I have often lamented that we cannot close our ears with as much ease as we can our eyes. ~ Sir Richard Steele, Irish politician and author, 1672-1729.
The Pew Research Center recently conducted a survey of library services for their Internet and American Life Project. One question asked of a sampling of Americans was, "What services and programs do you find very important for libraries to offer?" When we examine the answers, we find that the New City Library scores pretty well with fulfilling these wishes. Librarians? Check! Books? Check! Free access to computers and the internet? Check!
But we came up short on number four. Quiet study spaces? Ehh.....Not so much. This is due in large part to the fact that we are a busy, thriving library. Last year we had 332,227 visitors! But this success means that those of you who come here to get some work done, engage in serious study, or just want to get away from the cacophony of modern life are hard-pressed to find a spot here. We'd like to change that. Starting immediately, we are designating the tables along the windows next to the Large Print and Books-on-CD collection a quiet area. We've posted "gentle reminders" there. We ask that if you'd like to meet with others, please use the tables on the upper level. Study groups may book the Conference Room or the Group Study room. If you need to speak on your cellphone, please retreat to the lobby or somewhere else out of your neighbor's earshot. Cellphone ringtones should always be muted while you are in the library.
We're hoping to carve out some quiet area when we do the audiovisual collection renovation. Until then, we ask that you join us in keeping this section of our library noise-free. Thank you for your cooperation.