Children's Books discussion

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Conversations: books & readers > How much do you use your library? (And how much money does it save you?)

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message 1: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Apr 18, 2019 01:33PM) (new)

Kathryn | 5584 comments Mod
Folks, I love libraries. I go to the library once a week, on average, and typically have anywhere from 50-100 books checked out at a time (primarily due to all the picture books we check out). I've also used them for DVDs, music, magazines, audiobooks, and even borrowed a globe and a set of Lincoln Logs (yes, our library is amazing!)

I generally keep tabs on my check-outs online and try to save trees by not taking a paper receipt but this last time I accidentally got one and was surprised to see the following note at the bottom:

"You just saved $95.86 by using your library. You have saved $3,206.71 this year and $4,956.40 since you began using this library!" (Note that it's only been about six months since we moved to this district!)

Does anyone else get something like this on their receipts?! Kind of fun. That said, I think it's also grossly exaggerated because I'm guessing they are taking the retail price of each item (or perhaps they just have a general denomination for picture books vs. novels vs. DVDs etc?) and I almost never pay retail for books. Still, it did get me thinking how much money the library does save us (even if I were lucky enough to pay used book prices, the 100 titles I have out now would have cost me a few hundred dollars to purchase individually from used shops online). And, of course, I realize that libraries are not *totally* free -- we do pay taxes. But, still, it's pretty marvelous.

Even better than that, I think that libraries are so wonderful because of the sense of discovery they provide. Sadly, bookstores are so few and far between nowadays (and video stores non-existent). It's fun to browse and see what pops out as a total surprise that just might be our new favorite book. And, yes, I love that that sense of discovery comes without having to wince over a price tag.


message 2: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6165 comments Mod
Yes, my library back in Carson City had that number, too. I could see it online so I didn't even need to accept a paper receipt to check on it.

In Springfield, MO, they've calculated that the taxes each resident of their district pays to use the library comes out to about $70 per year. That's what it would cost me to get a card for their system.
It might be worth it to me if I lose access to the university system (because this city library in Rolla is all unto itself and very small... I'm relying on my mother's WI system and my adult sons' OKC system for most of my books now).

I could be totally wrong but I've been assuming that the number is derived from what the library paid for the book when they bought it, the number entered into the database when the book was cataloged in.


message 3: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5584 comments Mod
That could be. In that case it’s probably less than the average patron would have to pay for retail considering the library discounts? I wonder how they determine for older books, also. Perhaps not the most accurate, but fun ;-) my former district didn’t make note of it.


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael Fitzgerald | 367 comments What am I saving? I'm not buying these books. It's extremely unlikely I would be buying these books if I couldn't borrow them free. And I wouldn't be paying that kind of money (even if I had it...).

I don't know that this is the exact source, but here's how some libraries do this: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/library-value-calculator - it uses an amazon.com average price so, for example, every children's book borrowed is $17. Entirely unrealistic - I regularly buy a huge number of children's books for $0.50 at used book sales or maybe I pay $5 including shipping via abebooks if it's something specific I want.

My librarian opinion is this is a bunch of hooey, but people seem to like it, so I imagine it will continue.


message 5: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (last edited Apr 18, 2019 06:21PM) (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6165 comments Mod
An awful lot of people do buy books instead of utilizing libraries, though. All those used books that we buy, had to be bought new at some point....

Even if it's just the $70/ year that I was offered as a relevant figure at Springfield... that counts. Say someone reads every Stephen King, Lee Child, and James Patterson as it comes out... they couldn't keep up for $70/ year.


message 6: by Michael (last edited Apr 18, 2019 06:56PM) (new)

Michael Fitzgerald | 367 comments It's sad truth that the vast majority of the used books I buy were not purchased by library-averse individuals, but rather were purchased and then cast off by actual libraries.

And to be quite honest, the main reason I am buying them is because libraries are not keeping them. I don't really want to have so many books at home, but I simply can't trust that they will still be there in the library collection when I need to check them out.

This is another person after my own heart: http://postapocalyptichomeschool.blogspot.com/.

And I imagine reading every James Patterson book to be a torture akin to that of Sisyphus. Just when you're on the last page, a new one is published....


message 7: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1305 comments I LOVE the library! I miss living around the corner from a library. My neighborhood branch was tiny but they had great programs and super staff. Now I have to bus or walk a mile uphill. When I'm working frequently, I stop in the library after work or before work to read or pick up books. They do not calculate the price but the number would be staggering. I've had a library card since I was 7 when we moved to the state or at least since the state connected the libraries in one system. Their website doesn't tell me how long ago that was but my library card (that I lost as an adult) looks like I was still pretty young when I signed my name.

