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Welcome to Today’s Totally Modern Library: No ‘Shushing’ Allowed!

“Cards in pockets. Bookmarks keeping pages. The sound of date stamps: Clunk. Ka-chunk. Shhhhhhhhhh! This is the library. Or, well, so I thought. Thanks to a newly-published children’s book of mine, I’ve been spending more time in libraries, both school and public, than I have in years. I do not think that Mr. Dewey, inventor of the classic decimal system for book catalogs, would recognize these places. Long a refuge for quieter adults and kids who like the company of an engrossing page, the libraries I’ve been visiting lately are awash in almost as much noise and activity as a busy Starbucks. When I asked about some loud talking at a neighborhood branch in Providence, where I live, the staffer at the desk looked me up and down. “I don’t ‘shush’ people,” she told me. “That went out with sharpening pencils.” (via Huffington Post)

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