To shush or not to shush …. that is the question?

Today is the first day of our secondary schools here in New Zealand being senior-less after the antics and hi-jinks of yesterday’s final day of classes for our Year 11-13 students. Of course, those of us in the school library know that we’re really not senior-less at all. In fact, here at Hargest anyway, we find that they make their way here in droves every day. Ostensibly they’re here to study for their NCEA exams, but often it’s for various other reasons, some of them with a strongly social agenda indeed.

Now, I’m no party-pooper but invariably this is the time of the year where the two sides of my personality do battle. The Senga on my left shoulder says:

“They’re all good. It doesn’t matter if there’s lots of excited chatter, frivolity and laughter out there. The library is a social space and should be able to be used as such.” while the Senga on my right shoulder is frowning and shaking her head:

“What about the serious students who have come here to actually study? Don’t they have a right to some peace and quiet? Should they have to combat the constant distraction of their more social peers discussing their plans for Friday night or what dress they’re wearing to the Year 13 leavers dinner?”

And of course, lets not forget the junior classes that are still booking in to work in the library.

So I’ve decided to let you, my fellow librarians, sway me in the direction you think I need to go.

To shush or not to shush …. that is the question. Or should it even be a question?

What do you do in your library? Please help me reconcile the two distinct and at-the-moment warring sides to my personality. Have your say on my little poll

And if you feel strongly enough, leave me a comment as well, explaining your position.