General Question

Trustinglife's avatar

Why do librarians often speak loudly?

Asked by Trustinglife (6623points) June 13th, 2008

Ok, this question is a bit snarky… but I was just in the library today and noticed this. I’ve lived in many different places and this seems to be common. Why would they do this, if the library is supposed to be a quiet place? I wondered about this to myself, then thought I’d ask y’all.

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7 Answers

MrKnowItAll's avatar

Often, people who speak loudly, have a hearing deficiency. I don’t believe that your question is intended to refer to all librarians.

janbb's avatar

As a librarian, I have to weigh in on this subject. First of all, are you sure you’re talking about librarians or do you mean clerks? Clerks are generally the people you encounter at the circulation desk; librarians handle reference questions, order books, catalog, etc. In order to be a librarian, i.e., professional, you generally have to have gotten a Master’s Degree in Library Science. Obviously either type of library worker can be noisy. In my library, some of us are loud and some of us are noisy. In general, we do try to keep noise down, but most libraries and librarians are trying to get away from the old image of libraries as stuffy places with old ladies with buns (librarians) going around saying “Shush.” There has been a tendency toward more relaxied standards of behavior in libraries as in many other modern places. Some libraries, mine included, have quiet study rooms set aside as well as areas for collaborative work.

Trustinglife's avatar

@jan, that does help. Now it’s time for me to get that image of the old lady with the bun out of my head the next time I go to the library. And relax!

Mtl_zack's avatar

my mom is a librarian and I’ve been to her workplace. she’s generally very quit, and i think she talks very loudly at home to make up for this. maybe the librarians’ emotions aren’t balanced and they’re very timid and they only get to be “superior” by talking in an otherwise quiet atmosphere.

just my 2 cents.

WDLittle's avatar

I always just thought they were trying to show their superiority, “Look what I can do that you can’t!” However, janbb’s answer is quite informative. I thought the people at the desk WERE the librarians! Great question… I learned something new!

Trustinglife's avatar

Now that some of you may be checking on this because of the new activity, I want to share a quick thought…

My dad is hosting a community dialogue in a meeting room at his local library. That makes so much sense to me! With the prevalence of the internet, I imagine that people are reading less books and going to the library less. One way libraries can remain an invaluable resource is if they become gathering places – to discuss ideas, plan community action, etc. Fluther is great, but you can’t get that local connection and coordination through the internet.

I mention coordination, because in case the times get “interesting,” we’ll need places to gather – to plan, coordinate, take care of each other. Libraries could be such a place in some communities. And if that becomes the case, then they probably won’t be so quiet!

janbb's avatar

Libraries have been increasingly becoming meeting places, cultural outlets and places where people can get use and get help in using computers and the internet. In numerous places library usage is up as people discover libraries as information centers and librarians as information resources.

Go check it out!

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