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April 22, 2009


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No. And not just because I am an old fogey. Music disturbs more people than it pleases. Libraries shouldn't focus so much on a single demographic; they're supposed to be welcoming places for ALL. And then you get in to, what to play, what not to play. Some people want this, others want that. People who want to listen to music may do so with headphones.


Yes. I'm a librarian, and I wish the library were as inviting to visit and browse in as Barnes & Noble! No one would object to soft rock, or soft classics - the emphasis on SOFT - and it would help create a less hectic environment for all.

Bria Teragram

I'd feel weird if there was music playing at the library, but I wouldn't object. I would think that it would bother a lot of patrons, however. Many people go to the library for the quieter atmosphere they tend to have. And those that enjoy music just bring their cd or mp3 player along. I think if the library had pretty distinct and walled off sections, one could easily just play music from a CD player in the youth areas to avoid bothering the other patrons.

You have to remember that you aren't just serving one group of people. You have to find a good balance that works and that can be difficult especially when you are trying to bring a group in that doesn't normally come.


I think that a library needs to be a quiet place where you can study and work without noise. However, with that said, why can't there be sections? One floor dedicated to quiet researching and another with soft classical or light jazz music for browsing?


I don't think I would mind the music. I find it funny that the complaints are coming from older patrons. At my local library, it is the older patrons who seem to have no sense of courtesy and carry on very loud discussions (on every topic from politics to hemorrhoids) to the chagrin of students who are trying to study.

Ann Theis

As a collection development librarian in a public library system I'd love to be able to showcase some of the amazing music in our collections somehow. Maybe through listening stations, download drop sites, links to playlists, podcasts, web based tunes, etc.
And yes, in the library somehow.

Book Addict

I can't speak for others, but I, personally, can't read, write or think if music with lyrics is playing. But instrumental music is another story -- I'd give a "YES" vote to that. Age--42, not quite a geezer yet.


I am a singer / acoustic guitarist, and I have performed live music in the library, in the periodicals section. It was well-received but without a doubt, soft is the key. I mixed light instrumental meanderings (akin to non-distracting "new age") with soft-rock favorites that made folks smile. I called my series "Music Between The Pages." I agree that most vocal music would be distracting, but with the right tone and tact, light music can enhance the library-goers experience and maybe even attract young readers.

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