Have You Heard of a Library?

Has the definition of LIBRARY changed, and nobody told me?

I’ve always considered the public library to be a place of quiet solitude where people go to browse books, read, write, do research, study, and surf the internet — among other things — in a distraction-free atmosphere. Apparently, things have changed.

Once again, I found myself in the local public library to get some writing done. I use the library at times because I don’t have a home office and since we live in the country, our internet is a bit challenging at times. But more importantly, since I am presently a house husband trying to be a writer, it’s nice to get out occasionally and be in a different environment.

This particular trip started out peaceful enough. But then, a gaggle of schoolchildren (probably late elementary, early junior high years) descended on the place and chaos ensued. As the clamor of young voices rose and bodies stampeded to and fro throughout the building, I began to wonder if it was something more akin to an amusement park or a Chuck E. Cheese and not a library as the sign outside read.

I understand children can be noisy and overly energized at times, but when you are in a public library, shouldn’t there be some semblance of decorum and restraint, regardless of age or hormone level?

When I write on my laptop at the library, I use my earbuds and listen to meditative music for writing on Youtube. Yes, that’s a thing. It’s great. But it’s not enough armor to deflect the yelling and carrying on of rambunctious school kids working on whatever project they were working on. It was probably something useless in relation to their future place in the world. How about having them do a project on how to act in the library? There’s an idea for you. Let’s teach our kids something useful.

Maybe I’m just being a stick in the mud again, as evidenced by this previous post: Have you heard of shutting your face?

But is it really unreasonable of me to expect the library to be a quiet place and not a roaring circus with flying methed-up monkeys bouncing off the walls? I think not.

The sad thing is, there was a teacher involved in leading this pack of wild animals. She apparently didn’t set any rules beforehand and did nothing to temper the noise and running around once it took off. Nothing at all.

And neither did any members of the library staff. How is this allowed? It’s a LIBRARY!

I do not get it.

Am I wasting energy on this? Does it make any difference if I bitch about it?

Probably not. Or maybe it’s just good therapy for me. Congratulations dear readers, you’ve been promoted to psychologist.

Now, even though the schoolchildren weren’t technically heckling me, it kind of felt like it. They were disturbing my work. Maybe I should go over to the school while those kids are trying to take a really important math test and start heckling them. That’ll show ‘em. You know, like that Seinfeld episode where Jerry goes to the office of one of his hecklers and boos and hisses her while she’s trying to work. … No? Nothing? It was a TV show. Back in my days. Look it up on the device of your choice.

My wife says I should go to a coffee shop instead. We have a nice one downtown that is rarely busy, and they have free WiFi… And coffee. And pastries. And a clean restroom. I think I’ll try that out and see how it goes.

I suppose I can wrap this up with simply saying that at times I feel as if I am fighting a losing battle against inconsideration as a whole. I often wonder if it’s just me. Maybe my nervous system lacks a protective shield. Maybe I’m not genetically built to live on this planet. Maybe the star people dropped me off at the wrong stop and I’m just wandering around with the wrong kind of soul.

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