On Child Rearing And Library Etiquette

Madam, I commend your zeal for learning, and your eagerness to pass it on by taking your eight year old daughter to the library during the school holidays. I particularly liked the way you encouraged her to overcome her apprehension in such a temple of knowledge by dressing her as an Estonian pole dancer, complete with crop top, furry purple boots and low slung jeans, and then sitting patiently by as she perfected her hip-hop booty thrusts. Your shrewd strategy worked, and her natural reticence was swiftly overcome. Well done.

Not content with this display of maternal prowess, however, you proceeded to dazzle onlookers with your solicitude by plying her with Twisties and Fanta whenever she paused in her MTV routines. Growing children, after all, need bright orange nutrition, and it served her well in marking out the books that she picked off the shelves and flung on the floor as you watched proudly. No doubt you reasoned that she could use the tartrazine fingerprints to later pick out her selections at her leisure.

You are to be further congratulated in allowing her to pursue her physical and mental odyssey heedless of the needs and convenience of other library patrons, who would doubtless seek to trammel such a blossoming spirit with petty restrictions like “sit down quietly”, “choose a book”, and “I’ll read it with you”. No, you sat back and let her continue her journey of liberation and discovery unhindered.

The piece de resistance, O Paragon Of Motherhood, came when you decided that her exertions had taxed her enough for one day, and gently called a halt with a lovingly snarled “Shut the fuck up or I’ll smack you in the head!” I particularly liked the volume you used, so that other readers could absorb and profit by the example of your nurturing. The way you seized her by the wrist and dragged her out shrieking, leaving all her detritus in your wake, neatly underscored this display of your mothering instincts, and I hope you get hit by a fucking bus.

:smiley: We spent a couple of hours of Thursday at the library, we didn’t meet the Fanta pole girl but I was VERY irritated by the “lets fling the bean bags around and giggle at the flinging” girls. I almost felt like shouting them movie tickets.

Hey I am glad libraries are not always monuments to silence but I do like it much better when people who like books are there.

Libraries are NOT holiday babysitters!

Nice timing

Tempting as it is, I’m not even pitting the kid, annoying as she was, just her mother: the poor kid’s probably been brought up to behave exactly as she pleases, right up until she pisses her mother off enough to get sworn and snarled at.

I take Little Case to the library a lot, and he’s very carefully schooled in how to behave: no running, shouting, throwing, climbing on chairs or pestering others, especially grown-ups. We go around the shelves until he finds the 12 or so {!} books that he wants, then we sit down and read a couple until it’s time to go: all the librarians know him by name, he always gets a couple of stamps on his hands, and I’ve gotten compliments from complete strangers about how well-behaved he is.

I’ve got no problem with kids in the library: I think they should be taken there, as often as possible - but they need supervision until they’re old enough to behave responsibly.

“bright orange nutrition”

:: snort ::

I wasn’t disagreeing (except that I like that library mumble sound…you know the one), I do HEARTLY agree with pains-in-the-bum being an annoying feature in the library. If they are not there to read or find a book then they shouldn’t be there. They certainly should not be using the library as a holiday-fill-in thing.

The child and I talked the whole time we were there…WHISPERS (he was looking for a book for homework) I think a working whisper is a good noise, as long as it remains just a whisper.

The women you talked about AND her demon child should have been booted.


To “shout” in Australia and New Zealand mean to buy something for someone, as a gift or a treat.

The term is most frequently used in connection with drinking alcohol; instead of saying “it’s my round” or “your round”—as is done in America—Aussies and Kiwis say “my shout” or “your shout.”

So, to “shout” someone movie tickets is to buy tickets for them, the implication in this case being that the people would take the tickets and leave the library.

I see. Thank you.

I have been lucky and don’t see many ill behaved children in our library. However, its the teens that do it. They come in, usually the guys, in groups of 3 or more and just stand there, near no books or anything and just talk loudly. Fortunately, a librarian tells them to read or dosomething or leave.

