I've pretty much given up on trying to write in the library -- ANY library. I can't hear myself think. How's that for a tired old cliche'? But libraries are LOUD!
Borders or Starbucks is quieter than the public library. The place that once held silence so sacred that I was afraid to use my pencil eraser for fear of getting evicted is now louder than a McDonald's playground where, at least, you can drink an ice cold whatever while you're writing.
It must just be me. Nobody around me ever seems to mind all the chatter. People talk. LOUD. Using their outside voices. No, no, not just any outside voice either, I mean the "at Ranger stadium trying to be heard over drunk and screaming fans at the ALCS Yankee game five " outside voice. They joke with the librarians, argue about genealogy, talk about their degree requirements and all the while let their kids play hide and seek and shout across the aisles.
The kicker? If I covertly text on my phone to my ride that I'm ready to be picked up, I get a firm tap on my shoulder with a "take it outside, please." Really? The tapping on my touch phone is disturbing the dude with the iPod so loud that I can not only hear every word of his gangster rap through his ear phones, but I can also hear his ear drums rupturing like Jiffy Pop?
A silent place to read and write is so rare now that I think silence must no longer be golden. It must be something more precious, rare, and difficult to find. Silence must be -- silent.