From: "Kim Potter" <[log in to unmask]>
I ask because what's happening in our library doesn't seem to work very
for all. Unreasonable expectation? We have some (mostly but not all
adults) who would like a quiet computer area and others (some younger
mixed) who would like group activity, games, cell phone activity,
Sounds like you need a courtesy campaign! A comprehensive approach to
emphasizing the need for working in quiet. This might be done with
conduct code signs coming into the building, around the computers, even
on the computer screen itself before they get access to your home page
to remind people that you need quiet to enhance the libraries
educational environment. Contact me off-list if you want more nuts and
bolts details on this.
Also, maybe some sort of sonic barrier between the teens and adult
computers would be good. Drew Carey cubicle sort of things used as a
corral might be useful.
And, a seperate area where one has to conduct phone conversations has
worked well for us most of the time.
A flexible and fair conduct code is one of the best tools you can use.
Cleveland Heights has the best one I've seen, but its not online. It's
only 3 lines long but essentially says,
1. The library is for everyone to enjoy, free of disruptive behavior.
2. Those acting disruptive will be asked to leave.
3. Staff determines what is disruptive.
This allows them flexibility to let folks talk quietly on a cell to a
support person trying to fix something online, and gives them the
authority to move people along who are loudly chatting while surfing
In my book, Castles Against Ignorance, I also emphasize the importance
of the librarians themselves being good role models!
Talking privately to repeat offenders or group leaders can also be
crucial. I've had good success one-on-one and in small groups reminding
people about ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder. "When you rob them out of
their attention its like robbing them of money." Some of the teens (and
adults) you speak to may actually have that affliction, and it might
make an impact on them. The library should be a place that folks with
ADD can go to in order to focus.
The exquisite silence of a room full of thinking people is a beautiful
thing. Good luck in your efforts,
Shaker Heights Public Library