We have all seen–or maybe posted–the signs banning cell phone use or limiting use to the lobby in libraries of all types. A recent article in Library Journal The Cell Phone Police reports on two surveys done by Leah L. White, a law librarian at Northwestern University. The surveys asked both library staff and library users their attitude toward cell phone use in the library.
“A good rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t stop a face-to-face conversation between patrons, then you have no justification for stopping a technology-mediated conversation,” observed one library worker. “If you would stop a face-to-face conversation (e.g., in a Quiet Zone), then naturally cell phones would fall under the same policy.”
Library users voiced strikingly similar opinions. Users agreed that cell phone conversations should be kept to a minimum and should be conducted respectfully. Most respondents said they understood the need to monitor cell phone use in libraries but opposed banning their use outright. “Certainly, if I can use my phone to access the catalog, why ban its use altogether?” one library user noted. “It’s more of a conduct or ‘disruptive behavior’ issue than anything.”
The article mentions how several libraries have addressed the cell phone issue so library workers and library users are satisfied.
So, what’s your policy or opinion on cell phone use in the library?
Join in the celebration! Wednesday, April 22, the University of Minnesota Libraries will be presented with the 2009 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award by ACRL President Erika Linke during a ceremony on campus. Kudos are in order – vision and hard work resulted in this national recognition.
Free and Open to the Public
3-5pm (Refreshments served beginning at 3:00; Award Presentation at 3:15)
Walter Library Great Hall, 117 Pleasant Street SE, Minneapolis, East Bank campus