Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Voices Carry

It was loud in Libraryland today. It’s often loud in Libraryland. On the one hand, this makes me feel really good, because our library is so ridiculously busy and bustling that the dull roar just reminds me of how lucky I am to be in a place where tons of people come to the library and love us and utilize all the awesome things we’ve got. It’s a crazy-mad rush in here, with crowds of people, and I love that. People stand outside of our doors before we open, steaming up our windows with their hot little noses. Ok, so they don’t really steam up the windows, but they do stand out there like we’re giving away free shit, which, come to think of it, we are. On the other hand, we try to stay on top of the decibels by asking people to lower their voices, but the way our library is constructed makes voices carry even when it’s just a few people in here. When there are mobs, it’s almost impossible, but we give it a valiant effort. So here are some thoughts about noise control.

Who the hell designated the sound “shhh” to mean be quiet? Shhh is a loud noise in and of itself. It’s not soothing. It’s grating. Case in point: there are often groups of teen hipsters hanging out and yukking it up with each other in various parts of Libraryland. I go over to them and say something like “hey, guys, can you keep it down?” which (if not met with outright ridicule and a flippity of the birdkins) they usually try to do for the first few minutes. Then, inevitably, those wacky excitable teens get going again, to which their goody-two-shoes friends remind them: “Ssssssshhhhhhhh! Ssshhhhhhhh!” So now I have the sounds of talking and laughing in a wind tunnel. Lovely.

There are other places that promote calm and quiet besides Libraryland. Maybe we can take some cues from those places. Some of these places even convince you to be calm during times when you want to scream bloody murder. For instance, the spa where I go (pardon my mentioning it, not very graceful, I know) for waxing. As you wait in the waiting room, they serve you green tea on big, comfy couches. And when you’re up on that table, getting the bejeezus ripped off you, there’s incense, and calming music, and a little trickling fountain. And by golly it works. You actually feel relaxed, instead of brutally tortured, which, let’s face it, you are. So maybe we should be piping Enya into the library. It hypnotizes people. Think about it.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl


Josh said...

Too true. You should say "ohm" (you know, people say it when they meditate) to people in the library instead of "shh!" "Shh!" is very intense. Just think, Gwen Stefani doesn't sing "Oooo, it's my ohm! It's my ohm!" now does she?

That ohm is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Librarian Girl said...

And you're right, Gwen Stefani is anything but soothing.

Anonymous said...

Not only is "Shhhhhhhhhh!" not soothing, but (according to White Christmas) it's a sport. Apparently potsing and shushing are things that should be done together and in the snow, not in the library.

Librarian Girl said...

Oh, don't remind me about the potsing and shushing. Now there's a reference question for you librarians out there. What the heck were they talking about in that movie?

Carrie said...

They're skiing terms, apparently. :)