Core Decorum


Dear Decorum,

I’m writing you because it hasn’t even been a full week of school, and whenever I study in the library, I’ve already had to put up with “That Kid.” You know, that kid whose music is too loud. That kid who sneaks food into the periodicals and chomps on carrot sticks. That kid who takes up a whole table and then leaves for two hours. Could you cover some basic library etiquette before the semester gets rolling?

-Peeved in the Periodicals


Dear Peeved,

Here are five basic rules of thumb to go by when studying in the library:

1. Snack outside the stacks. It may be annoying to abandon your books and go grab a bite to eat, but you’re doing your fellow students a favor. No one wants to hear you munch, chomp or gobble while reading the “Metaphysics.” In addition, eating near the library books risks spilling on pages or attracting pests into the library. Be good stewards and save the snacks for later.

2. Don’t leave your stuff at a table and then split for hours. You may not need to worry about theft in the Blakley library, but you need to be courteous towards other students. There’s nothing more annoying than going to study areas only to discover that half the desks are “occupied” by backpacks, laptops, books – and no bodies.

3. Silence is golden. Don’t yak and ruin this angelic quietness for your fellow students. There’s a fine distinction between whispering and talking. Learn that difference, please. Also, don’t let technology befoul the ambiance in the library. Keep the phone on silent or turn it off. Additionally, though you may be tuning the world out with your music, we may not wish to tune in and hear the latest LMFAO hit.

4. Don’t turn your cubicle into a mini-dorm room. You come to the library to avoid the distractions of your dorm or your apartment. We get that you’re a college kid running on little to no sleep, so if you do doze off … meh, it happens. But please, don’t snore. While you’re at it, keep your shoes on. You wouldn’t want to poison the already-stale air with your own odor.

5. If you’re the victim facing all these tortures listed above, don’t suffer in silence. That would only make you bitter and fixated on “That Kid.” It may take two minutes or less to address the problem at hand; it would be worse to sit in the library and do nothing, including your homework, because of “That Kid.” Maybe “That Kid” doesn’t even realize that he is “That Kid.” You could be doing him a huge favor, actually.

Happy studying during this early part of the semester!


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