Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A Library or a Night Club?

I write to you from a work table inside the fancy new library that just opened here in my part of Austin. I've been anticipating it's grand opening for the past few months. I even bought myself a cute little netbook (will blog about that later) so I can easily come over to the library and grab a couple hours of writing time in the afternoons.

Too bad the new library is more like a social club.

Just when did it become acceptable to talk--loudly, I might add--in the library? Libraries have always been quite places. If you had to talk, you did so in a hushed voice. People respected those rules, and it made for a nice, quiet time for everyone.

That's not today's library. Today's library has gathering spaces to encourage conversation, along with fancy coffee machines. If I wanted fancy coffee and plush seating, I'd head over to the Starbucks down the street.

There are no private study rooms, just these round tables you're forced to share with other people who spend hours watching videos on YouTube and laughing obnoxiously loud (though the guy across from me probably doesn't realize how much his laugh is grating on my nerves since he has on earphones and most likely can't hear himself).

I want the nice, quiet libraries of yesteryear. Please, bring them back!