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To expect quiet in a library?

(21 Posts)
blondebuddha Mon 23-Oct-17 14:22:24

Took DD to the library today for the first time in about a year. She's recently started nursery and gone book crazy so she's been looking forward to it all weekend.

When we arrived there were 6 or 7 kids all aged between about 2 and 8 running riot round the whole library, not just in the kids section. The mums that weren't ignoring them were screaming at them to behave.

I'm coming across as abit pretentious in this post but don't mean it that way, kids should have fun and obviously a group of children playing together is never going to be silent. I just don't feel that the non fiction section is a suitable place to practice wrestling moves!

DD was quite intimidated by them and at one point got stuck behind 3 of them in a corner while they raced each other and she couldnt get past.

I made a point of telling DD before we walked in that libraries are quiet places and she had no problem with that rule.

We ended up leaving quite quickly. Seems very disrespectful to me but is this normal now? The staff didn't seem to bat an eyelid.

AIBU? Or should I just suck it up?

grandioseOtter Mon 23-Oct-17 14:33:50

People shouldn'tbe racing each other around in the way you describe but in a general public library (as opposed to an academic one), no, I don't expect real quiet.

They're becoming less so like this in schools and for the better. They should be places for accessing information and this is becoming less and less through (silent) books and more through multimedia.

Besides which, would you like the building to seem like a daunting place for your daughter or a fun and welcoming one which encourages a love of learning?

DunkMeInTomatoSoup Mon 23-Oct-17 14:36:02

Did you speak to the librarian?

5foot5 Mon 23-Oct-17 14:41:27

I wouldn't expect a deathly hush in the general fiction area and certainly not in the children's section. I think it is quite good that children are encouraged to see libraries as fun places for the right reasons. The right reasons being that they get to choose lovely books and /or maybe get to enjoy a story telling session, either an "official" one or a cosy one cuddled up with their parent on the sofa.

I agree with you that it is not on that they are allowed to run about noisily wherever they wish to in the library - especially in those areas where people might be trying to work or study quietly.

I once saw some boys who must have been at least 10 racing around playing catch in the library. The librarian did eventually tell them to stop before they caused an accident. It is not just small children who might have been knocked flying by their antics but the elderly were at risk too. And it was downright annoying!

Earlyriser84 Mon 23-Oct-17 14:41:46


Howyoualldoworkme Mon 23-Oct-17 15:20:59

If you expect quiet in an academic library you're going to be disappointed too!
I think public libraries have mostly been regarded as 'Discovery Centres' to get more people through the doors. So different use, different clientele.
I couldn't bear to work in public libraries anymore sad

notnowthough Mon 23-Oct-17 15:26:38

Baby clinics in one of the libraries near us.
I think they just aren't quiet places anymore.

FeelingAggrieved Mon 23-Oct-17 15:31:32

Libraries are no longer quiet places. sad

JeepersKreepers Mon 23-Oct-17 15:32:31

YANBU. I used to love libraries, I could spend hours browsing and flicking through books but now they seem like glorified creches.

I have't been near ours for about six years and, TBH, I struggle to muster sympathy when I hear a news story about libraries closing.

Noodledoodledoo Mon 23-Oct-17 15:42:40

I take my just 3 year old and just 1 year old - its a new thing which my eldest loves. I try my hardest to keep them under control but they are toddlers. My 1 year old likes to take the books off the shelves its a great game!

I don't allow them to run about in a crazy fashion but I don't expect them to be silent.

We stay for about 20-30 mins max to choose our books.

KoalaD Mon 23-Oct-17 15:46:03


I hate it that public libraries are now full of people being as noisy as they want, the same as every other public space.

Aeroflotgirl Mon 23-Oct-17 15:46:17

I do think libraries need to be more accessible, and welcoming. Whilst I think there should not be complete silence, there should be a respectful noise volume. Not screaming or shouting like a banshee, and running around no acceptable, but quiet talking is fine.

Pengggwn Mon 23-Oct-17 15:46:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lottapianos Mon 23-Oct-17 15:53:00

'I hate it that public libraries are now full of people being as noisy as they want, the same as every other public space.'

No doubt you will be told that you're a total misery etc, but I agree with you. I think its a good thing that parents are being encouraged to use books with their children, and that libraries are welcoming places, but I really feel for older people and other adults who would like some peace and quiet. Its harder and harder to find these days.

I adored going to the library when I was a kid, and that was in the days of deathly silence in libraries. I didn't find it intimidating at all.

notacooldad Mon 23-Oct-17 15:54:26

The central library near me us more like a community centre which isn't a bad thing. There is a lot going on there including workshops, computer access for people, advice sections as well as a cafe so you aren't going to get quiet.
The only space that us still quiet us the reference library on the top floor.
To be honest I think it us a good thing. They seem more welcoming than they did about 15 years ago. They've had to adapt and change or die I guess.

Ttbb Mon 23-Oct-17 15:57:16

Well obviously 6 year olds plus should be quiet in a library but you can't really expect it from the little ones. TBf you are lucky it was the childrenmsking the noise. In most public libraries I've been to it's been the adults with no 'inside voice' making all the noise. Thsnkfully I don't need to go often.

blondebuddha Mon 23-Oct-17 21:48:48

'beautiful hush' hit the nail on the head. Doesn't need to be silent and I certainly don't expect that from the children's section but I do expect respect and consideration for others from children who are old enough to understand and definitely from the parents.

Also, disagree with silence being daunting. Libraries are places of learning and contemplating and discovering yes, but no one can do that with such distractions surely?

It makes me abit sad to think my DD might never get to sit and flick through a few books in a quiet library. I'm a major book worm though so slightly biased.

DaisyDando Mon 23-Oct-17 21:53:42

It’s a shame you haven’t been for a year. Our library closed, and I miss it hugely.

Minidoghugs Mon 23-Oct-17 21:57:46

Libraries are very noisy now. Last time I went they were having a sort of local history event with stalls. It was really noisy we were glad to get out.

deadringer Mon 23-Oct-17 22:21:25

Running around is definitely out of order, as is shouting, screaming etc, but I don't think we can expect silence, not in the kids library anyway. However I posted on here a few months ago with the opposite problem. I was reading a story to two quiet, well behaved children in the childrens library and I was asked to lower my voice. I wasn't whispering but I was using a hushed, indoor voice. I was told on here that iwbu and that I shouldn't be reading to kids in the library at all. The only other people there were a couple of men on the computers in the corner so I assume one of them complained, don't know why they didn't just use the computers in the adult library next door. I was a bit miffed because I feel that books should be prioritised over computers, especially in a children's library.

KERALA1 Mon 23-Oct-17 22:54:06

God taking small dc to library's makes my blood run cold. I never lost dc except in the bloody library. Remember the sick feeling of turning down to check dd2 still there as I checked in books only to find her gone. I was the disruptive one racing round the library screaming - that awful stage where you don't care what anyone thinks any more (we are normally a quiet family).

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