I rarely ever BUY books and when I do, I usually buy them from Abebooks and Alibris.

Bookstores aren't dead! We have several of them around here-all independent or used/rare. The neighborhood protested when the Ivy League University was going to sell their bookstore to Barnes & Noble! The neighbors won. The only B&N are not nearby but there are two of them in the state. My dad works in the city where B&N is so last time I ordered something online and had him pick it up. It's a small store though. I miss Borders because it was in the mall downtown and I'd just sit and read while waiting for the next bus home after I was done downtown.


message 8: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Oh, that is cool!

I don't take the paper receipts and I haven't seen any figures like this when I sign into my account either.

But for the last couple decades I've used the library almost exclusively for books and DVDs. The only time I usually have bought books is to support authors I know/other vegans.

There were a nearly couple of decades of my life (maybe ages 28-45???) when I bought a lot of books and underutilized my libraries (public, private, school) but I've made up for that since.

I love stats and I'd love to see these kind of figures, even if they're only somewhat accurate.

I got my first library card shortly before I turned 5 and have always had one.

I love my library.

I'd have a very hard time living in a place that didn't have a good, "free" public library. Unfortunately there are places that don't have them. I was also lucky to have good school libraries, though now many schools no longer have them, and I think that's a huge shame.


message 9: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6165 comments Mod
Oh I buy discarded library books whenever I can, too. But every community is different and most of the ones I've lived in don't actually make those available. I did get a lot from half.com back when they were in business... I miss them.... But I too have a stash of favorites....

I can't imagine a school not having a library. I know that there are at least some good ones in nw WI, nw NV, and n. AL... I don't know about here in Rolla; maybe I can figure out a way to check.


message 10: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1305 comments Schools still have libraries! There's a whole track in library school for that. They're called school media centers now and the librarians instruct children on how to look for information. It's too much like teaching for me and I do not enjoy spending that much time with children (then later got roped into my current job as museum educator). My dad's old prep school got rid of books and went digital. COMPLETELY stupid if you ask me, especially when a classmate of my dad's died and left money for the school library.
http://archive.boston.com/news/local/...


message 11: by Harley (new)

Harley Bennett | 42 comments I went to the local library book sale last week. I bought 17 paperback middle-grade books, two hardbacks and one adult hardback for $6.25. I went back later in the week for the closeout and bought seven more books for a dollar. That's 27 books for $7.25. Hard to beat a deal like that.


message 12: by Manybooks (last edited Apr 20, 2019 05:28AM) (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
The books at my school libraries helped me with learning English and frankly, I do not think that schools, that any libraries, should even be permitted to get rid of books and go entirely digital (it is short sighted at best, especially since there are multiple studies emerging which show that children learn better if they are not just reading electronically).

That being said, I now use my local library to basically only to pick up the books I have ordered online and then quickly leave to read them elsewhere. I used to enjoy browsing for titles in the stacks, but with our library now basically having an attitude that noisy patrons should not like in bygone days be told to be quiet but should be accepted and even encouraged, the library's atmosphere and level of often constant noise and chattering is simply too much for me, especially if I am trying to read or take notes.


message 13: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
QNPoohBear wrote: "Schools still have libraries! There's a whole track in library school for that. They're called school media centers now and the librarians instruct children on how to look for information. It's too..."

Not just stupid going entirely digital, but also in my opinion quite insulting to the memory of your father's classmate!


message 14: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
Harley wrote: "I went to the local library book sale last week. I bought 17 paperback middle-grade books, two hardbacks and one adult hardback for $6.25. I went back later in the week for the closeout and bought ..."

