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This one is signed "Library Director." (Via Michael Sauers)


Is this a bad thing? When the plans for my new library were being drawn up, I suggested hat we build in some kind of shielding so no signals would penetrate the structure... Then, no such signs would ever be needed. I wish theaters would do this...

It would be a bad thing if you ever plan to offer mobile browser-based service or SMS reference.

I can see -talking- on a cell phone being bad but phones do so much more than that these days. Instructions like this are just not reasonable to most people anymore.

It would also be "nicer" to have a place (or a few places) set aside for people to be able to talk on their phone and direct them there instead of just saying no.

Cell phones are no longer an optional accessory, but a part of life. We need to invite our customers and attached devices into our building with open arms...

The sign is unnecessarily restrictive. Most--if not all--cellphones have a vibrate and/or "sounds off" option, so receiving notification of calls and sending/receiving text messages doesn't have to be disruptive. (I seriously wonder how many librarians are aware of this, since cellphones rang in every single session of the last librarian conference I attended!)

We don't post signs on the door of the library saying no one can talk in the building. We expect, and enforce, appropriate behavior where it's necessary. How is that different from the use of cell phones? A library denying the need for appropriate use of cell phones has a death wish.

Maybe it's a community thing, but most of the people I encounter at the library turn when someone's cellphone goes off and shoot them a look that clearly says, "Die!" The vibrate idea would be great if people had any common sense whatsoever, sadly they don't. This is why they also talk at full volume about their most personal matters in crowded rooms. Nobody else wants to hear about it... Then another someone's phone rings and they do the same thing after they just shot the other dumbass a dirty look.

I think we should limit down to a very bare minimum the number of times we "no." If we want to make our libraries user friendly, limiting the "no" word will go a long way. Especially cell phones. we ask that ringers be turned low and that conversations be kept private.

It all depends. Certainly a university library can be a 'cathedral of quietness' as Garrison Keillor observed, and so the restriction is necessary. But students who use the library already observe these unwritten rules, so do we really have to ask?
On the other hand, public libraries can be incredibly noisy, filled with kids story hours, workshops, chats with staff at service desks, etc. Maybe posting the sign for a particular area, designated for quiet study, would be better.

This is my cell phone sign:

Sabrina, I want to work at your library. Trying to compete for a student's attention WHO HAS COME TO THE DESK for assistance, but insists on continuing to chat on the cell phone is beyond frustrating.

I have heard every ringer imaginable. I've had to go turn students' cells off b/c they have earphones on and can't hear it, or they've left their stuff and gone off to who knows where.

>Trying to compete for a student's attention WHO HAS COME TO THE DESK for assistance, but insists on continuing to chat on the cell phone is beyond frustrating.

No kidding. I just ignore them and do something else until they hang up.

I think some of my biggest pet peeves with signs like this are the use of red font, all CAPS, and underlining. And exclamation points. Seriously, is that necessary? Do we really think library users wouldn't understand a nice "please be courteous" sign? This is just so uninviting.

I really dislike signs like this. It is highly questionable to put up such an unwelcoming sign and then two steps away ask why students aren't coming to the reference desk.

I made this sign idea to try and get the message across while still having a bit of fun. http://www.library.cmu.edu/People/jfudrow/golden_silence.pdf

I have since talked to the director of the library involved and he has informed me that the library is active in discussions regarding changing the policy to something less restrictive.

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