I was at the library this morning with my laptop, working on today’s painting (you can watch the video here) and checking out some more reading material. I was eagerly anticipating this excursion, as I have that rosy mental image of a library as a quiet, reclusive sanctuary for spending time alone with either a book or a project. Some libraries, I’m sure, are like that.
This one was not.
I sat down at the table that is clearly intended for laptop use, as there are periodic charging hubs along its length and it’s higher than a typical table, and it was lovely at first. There was only one other person there, at the opposite end, working on some sort of school assignment by herself. It was alright. I put music on and got fifteen or twenty minutes of peaceful painting time.
Then the girl’s friend showed up and started chatting with her. Worse, she brought food – PUNGENT food, I might add – into the library and started eating. Even with my noise-isolating earbuds that will normally block out even shouting it was distracting.
Furthermore, a group of three or four planted themselves at the table on my other side, ALSO with food and loud conversation.
It was horrific.
Does anyone respect libraries anymore? Those were the two rules I remember being universally known in all libraries – be quiet and don’t bring in food. Every movie and TV show that had a library was emphatic about them both, or in the very least the rule to stay quiet. These people were clearly flouting that unspoken rule.
To be fair, I suppose, it was during the lunch break for the high school across the road, but that only explains the presence of young people. It does not in any way explain away their rule-breaking.
I sound like some stodgy old man complaining about the “kids these days having no respect”, but it honestly bothered me so much that I decided to leave right then. So I went and browsed for books for a while and then after failing to find a place to sit that was free of people, I just left. Another half hour and I could have gotten a ride, but I wasn’t going to wait that long with nowhere to comfortably do my work.
It was a long walk on uncleared sidewalks with a very heavy bag (seven books and a laptop are quite heavy together), but I got home intact and still capable of walking, so it ended fairly well.
The moral of the story is that if you’re in a library don’t bring food, and be quiet.