov-12 15:23:46

I don't think libraries are the QUIET places they used to they now encourage people with kids in to have fun and use the facilities.
They are very welcoming of noisy toddlers.

JugsMcGee Wed 14-Nov-12 15:24:26

My local library has toys, cozy reading corners with beanbags and singing/group reading sessions, all of which are perfect for my toddler. He is 20m, he doesn't get being quiet yet. Of course I don't let him run riot but if we had to be silent the whole time we wouldn't be able to go there.

kim147 Wed 14-Nov-12 15:25:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ephiny Wed 14-Nov-12 15:26:41

I think libraries have changed tbh. Though it's a shame there can't be some compromise between the stern librarian/strict silence of the old days, and kids running around yelling like it's a playground. The library can be a useful study space for homework etc for school-children who come from chaotic households aren't lucky enough to have a quiet calm space at home - so it's a shame if that's taken away from them as well.

We were always taken to the library (and to church) as small children, and expected to be quiet and taken outside if we weren't, so it can be done. It's not what most people want these days though, and libraries have to adapt to survive. Otherwise there will be no libraries at all (and we're heading that way already in some areas).

Tweasels Wed 14-Nov-12 15:26:53


I'm trying to read.

MontBlanc Wed 14-Nov-12 15:28:14

Yep our library has a lovely children's section which I take my 22 month old DS to. I was amazed when I found out as I would NEVER have taken him there before as my view of libraries was that of the OP, that they are quiet places to study.

They are actively encouraging children in there though these days and don't worry about the hushed quiet rule - and what a great idea to get kids interested in books with the frightening illiteracy figures.

PickledFanjoCat Wed 14-Nov-12 15:28:20

Stop whinging many libraries promote classes and book reading to get people reading at a young age.

HullyEastergully Wed 14-Nov-12 15:28:26

They are though

fuzzpig Wed 14-Nov-12 15:29:34

I work in a library, we don't do 'quiet' (apart from in the separate reference section). We like it lively!

Anything like moving furniture and clambering around is discouraged as they might hurt themselves.

I'm talking about children there obviously grin

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Wed 14-Nov-12 15:31:19

my library growing up was a two-storey one - the children's library was on a different floor.
It meant that kids could be a bit louder ( ie normal) and no adults would care.

YABU by the way, quiet libraries are boring. I want my bookchoosing to be fun

hiviolet Wed 14-Nov-12 15:32:00

I'm an academic librarian and believe me, academic libraries aren't havens of silence and serious study either, more like packed to the brim with shrieking, eating, littering undergrads hmm

MrsHoarder Wed 14-Nov-12 15:32:30

Or library is only open 14 hours a week and there's often only 1 or 2 other people there. So if encouraging people to use it as a community space for enjoying books keeps it fined then I'm very happy.

Note that as well as going to rhyme time and bfing ds there when convenient I use out to order books from across the consortium and do research. But if it closes through lack of use by the local community then I can't do that.

Mrsjay Wed 14-Nov-12 15:33:43

MY dds are teenagers and they loved the going the did toddler sessions and then preschool session and would go after school it was encouraged that children go in and loll about the big cushions and play and read , meh you sound like an old man who wants to have dusty books and leather chairs instead of children enjoying books and their surroundings,

anothercuppaplease Wed 14-Nov-12 15:33:48

I have to say... sorry but I agree with OP to a degree...

I went in there the other day with DS who is 6 and there was a group of mums and toddlers who were having a fantastic time taking all the books off the shelves and the mums were chatting as if they were in a pub. No understanding at all of the environment. DS tried to read me a couple of books, because at the end of the day, that's what books are for, reading, and we had to move to the adult section of the library because I oculdn't hear him. I was a bit confused but hey, if that's what people expect from a local library, so be it. I feel that we should still be able to read in a library. Maybe I am setting my expectations a bit too high.

MulledWineOnTheBusLady Wed 14-Nov-12 15:43:14

Why on earth are old men who like dusty books any less deserving than children? confused

A library is a community resource, that means they should do their best to serve the whole community. The best ones I've been to made provision for children AND for people who wanted to study quietly. This is very dependent on size and isn't always possible, but where it is possible I don't see what the point is in deliberately turning them into creches as a matter of principle. As if having young people in it will somehow magically revive the business model.

I've stopped using libraries that do this in the past - and I was a frequent borrower who ran up huge fines and didn't chew or scribble on the books, so they lost a valuable customer in me. grin

Ephiny Wed 14-Nov-12 15:47:31

Some children like quiet too - I did! And some old men are noisy. Not sure the ageist stereotypes are helpful here.

Mrsjay Wed 14-Nov-12 15:57:30

Why on earth are old men who like dusty books any less deserving than children?

I wasn't being literal confused but that is what the OP sounded like a grumpy fart who hated children of course people are entitled to use their libary and have a bit of peace and quiet but.....sigh

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