My son, who is now in grade 4, has a project he has to do. He has to write six paragraphs in one weekend (which I think is excessive, and he's been alternating between composing them and crying in frustration about the overwhelming workload all day long, but that's a grumble for another thread).
And so, to get him away from the distractions of home and toys and such, we went out to the public library.
Once we finally found one that is open on Sundays (not anywhere near our home since only the 'district libraries' are open on Sundays, and the one closest to us is closed for renovations - and even that one isn't within walking distance), we went in and sat at a table downstairs in the library.
We chose a bad spot, however, because we were right next to the children's section, where it sounded like they were holding kindergym or something like that. It sounded like a playground. Which is fine, I think libraries should be accessible to children and I think it's great that they can be their noisy selves in that area of the library. But of course, that meant that the entire downstairs area of the library was noisy since the noise echoes off the concrete walls and high ceilings.
So I went and asked the librarian where we could go in the library that was quiet so that my son could do his project. They suggested we go upstairs and that there was a quiet study area up there.
So we go upstairs, and in the middle of the floor is an open bank of computers, filled with tween boys playing video games or whatever, and talking noisily and excitedly to each other about it.
I discovered that the "quiet study area" was just an open area, not even closed off, to the side, maybe about 10 feet from the computer area full of kids yelling and exclaiming.
So my question is this: when the hell did libraries become frigging gymnasiums and arcades? I'm all for having an area of the library where kids can be themselves and be comfortable and have fun, and talk in normal voices (or even get excited and noisy). But does the entire library have to be a playground?
We ended up having to leave because my son couldn't concentrate due to all the noise. It was ridiculous.
[ 14 September 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]