Library sales are great but are often also a two edged sword, since in today's world, the books being withdrawn are often not being replaced by traditional paper books.


message 15: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1305 comments E, my 10 year old niece, got me a book from her school library's discard pile. It ends all hope she had of going to the museum where I work on their field trip this year but it was sweet of her to buy it for me. I was sad the school thought to get rid of an important biographical book about the man who founded the industrial revolution in the U.S. Slater's Mill. It reads more like a novel with dialogue. E loves the library and I expect she'd turn her nose up at e-books. I did read them some Dr. Seuss stories at bedtime because babysitting was unexpected and while I have tons of books for E, I didn't have anything suitable for a sensitive 5 year boy old on hand. They didn't seem to mind it as long as they could see the pictures. I'm glad the library offers both print and e-books.


message 16: by Harley (new)

Harley Bennett | 42 comments Manybooks wrote: "Harley wrote: "I went to the local library book sale last week. I bought 17 paperback middle-grade books, two hardbacks and one adult hardback for $6.25. I went back later in the week for the close..."

Most of the books at the sale were donated for the purpose of raising money for the library. The few library books sold were those that had not been checked out for some time. Space is limited, so books that are not being used can be replaced with newer books.


message 17: by Manybooks (last edited Apr 20, 2019 06:26PM) (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
Harley wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Harley wrote: "I went to the local library book sale last week. I bought 17 paperback middle-grade books, two hardbacks and one adult hardback for $6.25. I went back later in the ..."

Oh that is better, as long as the books are being replaced with mostly paper books and nit primarily e-books.


message 18: by Jo (new)

Jo Sentell (josentell) | 1 comments I never purchase a book until after I read it and determine that it merits a place in my home. Libraries are worth their weight in gold!


message 19: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
Jo wrote: "I never purchase a book until after I read it and determine that it merits a place in my home. Libraries are worth their weight in gold!"

I often do that as well with library books.


message 20: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2243 comments Mod
I am now a retired public librarian, and I can not stay away! But, like Gundula, I usually put items on hold, then go into the library to pick them up. I don't buy a lot of books; the ones I do purchase are usually favorite authors or illustrators.
And to answer the first question above, our library system does not do anything similar on the receipt, as far as telling the patron how much they saved by using the library.


message 21: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "I am now a retired public librarian, and I can not stay away! But, like Gundula, I usually put items on hold, then go into the library to pick them up. I don't buy a lot of books; the ones I do pur..."

I just wish that libraries still enforced (and were allowed to enforce) a "quiet" rule with no exception. For in our library, if a bunch of children are being rambunctious and noisy, no one is now allowed to even tell then to "hush" as that would be considered interference.


message 22: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2243 comments Mod
Manybooks wrote: "I just wish that libraries still enforced (and were allowed to enforce) a "quiet" rule"

You may only be able to find a quiet library in a university or college library setting; public libraries for the most part (at least in the US) consider themselves community centers as well as libraries. A few have study or quiet rooms, but not all do.


message 23: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "I just wish that libraries still enforced (and were allowed to enforce) a "quiet" rule"

You may only be able to find a quiet library in a university or college library setting; p..."


I guess I am a bit spoiled but sadly even many university libraries now allow food, including greasy eats that will stain books, as well as computers etc. with the volume turned on.


message 24: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Apr 22, 2019 08:31AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5584 comments Mod
I've so enjoyed reading all the comments here! Thank you all for replying to my post :-) It comes as no surprise that the faithful GR members here are huge fans of libraries and use them frequently, but it was fun hearing the nuances of how you use the library and also your thoughts on how much the library saves you.

As some of you pointed out, most of the materials I borrow from the library are ones I would not buy used let alone new, mostly because they are picture books and I love the flexibility of being able to bring home bunches at a time, see which ones strike my sons' fancies, promptly return the rest. Those books that they like a lot we will usually renew once or twice (if allowed) and by then they've usually moved on to something else. If we discover a true favorite that will be a real "keeper" that's the time when I will pay to buy it and add to our permanent collection.

I used to frequent the library sales and buy dozens and dozens of books each month to build up my home library but the libraries at my old location stopped having them frequently. I think the libraries in my new area do them quarterly so I will maybe go check those out soon. It is such a bargain to get a picture book for ten cents and then my idea is basically the same as when I use the library for check outs -- bring them home, see what the kids take to, return the rest (I am supporting the library twice that way, by buying the books and then giving back to them for a future library sale). I agree with Michael that the library sales can be a great place to find older gems that are, sadly, being put out of circulation. Like Michael, I hoard these even if my kids aren't immediately interested because these because I feel they are treasures and will be so hard to find in the future. But I also find many books and current books that have been donated by patrons like myself and are not library discards.


