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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.

SundaeGirl Wed 14-Nov-12 17:08:25


Mrsjay Wed 14-Nov-12 17:08:58

Our library is actually in a pub.

NO way ! are you sure it isnt just a book shelf that you browse through while you drink grin

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 14-Nov-12 17:10:48

There is nothing wrong with quietly reading a story to a child and helping them choose books in the children's section. But libraries should have a quiet area for study, that's what I thought they were for!

If libraries turn into places where people can't concentrate on what they are reading, then they will disappear far quicker than they will if Mums can't use them as a free play group. Libraries should cater for all their users, not just young children, but if catering for young children means they become useless to everyone else, then they either need to make children stay quiet, leave, or give them a separate room.

Our big town library gets used a lot by students who don't have space or quiet to work at home, and they are a far greater priority than children who can go to the park, soft play and a whole heap of other places designed specifically for them.

Cortana Wed 14-Nov-12 17:12:11

YABU. Anything that gets a toddler into a room full of books is a good thing. Older children have the capacity to understand about quiet study there being a time and a place. Toddlers don't.

I doubt the library is aiming it's services at parents sitting on MN either but that's by the by. Libraries are for everyone. Everyone is different. Either live and let live or leave.

Viva, you and I have spoken about you library before (poss under an old name for me), I know it's not ideal for you, but when I win the lottery I shall have a library of my very own with a bar in it and my retirement will superb.

honeytea Wed 14-Nov-12 17:16:07

Yabu, are the noisy children playing hide and seek distracting you from your important mumsnetting op?

MulledWineOnTheBusLady Wed 14-Nov-12 17:17:07

RuleBritannia. I don't. It was mrsjay who referred to old men who like dusty books, I was just picking up the comment

DoubleYew Wed 14-Nov-12 17:19:01

Surely you need a matric card to get into a uni library?

The point about getting children in is so they will use it the rest of their lives because they see it as a welcoming space, unlike the poster who said they hadn't been to theirs in years because of the Shhhh factor.

Francagoestohollywood Wed 14-Nov-12 17:23:15

I think it is unfair to pile on the OP so much.

One thing is being a welcoming place for children, the other is actually forgetting the basic rules of politeness.
Otherwise it is just toddlers tyranny grin

VivaLeBeaver Wed 14-Nov-12 17:30:06

Nope, definitely a library not a bookshelf.

One day I will start a thread on my local parish council and the things they do.

Buying a pub that has no income and going bust, shutting the library and sacking the staff and then reopening an unstaffed library in the pub in a bid to increase takings in the shit hole pub about sums it up.

I'm so happy that my council tax on a 3 bed semi in rural midlands is more than Tony Blair pays on his £7million London mansion. hmm

It's spent on such good things.

Like the annual "free" fireworks night held, surprise, surprise at the pub. Free to go to but someone's paid for the 30 minute long, professional firework display. Oh that's right, that'll be me and the other villagers in the council tax. Concept of cut backs hasn't arrived here. Well apart from sacking the library staff I suppose.

CombustionEngine Wed 14-Nov-12 17:30:36

Our library makes sure to point out you don't have to be quiet anymore and that kids can make noise as long as it's not misbehaving.

I go in our local one to write and enjoy observing what a community space it is these days and what a loss it would be if it closed.

Adversecamber Wed 14-Nov-12 19:18:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

freddiefrog Wed 14-Nov-12 19:27:01

Our library has the best of all worlds

A children's area which is closed off, where they run groups, homework clubs, etc - noise is fine

General area which has areas for reading, where general chit chat is fine

Closed off study area where you are expected to be quiet (no mobiles, speaking quietly)

Dominodonkey Wed 14-Nov-12 19:32:23

Surely it's about levels of behaviour and compromise.

Book groups, reading aloud to parents, craft groups, toddlers singing etc fine.
Running around, playing hide and seek, chucking books around, shouting and screaming. Unacceptable. People doing this are learning nothing about books or reading and should go to the park.

If possible where there are noisy activities the library should also provide a quiet reading and study area.

Dominodonkey Wed 14-Nov-12 19:33:41

Cross pay with Freddie. Your one sounds fab.

AppleOgies Wed 14-Nov-12 19:36:14

My library is wonderful... I take DS every week, he's well behaved but not silent. My library actively encourages talking normally and children having freedom to enjoy their section.

IMO YABU! Libraries are no longer silent, stuffy places. Silence is pretty much only expected in libraries for study nowadays. Stop being so grumpy. wink

Flisspaps Wed 14-Nov-12 19:39:39

If you want to read a book quietly, take the bloody thing out and read it at home!

We went to the library this afternoon. As soon as we walked in, DD turned to me and said 'Shh, Mummy, shh! Have to be quiet!" - I'd not said a word!

dontcallmehon Wed 14-Nov-12 19:49:48

My ds, 3, has picked up on this notion of a quiet library for some reason and always does a big comical 'shush' when we go. I don't know why, because we go for storytime and to see the toys in the toy library. Children are expected and invited to play, read and make noise. If you want silence, take a book out and read it at home.

dontcallmehon Wed 14-Nov-12 19:51:59

I hadn't read your post Flisspaps - how funny! ds is exactly the same. Plus we're supposed to be encouraging parents to take their dcs to libraries. I love reading, but ds is v active and a bit boisterous. I wouldn't take him to the library if it had to be totally silent, as ds is incapable of that. And that would be a great shame, don't you think?

skateboarder Wed 14-Nov-12 20:12:20

We go to quite a few libraries. One we have been to today after school had a few children in. The mums were gossiping and leaving the children to run around or climb on railings, chairs and even a pile of books hmm
Im all for encouraging children and more people generally to use libraries but have some respect people.

dontcallmehon Wed 14-Nov-12 20:15:26

I wouldn't allow ds to climb on furniture etc. I did see a little girl doing that during rhyme time once and mum didn't intervene at all - so the lovely librarian had to ask her to get down. I would've been mortified. There is a middle ground between that and reverential silence, however.

LineRunner Wed 14-Nov-12 20:16:58

Sorry, OP, but your attitude is the quickest way to get your local library closed down that I can think of.

Co-locating libraries and community cafes, drop-ins, youth centres, children's centres, to save them from closure, is smart thinking.

Dominodonkey Wed 14-Nov-12 20:47:15

linerunner so do you think children running around, climbing up shelves and shouting is ok or do you mean different activities happening, book groups etc? they are very different things.
I am not sure that the OP has specifically said she disapproves Of the latter.

LineRunner Thu 15-Nov-12 08:29:33

I think it was OP's stress on libraries as 'QUIET places' [OP's capitalisation] that struck me as unrealistic.

lljkk Thu 15-Nov-12 08:33:54

My kids had thousands of books and went to the library regularly - but now they regard books as completely meaningless and as for the people who read books - saddoes to be pitied!

Is that because the model they saw for people who were keen on books was one step away from deaths' door, morbid & lifeless as you'd like the library to be?

Just a thought.

MulledWineOnTheBusLady Thu 15-Nov-12 09:06:52

How is a quiet place where people are reading "morbid and lifeless"? confused

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