Which volume was it? I’m always on the lookout for a good smackin’ book.

:: standing ovation ::

Rant of the Week!

From that site:

Hallelujah and preach it sister. Working in an academic library we don’t have to deal with kids so much (just once in a while), but I have come to hate cell phones with an unholy passion. There’s nothing like being halfway through a reference interview when “I like big butts and I cannot lie” starts playing, the student flips open his/her cell phone and goes from wanting sources on Chaucer to “ah-hah… well I told him it was on the fuckin’ counter! He can get his own ass in there and get it…”, or for that matter being a student/professor who’s trying to look up scholarly articles and having to drown out said conversation. I accept that there are exceptions- you may have a sick relative or whatever, but for 99%+ of students, you really don’t have to be available by phone ever single second of your day even when you’re studying.

What I find disturbing is that the kid looked to be around eight years old-that’s certainly old enough to know how to behave in a library!

A lot of libraries in the states have expanded their mission and their services; they provide a lot more than books (especially to children). In the kid’s area of our library, for example, there are computers, a humongous light-up world map for quizzing each other, a large fish tank, fabric “food” for having a teaparty or pizza party, puzzles, and more.

And on days when schools are let out, our library generally ramps up what’s going on. They’ll sometimes have a craft project available, for example.

There remain plenty of objections to the sort of behavior described in the OP, of course, but here in the U.S. it would be neither uncommon or inappropriate for a child to be in a library when school was off, and doing something other than reading or looking for a book.

A lot of U.S. libraries have the children’s section in an area where they can’t disturb those who are reading or studying. Either in a seperate wing, or on another floor. Parents should have the good common sense to teach their children library etiquette whether or not the children’s section is in a seperate area or not, so they grow to be respectful library patrons, not horrors.

Yeah, it is school holidays here, so there are a lot of kids’ activities going on - reading, singalongs, book themed craft projects and the like. I don’t have a problem with those, because they’re kept in the kids area and well-supervised.

I guess the “Shhh!” libraries of old are gone, but I wish the librarians would sometimes be a bit sterner in policing the kids section - it probably comes down to staffing, but they really need someone on full time there.

From my experience, they really can’t. When I was a Page, the librarians couldn’t do anything to patrons until they did something practically illegal. They might be able to ‘shhh’ someone once, but they couldn’t ever tell anyone to leave if they were being too disruptive.

I think what irked me the most was when I was going through the circulation room and was nosy and found a memo about a child molester in the community that might come into the library. The people in the circ room never leave the circ room! The pages should be told because a) we are the ones out there on the floor that can see these things and report something; b) some pages are only 13 or 14 years old - being there so frequently, a pedophile could observe them and learn when they are going to be there to cook up a plan (you don’t really hear about pedophiles that pick a victim randomly in 5 seconds).

Right across the street from our library ( they share the same large parking lot) is the middle school.

Since the library opened up 4 years ago in this new location, many parents have been using it as their afterschool day care. It can be up to 100 + kids there at one time. Until 530-7pm at night. School gets out at 230pm. That is so wrong on so many levels I cannot even begin to make a comment.
The library re-allocated monies and bought extra computers for a special conference room to contain as many as possible and some are not so bad, but there are usually run-ins with a handful every day.

Finally, the library sent out notices to the school and it was published in our paper that they were going to be kickin’ ass and taking names of the trouble makers blah blah blah. Finally, something was done.
I’m glad because I hated taking my kids after school there as they were being showed bad behavior. (rude talking and running. Nothing that bad.) For the most part, the middle schoolers were pretty decent.

But libraries are not babysitters.
I Love my library & librarians. They are simply awesome and personify what a library and it’s staff should be.

This, in specific, drives me nuts. What the fuck parents… your kid being a hellion is not cute, nor is it something the people around you wish to experience.

Puts me in mind of a Bill Hicks routine.