Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The joy of cell phones

Cell phones are one of the banes of a librarian's existence - there are others, but this one is on my mind today as I listen to someone read their e-mail to someone else on their cell phone. We have signs in the library and at the entry asking that cell phones be turned off  or turned to vibrate. This is a common courtesy to everyone in the library. When someone is talking on their cell phone, it is very difficult for me to decide, do I say something to this person or will they end their conversation soon? Or I wonder, I can hear their conversation but is it bothering anyone else to the point that I should say something? Many times, they are talking very loudly so that everyone around them can hear their story - don't they care? How long do I wait to shoo them outside before others are annoyed with them too?  Or, is it no worse than people speaking to one another in the library? Sometimes they can be loud too.
Our nonfiction area upstairs has become very popular for people studying. Since our remodel, the atmosphere is quiet, warm and inviting. People like the quiet area. We consistently get someone using their cell phone there, however, to conduct business or carry on a lengthy conversation.  I guess they don't notice the students taking a proctored test or the young men there daily studying to pass the state law exam or the young nursing student trying to study away from noisy children at home.

So, many times, I am the big meany and the librarian with the finger to her lips and the big "shhhh" asking you to please take your call somewhere else and people will remember me years from now as that librarian upstairs that shushed you. I can't stop myself with that "shhh" finger.... there's got to be something better.


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