message 25: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Apr 22, 2019 08:38AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5584 comments Mod
Gundula, I do really empathize with you about the libraries being so loud these days. I do really appreciate the idea of libraries being a community gathering place, offering storytimes for the children and things like that. However, I also do feel that it is rude to the people who are there to actually read or browse or research when the book collection areas are populated by folks being loud. When my son was a toddler I actually could not bring him to the library to look for books except for very carefully chosen times like when there was no storytime or after school stuff because the children's section was like a free-for-all play area with children being wild, running around, and other moms just using it as their personal chat time and not doing any discipline or shushing and library staff not doing anything, either. Instead of the quiet experience of sitting together looking through shelves of books like I remember doing with my mom when I was little, it was like a barrage of over-stimulation :-( I am all for encouraging children to enjoy being at the library but I do wish some happy medium could be achieved and that the focus could get back to looking at books rather than running around playing with the toys in the children's section.


message 26: by Jennifer (last edited Apr 22, 2019 09:38AM) (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments I work in the children's section of a busy public library. It is loud. We shush anything unnecessary, like people watching movies on their laptops without headphones, but, generally kids don't have great volume control. You can't have a storytime program for toddlers and expect toddlers to already be capable of whispering. It just doesn't work. I do wish we had more of a division, perhaps a glass wall, between the adult and children's sections to help a bit with volume control. There are a couple libraries around us that do have that and it makes a nice improvement.

Our library doesn't have that on the receipt, but, I'm sure that if our library did it the price would just be retail price for the book. That information is already readily available and doesn't require any extra effort to obtain.

I am not using the library very heavily right now as I'm back in school and pretty much just reading textbooks at the moment.

I prefer to rent my books from the library and then buy absolute favorites. My daughter rereads her books, so, I buy books for her all the time. I don't usually pay list, BUT, if one of her favorite authors has a new release that she's really excited about I can be convinced to pay list price. I prefer to buy used and really love that Books A Million now sells used books. I buy so much more now.

My buying habits vary widely. I buy older books in any condition if I'm not sure I'll like the book. But, if it's a book I love, then I'm very particular and generally have a favorite cover/edition in mind and usually only very good condition.

The library has let me try so many books I wouldn't have gotten to enjoy otherwise. New releases especially! Now that classics are online and you can buy almost any used title for $3 with shipping, the books I get most from the library are new releases from authors I haven't read before.

Edited to add: I buy so many more books now because I'm the processor at my library and can add donated copies. So, when I'm done reading a book, if it's in decent enough shape I add it to the public library collection. I added something like 1,800 donated items last year, around $24,000 retail value if the library had to buy those items new. Our library has exclusive contracts for book purchases and cannot buy used books, so if it's out of print we can't buy a used replacement. BUT, I can buy one, read it and donate it. :)


message 27: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Apr 22, 2019 10:12AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5584 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "I work in the children's section of a busy public library. It is loud. We shush anything unnecessary, like people watching movies on their laptops without headphones, but, generally kids don't have..."

I certainly understand that there will be excitement associated around the storytimes and other children's programs. And these times are well posted so those patrons who want to avoid that can try to time their visits accordingly. However, it seems like it's moved beyond that to some patrons being loud almost any time. The children's section at our library has a play area and I've been there even when there are a just a few families there and the children are playing wildly and parents talking loudly. I suppose it sends a mixed message to have a play area in with the books. When I was a kid it was common courtesy to be quiet in a library and even young children can be taught to be respectful of others and to quiet their voices and moderate their behavior or go outside if they are needing to be loud and wild. We were lucky to have a grassy play area outside our library and that is where the kids would play -- inside the library was for quiet and looking at books. Are the expectations of quiet at the library from when Gundula and I were young antiquated?


message 28: by Michael (last edited Apr 22, 2019 11:37AM) (new)

Michael Fitzgerald | 367 comments When you've invested lots of money and square footage in play areas, train tables, toys, etc., it's hard to expect children to be quiet, isn't it?

And how do you sell a kid on books when you've got toys right there? (One reason we don't take our book-loving kids to the library much.)

Many public libraries have become so insecure - we just want people to come in! Please!? We'll be anything you want us to be! (Just please don't use the nasty words "mission creep".) Playground? After-school drop-in? Community center? Homeless shelter? Video game arcade for teens? Maker space with 3-D printer? Online porn den? Sure, we can be that!

What was that? Books? Oh, now really, who reads "books" nowadays? How quaint. Remember, we got rid of a lot of books so we'd have room for the toys and the cafe. We're just trying to keep up with Barnes & Noble, after all. And if you want to read quietly, why don't you just take the book home - I mean, after you stop here for a latte and a yoga class and some amateur therapy, of course.

