I miss quiet libraries Posted on 6 September 2010 by John “The predominant sound in a modern library is the tapping of keys, not the turning of pages.” — Nicholas Carr, The Shallows
5 thoughts on “I miss quiet libraries”
Nicholas Carr is such a self centred, blinkered individual.
And going back further in history, the predominant sound was feather on parchment and restricted to anointed monks.
Pining for your childhood and using puerile syllogism isn’t exactly helpful from a so-called ‘thought leader’.
When I read Carr’s book, I didn’t get the impression he was pining for his childhood. His thesis is that our technologies change our brains and cites studies that suggest the changes are not always good.
Perhaps you meant that I was pining for my childhood. I don’t miss many aspects of my childhood, but I did enjoy reading in a quiet library. Now public libraries are too noisy to read in, though college libraries are usually better.
Noise pollution is a huge problem for most folks living in large urban areas. Libraries used to be a nice refuge, but now it seems like the only way to escape the constant noise of the world is to go to a Starbucks. I remember when coffee shops used to be noisy places full of lively conversation and cigarette smoke, now they’re full of quiet people buried in their whateverPods. The good news is that with most governments going broke Starbucks will probably build the libraries of the future, so they should be fairly quiet again one day. ;)
Anyone who whines for a bygone time and yet espouses a “exciting new future” is getting close to hypocrisy. I’m bored of listening to whining about change, and want to hear about useful ways to slow down the rate of adoption of new technologies.
Looking regretfully backwards isn’t working, so how to flag that rapid change is also damaging and choosing a better future.
At least the noise doesn’t come from the buckling spring keyboards from the times of quiet libraries.