September 12th, 2016

One stereotype about a library is that there is a cranky old librarian who will do everything  it takes to keep her sacred temple quiet. This is not the case on the first floor of Library on Morningside Campus.

The air conditioner hums steadily, never breaking up it’s pattern. The rectangular light above me seems to be rattling as a result of  the air conditioner. The rattling sound is mostly constant and is nothing like the sound of a baby’s rattle. It is like a never ending light drumroll. Every once in a while the rattling will go off-beat and my ears are relieved, but then immediately start again.

The friendly worker at the Spoonholder Cafe always asks in a cheerful tone, “Good morning, what can I get for you today?” Her infectious cheer reflects in the voice of the student ordering a smoothie.

“Whipped cream?”

“Yes please” eagerly replies the student followed by the roar of squirting of whipped cream.

The blender’s grinds and churns fill up the entire first floor. This does not seem to bother any of the students. To them it is typical background noise.

There is the light pitter-patter of keys on laptops. Along with that are frequent zips of backpacks, rustling of paper, and squeaks from the friction of the chairs rubbing against the carpet when being pushed in.There is occasional laughter and incoherent whispers throughout the first floor.

The sounds make me think of StarBucks. The friendly cashier taking an order, the light pitter-patter of keys being pushed by business people or students sitting in there.

The over all consensus is that the machine’s are louder than the students in the library. This could maybe drive a librarian nuts, but in this library the students hear it as simple background music.

3 Responses to ““Listen””

  1. fuglsang on September 22, 2016 9:21 pm

    Listening to Spoonholder folks is the best. It doesn’t qualify as eavesdropping because they’re loud enough to be heard just about anywhere on the first floor.

    “Background music.” Did you hear the thrumming sound that starts and stops regularly? One of the refrigeration units has been broken for over a year. It starts and stops every few seconds. I’m not sure I’d call it music, but it’s definitely repetitive.

    One thing to consider: The libarary is no longer a library. The Pres. wanted it to be a social center, not a stuffy old book cemetery.

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