There are lots of other places that could meet those other needs. The library has (or at least had) a different definition. No one expects a community center to supply a comprehensive collection of books and librarians and quiet reading space. No one expects it of a video arcade.


message 29: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1305 comments Even though libraries have toys, kids still do develop an appreciation for books. My nieces and nephews would go to the library to play with the toys and come home with a stack of books. The oldest always went straight to the princess shelf and when we went to another library, she went to the books before the toys and sought out princess books. First she looked under P but when I told her that was the author's last name, she looked for all the books with pink spines! The adults typically tried to pick out non-pink books. When younger niece was turning 5, she was dying to go on the school bus. I took on her the city bus to the public library. We looked at books FIRST before she played with the toys and when my best friend takes her godson to the library, she won't let him use the computers. He can do that when he's with his mom.

The library in the neighborhood where I grew up was tiny but the children's room was in the back and the library usually quiet. The city branch has a children's area up a few stairs. The first level has a playhouse, media and picture books. In the middle room is the toddler play area and in the back they have chapter books, tables, chairs and computers. There's also a playroom off that with a door that can be closed. The teen room is off the adult area and can be noisy until they shut the door.

The two libraries I go to now have separate floors for the children's area. You can't hear anything downstairs at all. They have maker spaces, computers, books, DVDs and toys. The big city library even has a separate room for the activities. I tend to arrive when school gets out and it's always noisy. If it bothers me, I leave or check the books out and sit downstairs in the adult area and read.


message 30: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Gundula, I do really empathize with you about the libraries being so loud these days. I do really appreciate the idea of libraries being a community gathering place, offering storytimes for the chi..."

I also do not understand why it seems wrong and inappropriate now for librarians to let individuals know when they are being too noisy and to also tell parents with totally out of control noise wise children to come back once they have their child under better control.


message 31: by Manybooks (last edited Apr 23, 2019 05:00AM) (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "When you've invested lots of money and square footage in play areas, train tables, toys, etc., it's hard to expect children to be quiet, isn't it?

And how do you sell a kid on books when you've go..."


I feel that way every time I visit the library and go into the children's section downstairs (which noise now usually radiates upwards because my local library is small, only has two floors and is a rather open concept). And yes, I often cannot even cover my ears or put in ear plugs without either the librarians or the parents of the rowdy children giving me dirty looks and making snarky and nasty comments even when I am saying absolutely nothing verbal about the horrible din and noise. And I guess it is the latter that bothers me and offends me the most. For if I am noise sensitive I should have the right to use earplugs etc. to limit noise exposure for me with no questions asked and no dirty looks given.


message 32: by Stenetta (new)

Stenetta Anthony | 2 comments I dont use the library frequently these days. However, I recently visit the largest library in my city. An entire floor was designed and dedicated for children, because this section of the library can get noisy. This was a great idea especially those who are seeking the quiet solitude of a library.


message 33: by Manybooks (last edited Apr 24, 2019 07:01AM) (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "Maybe it's different up north, but, here in the south, the library is often the only community center. One of our libraries most important services is internet access. Where I live, there is only o..."

And I get tired of people not understanding that I am and always have been very sensitive to noise. For guess what, I never actually complain at the library itself because I do realise that many times families have no choice etc. But now it seems as though I should not even have the right to complain at all, even within the group.

And no I am also not going to apologise for having issues with too much noise because that is how I am and sadly, I have all my life been told by everyone from family members to my teachers and total strangers to just grin and bear it, that there was something wrong with me that needed fixing and medication because I am sensitive to loud and especially to electronic noises.


message 34: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Apr 24, 2019 07:59AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5584 comments Mod
Gundula, I am so sorry to hear that about the noise sensitivity. I am sensitive to noise and my oldest son is sensitive to noise. It is really challenging because, as you say, most people are unaware of this and just feel like we are overreacting. That is why, sadly, I cannot take him to the libraries anymore because the children's sections are so noisy now (it's great that some libraries are separating the children's sections from adult sections so at least the adult sections are quiet, but it doesn't help in our situation, alas.) No one should make someone else feel badly for having a sensitivity particularly when you are in a place that, traditionally at least, has been regarded as a quiet sanctuary (not like you are at a rock concert!) Probably those people glaring at you realize they are actually being the rude ones but don't want to actually go to the trouble of fixing their/their kid's behavior so find it easier to make it appear you are the one with the problem. Or maybe, as I said, our ideas of the library being a place for quiet are antiquated by now and no one really thinks twice about being loud there? So they think we are "wrong" for wanting it that way. Sigh. Wish there could be some way to accommodate both those needing a community space and those seeking a quiet experience but I know funding is a big factor in these issues.

