I once heard a preacher say that we need patience for dealing with things and long-suffering for dealing with people.
I’m not sure which I needed most when I walked into the Cameron Village Regional Library on a recent Monday looking for a quiet place for a couple of children to do homework.
Instead of the sound of silence, we were greeted by the moose-like moans of pint-sized violinists and cellists in concert — alternately being photographed and applauded by two obviously adoring grandparents.
OMG! Whatever happened to the library of old — the place where people read quietly, surfed the Internet in silence, whispered when they spoke, pondered classic literature or simply dozed contentedly?
“It is no more,'” answered the library assistant when I complained.
This library, according to its newsletter slogan, is now: “A Part of Your Community, A Part of Your life.” So much for the library as a place apart – a place to read, relax and study in a kind of quiet found nowhere else in life.
Apparently the library as concert venue is a trend. Libraries from Seattle to Nashville are offering concerts in atriums, courtyards, auditoriums. Even Durham County Public Library has music, mercifully mostly on Sunday afternoons. The Cameron Village library, however, is recruiting musicians to annoy its quiet-seeking patrons for one to two hours every Monday afternoon.
I’m all for music appreciation, but when I start the week at a library I am not looking for musical entertainment.
Ringing cellphones, screaming children, loud-talking tutors (not to mention the conversations of patrons sipping coffee and munching on library-accessible treats) already have turned the place into a regular town square.
To quote the Preacher of Ecclesiastes , there is a season for everything and a time for every purpose under heaven. The time and place for music? Not after school at the library.