Forget Rhyme Time: Should Libraries Be Places For Silent Reading Only?

8 November 2014

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Do you use your local library? I love mine - it's been a favourite place to visit since my kids were born, and we'd be lost without it. From borrowing books (my kids still can't get over the fact that they're FREE...) to renting DVDs, attending craft sessions and singing our hearts out during Rhyme Time, the library is my go-to place to take the kids to keep them entertained on a rainy day.

It's fair to say that my kids aren't exactly quiet as church mice at the best of times, but I do tend to hiss at them to HUSH quite frequently when we're at the library. Suffice it to say they're not exactly running around the aisles or jumping off the shelves, but nor do they sit in a corner reading silently. Heck, once kids associate the library with Rhyme Time it can be pretty hard to get them to see it as a place of quiet composure.

But according to the Daily Mail, plans are afoot to return libraries to the sanctuaries of hushed silence that they apparently used to be in a bygone era.

The newspaper quotes an article from Public Libraries News which states that many modern libraries now "act as creches, concert halls and dance class venues" and puts that down to the fact that libraries have been under pressure to "attract more visitors" but says doing so has "alienated some of its clientele and core audience".

So what do you make of the campaign to restore the library to the stereotypical place of silent reading? Personally I think it harks back to the days when children were seen and not heard, and while I'm all for ensuring that children know how to behave appropriately in place that requires some quiet and self-restraint, I  certainly won't be hotfooting it to my local library every wet weekend if they decide to go down this route.

But what do you think?

Image credit: Flickr/Yellow

TOPICS:   Books

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