Michael, good to hear that your children are thriving bibliophiles despite not going to the library ;-) The librarians all give me such strange looks for not bringing my kids to the library -- as if I am depriving them of one of the best experiences in life. (I did love going to the library as a kid but, sadly, it's not a good experience for my oldest son right now.) My boys still have an appreciation for what the library is and they both love books and love it when I go to the library, you'd think it was Christmas the way they light up when I come home with a full book bag ;-) I ask them what types of books they want, or we look up books online and I'll place reserves. I'm hoping that I can find times when the library is not crowded and noisy for bringing them because I do think they would have fun browsing (QN, loved hearing your experiences with your niece looking for the princess books!) but so far I have not found them.


message 35: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Gundula, I am so sorry to hear that about the noise sensitivity. I am sensitive to noise and my oldest son is sensitive to noise. It is really challenging because, as you say, most people are unawa..."

I just wish people would believe me and not pooh pooh my issues.


message 36: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Gundula, I am so sorry to hear that about the noise sensitivity. I am sensitive to noise and my oldest son is sensitive to noise. It is really challenging because, as you say, most people are unawa..."

I am glad that you are doing what is best for your son even if some of the librarians feel as though you should be taking him to the library.


message 37: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Apr 24, 2019 08:06AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5584 comments Mod
Manybooks wrote: "Kathryn wrote: "Gundula, I am so sorry to hear that about the noise sensitivity. I am sensitive to noise and my oldest son is sensitive to noise. It is really challenging because, as you say, most ..."

Thank you, Gundula.


message 38: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1305 comments I have noise sensitivity issues too. I avoid the children's room except to grab what I want and leave when school is out. Earlier in the day it's quieter and I can read. If the library is too busy in general, I'll just grab what I want or pick up my books and leave. I can't read when it's noisy but I can read and watch TV at the same time.


message 39: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Manybooks wrote: "And I get tired of people not understanding that I am and always have been very sensitive to noise. "

Gundula and Kathryn and All,

I've also always been really sensitive to noise. I remember asking my parents to stop talking so I could concentrate on reading, as early as age 8 at the latest.

I have never had a quiet place to live, unfortunately, and I miss being able to go to the library to get quiet. I no longer spend much time there. I go to pick up and return materials and that's about it. There is noise everywhere, not just in teen and child areas but adult areas too. The main branch has some rooms where quiet is encouraged but it's not guaranteed and the location is not usually convenient for me.

Reading in my parked car in the park or elsewhere is some thing I sometimes do in order to get a quiet, and pretty place, to read. That doens't help with trying to sleep though or other things I need to do at home.

I definitely believe others and thankfully most I know believe me. I even had an ENT once tell me he wouldn't recommend a hearing aid for me because I'd go nuts with the extraneous noises. I do okay without - my hearing loss is from age 8 when I had the measles. Sometimes I almost wish I was deaf, not quite but at times it seems tempting.


message 40: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5584 comments Mod
Based on all the feedback here, it really seems like libraries ought to designate a "Quiet Time" in the library! It really does seem as though quiet is no longer the norm in libraries and that, at least if the sampling here is any indication, many people would welcome the opportunity to have the library once again be a place of peace and quiet. Lisa, I really feel for you not having quiet at home and I'm sure many others are in the same situation and would appreciate the library as the quiet sanctuary it has historically been. If libraries can be all of those other outlets for a community, it sure seems that they ought to go back to their roots as being a quiet place for reading and researching at least a few hours a week for those who want it!


message 41: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Apr 25, 2019 06:49PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2243 comments Mod
When I wrote above that some public libraries consider themselves community centers, I certainly was not defending them. (I think a library should be a library). Having worked in a library, I have had patrons complain to us staff about noise levels, and we did our best to ask especially loud people to quiet their voices. But, in our library system, the policy was NOT for complete quiet in the libraries, and of course, many patrons were not happy with that.


