Library etiquette 101

By Melody Ortiz

The rules of behavior in a library should not be ignored just because there is no sign implementing them.

The East Los Angeles College campus library does not have a code of conduct sign posted anywhere in sight, or any sign indicating how visitors should act within the building .

However, the knowledge of behavior in a library is something that is assumed of any college student. Silence and respecting others are the rules taught from our first visit at a young age.

The library on campus can get crowded, especially during the fall semester. The rules are important when so many students are visiting at once.

With classes come essays and research. Yet, some students are left without computer access so others can watch YouTube videos and Google trivial subjects.

When passing through desks on weekdays, I’ve seen students on Facebook, watching music videos and looking through funny pictures.

All this while other students sit nearby, eagerly waiting for a computer to become available so they can type or research homework.

Then there’s the noise. Although it’s much quieter inside the library than most places on campus, the silence gets disrupted by the music blasting through people’s earbuds.

Some students don’t even use earphones. They let the noise on their phones or computer play straight from the speakers. Others talk loudly to their friends or on the phone.

These are all good reasons one might favor one of the library’s study rooms. However, students have issues with them as well.

One issue, is when a single person takes up a study room. That person then spreads their papers and books over the table and places their bags on other chairs.

Maybe they wouldn’t need to occupy a room if the rest of the library was more tamed, but some don’t study at all. They choose to sleep or watch videos without headphones.

When rooms actually do contain a group of two or more students, some study while others just talk. This has always confused me because there are plenty of areas on campus for groups to talk as loud as they wish. Why choose the one place you are encouraged to be silent?

If students like to listen to music while they do homework or study, that is fine.

If students wish to listen to their music on maximum volume, then they should check out the book they need and study elsewhere so they can do so without distracting others.

Not everyone has experienced disruptive behaviour though. ELAC student Sebestian Ballesteros says he only uses the library when he needs to.

“Sometimes we could be pretty packed in there like sardines in a tuna can, which can be distracting at times. But for the most part, everyone minds their volume,” said Ballesteros.

The library is meant to be there when you need it.

It’s not meant to be a hip spot to hang out. It is here so students like Mr. Ballesteros, who need it for studying and homework, can come in to a quiet place to concentrate.

For the whole story, visit elaccampusnews.com.

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