Quiet in the Library

Generally, it’s pretty darn hectic in our small library. We have children blazing through from the front door to the children’s department where they can drag a giant stuffed caterpillar around or put together a gigantic puzzle. Teens are huddled over computers checking out their updated MySpace. Others are scanning the DVDs for the latest movie. People are lined up at the circulation desk to check out materials or asking the librarians for help. It’s just a lot of activity in a small space.

Today, a patron came up to the desk and in a pretty loud voice complained about the noise. He was working on something important, he said, and he needed quiet. Amazing: there was a like a hush that fell over everyone. Not a single Shhhh! was spoken, but it was viral. For about 30 minutes… it was like the libraries of old… everyone was whispering. Pretty funny, really.

Of course, as new people came in and the middle schoolers plopped in, the photocopier started humming, the quiet was broken. Interesting while it lasted. I’d forgotten what that was like.

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