message 42: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1305 comments Do you notice specific times of day when the library is noisy? I find it's noisy after school but in the morning or after my work (after lunch), it's pretty quiet even when it was a charging station for Pokemon Go players. I live in the city. You get a lot of street noise if they're doing construction but inside is quiet. The big city library has designated quiet study rooms too. (The big library is two 19th century buildings with a modern addition in the middle. It's the last surviving Beaux Art building in the city.) I work weekends, usually the hours the library is open so I can't say whether it's noisier then.


message 43: by Mary (new)

Mary | 7 comments I'm in there once or twice a week to pick up books I've requested online. (I get reviews on Good Reads and other sources.) I'll get about 6 books a week. My last check out slip said "You just saved $80.98 by using your library. You have saved $1,658.41 this past year and $10,825.05 since you began using the library."
That's pretty good, considering I'm out-of-town and buy a card for $85/year.


message 44: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments I don't even know why I get so upset about this kind of thing. In a few short months I won't be working in a library anymore, I won't be getting yelled at by people anymore. In a few short months I won't even have a horse in this race anymore.
My library has huge swaths of the day that are dead silent. We are really only loud after school and in the hour around storytime. It is really easy to find around 5 hours of quiet per day in our library. You just have to be willing to put in the effort to look at the events schedule. I'm sure that's not the same at every library, but, knowing the school schedule and looking at the library event schedule and avoiding the hour around storytime should get you a nice, quiet library in many areas.
I have to admit I have compassion fatigue. I spend my time helping people who range from the privileged just gathering pleasure reading and the desperate and destitute trying to find solutions to big problems. I get paid $13 an hour for that and often donate books I've purchased that I know the library can't buy or bring in art/craft supplies that I know the library won't order. The destitute say thank you, the privileged scoff because I can't guarantee that their reservation will come in hardcover, NOT paperback because they don't read paperbacks.

I will not miss the place at all; I will miss the huge impact I got to have. I will miss helping people type up resume's and helping kids go from D's to B's. I will miss adding donated books and seeing the excited kid who is thrilled we finally have that book.

But, it will be nice to have a comma in the paycheck and a career that people respect.


message 45: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Kathryn wrote: "Based on all the feedback here, it really seems like libraries ought to designate a "Quiet Time" in the library! It really does seem as though quiet is no longer the norm in libraries and that, at ..."

Kathryn, scheduled quiet times would be great!

In my library there never seems to be silence.

When I was young even the youngest children knew to talk in whispers, except during storytimes.

Now people of all ages talk in a volume appropriate for many places but not at a quiet volume (or no volume) I'd like in a library.

Even in the jury duty waiting area, there is a quiet room where the only voices are when they call out numbers for people to go to courtrooms. It's a smaller room than the main room but it's there. Libararies no longer have them, not in my city. Oh, and I'm often at my branch on weekdays when they open, usually at 10, occasionally at 1, and other times too, and no matter when it is noisy. I'm glad the library is popular and wanted but I miss having it be a quiet place to read or just an indoor place to be for peace and quiet. Sometimes my local museums are MUCH quieter.


message 46: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "Kathryn wrote: "Based on all the feedback here, it really seems like libraries ought to designate a "Quiet Time" in the library! It really does seem as though quiet is no longer the norm in librari..."

If a given public library is big enough, there should be one floor that is designated as quiet and noise free (as much as possible). And if that is not possible because the library in question is too small, there should be one room (large enough, please) that is designated as noise free or noise reduced (at the very least at certain times of each day).


message 47: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "I don't even know why I get so upset about this kind of thing. In a few short months I won't be working in a library anymore, I won't be getting yelled at by people anymore. In a few short months I..."

At least your library accepts donations. When I was offering to donate a bunch of picture books that a librarian claimed the library wanted to purchase but could not afford to, they simply and flat out refused and told me that if I dropped the books in question off at the library, they would be disposed of because the policy at the HPL is not to accept book donations (so I took them to the Salvation Army instead).


message 48: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1305 comments Libraries don't usually accept donations for the stacks but rather sell them at their book sales.


message 49: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 6903 comments Mod
QNPoohBear wrote: "Libraries don't usually accept donations for the stacks but rather sell them at their book sales."

My library would not even accept the books in order to see them at their book sales.


message 50: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments QNPoohBear wrote: "Libraries don't usually accept donations for the stacks but rather sell them at their book sales."

Yes, that's what my library does.


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