3 thoughts on “but what if i’m quiet? or get a text?”

  1. Now I’ve seen a couple of your “no phone” example signs over the past few weeks,and I’m still left with one question – “Who enforces this?”

    While they all strike me as way too limiting and condescending of patrons and our own services, and even more in awe of the library staff that has the job of roaming the library and forcing people to shut off their phones. Seriously, can policies like these be enforced?

  2. What if I’m constitutionally incapable of being quiet? ;)
    Seriously, we have asked for ‘set to silent’ so texts *can* sent and be received; and we have a social learning area where people can talk on their phones, and it is very close to the body of the library.

  3. “While they all strike me as way too limiting and condescending of patrons and our own services, and even more in awe of the library staff that has the job of roaming the library and forcing people to shut off their phones. Seriously, can policies like these be enforced?”

    It’s a lot easier to enforce a “no cell phones” polict than a “cell phones only if you’re quiet” policy.

    For one thing, it’s fairly easy to identify what “no cell phones” means. Thus, it’s easy to set and apply the standard. “Quiet” means different things to different people.

    For another thing, having a standard that depends on value judgments will lead to uneven application of the standard. This will lead to patrons feeling like they are being treated unfairly. The statement “But SHE was louder than me and nobody said anything” will become commonplace.

    Instead of the standard of only quiet cellphone usage being enforced, librarians will, for fear of seeming unfair, allow just about any volume of cellphone use unless someone complains. The standard will creep up until basically all cellphone usage is permitted, to the detriment of the noise level in the library.

    Personally, I have never seen the problem in banning cellphones from a library, or at least not seen why so much zeal is applied to trying to overturn these bans. Possibly it’s just that I see my cellphone as an emergency device, and do all my real connection through computers.

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