Who Said Libraries Are Quiet?

“Shhhhh.” She puts her index finger to her mouth. “You’re in a library.”

There is no denying that I am a loud person. I really can’t help being loud. (One of my good friends once told me to go get my ears checked. Looking at my family, though, it is either we all have this ear problem where we cannot hear how loud we are or it is genetically inherited). Since I am loud, whispering is my quiet voice, so if you are following this, I do not really know how to whisper, either. 

For that reason, maybe studying in a library with a group of friends is not the place for me, but that is not why I don’t study in a library. I do not know how to study in a library, and I don’t know how my friends study there. 

Around this time of year last year, I went to the university I attend a bit early, and I felt a plot for a story-idea coming along so I decided to go to the main library and write it out. How did that go? I spent my time erasing things I have written, looking at my watch every two minutes or so, and observing my surroundings (which included a couple staring at each other and a girl fixing up her artwork). That was one of the longest, dreadful half-hours I have experienced in my life! [Maybe, it had something to do with a bit of writer’s block, but I managed to get the plot out in my room, so that option is ruled out]. I remember this time every time my friends suggest to go to the library to study.

“It’s too quiet!” I said and still say about libraries. Bringing this phrase back up again, I realize something different. 

Listen closely, though. Libraries are not quiet. To the contrary, they are filled with loudness, noise, and life. Each book on every shelf resonates something. There is a story to be told, a lesson to be taught, an issue to be heard…Look left and right in any library you enter, and there is a new world in between the covers of a book. Those shelves with those books are the beauty of libraries. 

Maybe that is why I become uneasy just sitting in a library. I find myself compelled to observe my surroundings and walk between the dusty shelves. I find myself reaching for random books that at times, I end up falling in love with. I can never sit in a library probably because there is no time for sitting when so much life is around, waiting to grow inside of me. 

There is no need for a “Shhhh” in libraries. For all you know, that “shhhh” just distracted one away from the real melody of books. 


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