Shh… You’re in the Library!

My oldest son and I carpool back and forth to Gainesville for work and school. This has been the case since we moved out to the middle of nowhere and started our own personal Easter farm, filled with chicks and ducks and bunnies. It’s a long drive, and I’ve put way too many miles on the cars.

One problem with carpooling is that our schedules have not always been the same. For a while, the van was making the fifty mile trip seven days a week, because I was working Saturday through Wednesday but Matt still had to go to school on Thursdays and Fridays. Sometimes we took more than one car when our times were vastly different, but typically one of us would be stuck waiting for the other to finish with work, or school, or activities.

The carpooling is almost at an end. Matthew will be attending University of Florida and living on campus in the dorms, so I will strictly be driving to and from work, and not having many days of being in Gainesville for over twelve hour stretches.

The past few weeks, however, I’ve had to wait after work for hours at a time as Matt completes AP exams, English projects, concert rehearsals and lessons leading up to his last recital. I typically head to the library on campus. Today, we’re both waiting until it is time for him to go to the choral concert (the orchestra is playing… we get to repeat this some time next week for the actual orchestra rehearsal) and perform. So we headed to a branch of the Alachua County Public Library.

Now, Santa Fe College’s library has an actual Starbuck’s inside. So of course, there is a bit of extra traffic, people drinking beverages in designated areas… But one thing has struck me about both libraries – the amount of loud talking and background noise that have become commonplace. Sure, this library where I sit typing at the moment does have a “Quiet Reading Room,” which I am not inside, as I don’t want to annoy anyone with the click of my typing. But the people who work the desk are all talking in normal to loud voices. What ever happened to that quiet sanctity of the Library? When did it become an accepted practice to go ahead and bring screaming toddlers in and let them run around other than in the designated kid’s section?

I’m not complaining… exactly. It’s more that I want to point out that the world has changed in yet another way from the times when I was a kid. Then again, we all went outside to run rampant around the neighborhood with little to no adult supervision, and we could do so without our parents being arrested for child neglect.

The world has changed in so many ways.