This is off the track from my normal postings, but that's just how I roll. :)
Tonight in the library someone was whistling. Not a soft, peaceful whistle, nor a melodic, musical whistle. No. This was a repetitive, toot-toot-toot-too-too-toooo. I was engrossed in various librarian labors and the sound was faintly itching the back of my attention for a long while. Finally, though, unbidden, it clawed its way to the front of my conscious brain and I was forced to seek the perpetrator. Just as I left my desk to find him, the sound cut off. I sought him out, but my search was in vain. He escaped the half-smiling, half-vicious shushing I had in store for him.
I tightened the bun in my hair, fingered my glasses back up my nose, and returned to my seat, opening a book for good measure.
The modern library is a much noisier place than the one I remember enjoying as a child. I frequented the library, as my devotion to books began at a young age, and I remember them as places of peace, quiet and nap-inducing air conditioning. I am learning to tolerate the modern, clamorous library. I want children and teens, especially, to learn to love the library as I do. I feel it is one of my callings in life to encourage literacy, and one way is through frequent visits to the library to borrow books.
However, the incessant whistler or full-voice cell-phone talker is a distraction to all library patrons (or “users” in today’s lingo), as is the child who races, screaming, through the stacks. I appreciate and enjoy the happy squeals of a joyous toddler, but I still think children should be taught by their parents to respect the rights of others to study, read, research and relax in a quiet, albeit a moderately quiet, library.
I never found the whistler. Perhaps one of the other librarians beat me to the search and quieted him. I suspect it was one of the lanky teenage boys lurking near the entrance as I walked around hunting. They didn’t look suspicious, and I suppose whistling can be said to be a happy sound, but there is a time and place for even the most joyous of noise.