Monday, February 10, 2014

Miller: ‘Bring back shushing librarians’

“Bring back shushing librarians.” At, Laura Miller points out that “Quiet study spaces for adults and children” is almost exactly as valuable as access to the Internet among library users who responded to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center.
“Granted, quiet isn’t a sexy or novel topic. Perhaps that’s why the handful of stories written about this survey — and the survey summary itself — ignore how highly the public rates quiet as a library service. Instead, the interpretation Pew promoted, and the angle taken up by Publishers Weekly and other trade publications, is that libraries have a marketing problem: The reason why patrons don’t rate libraries’ non-core activities and programs more highly is because they just don’t know about them. Maybe that’s true, and far be it from me to discourage any library from offering baby sitting or writing workshops or classes in estate planning — those are all boons to the community. But not at the expense of quiet.”

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