I am so mad!! What has this world come to that we don’t seem to be able to live without our cell phones for even brief periods of time?
I was in the public library the other evening returning a book and borrowing two more. (Yes, despite the Kindle craze and the ability to download a book onto my Smartphone, I still prefer the feel of a good book in my hands.) So there I was, walking among the stacks and browsing the titles when I was suddenly jolted into an environment that made me very uncomfortable. The man next to me took a call on his cell phone and launched into a loud conversation with an individual who was his soon-to-be ex-wife. How did I know this? He was ranting and raving about her lawyer and what he thought about the unfair settlement. I was embarrassed for him and uncomfortable to the point that I stopped my browsing and moved to another area of the library to get away from him. He was oblivious to my departure.
I was always under the impression that libraries were places that were quiet, where one could go to think, study, contemplate, explore, and focus. What I have found recently is that these quiet places may be disappearing. The libraries I have been in lately allow cell phone usage as long as the conversation is being conducted in hushed tones. What? Now, when was the last time you heard someone talking on a cell phone in a hushed tone? They also seem to allow people to yell to each other across the room. I’ve recently witnessed parents yelling to their children to “hurry up and pick out a book because it’s time to go home!” I guess the days of the librarian holding her index finger to her lips and shushing us are over. Maybe it’s politically incorrect to shush these days?
But what about me? What about my rights and those like me who want to read, browse, relax, or enjoy customer experiences without the intrusion of people talking on their cell phones? Have we come to the point where we are placating one group of customers at the expense of another? Maybe it’s time for me to spring for a Kindle!!
Here is my question to all of your subscribers:
Should libraries be “No Cell Phone Zones”?
Let me hear your thoughts and there’s no need to whisper!