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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #1 
(big sigh)  I choose not to own a computer - so use them at local public library.  When you log onto one of their computers, you get a screen that says 'SILENCE YOUR CELL PHONE' - you cannot log on without encountering that screen.  But I guess some people think it doesn't apply to them.  About two weeks ago only myself and another woman were at computer stations - and her phone went off, which distracted me, but I said nothing.  A few minutes later it goes off again, and I say in an annoyed voice 'Excuse me, you need to silence your phone.  That's the library's policy.'  She just looked at me and said nothing.  A few minutes later her phone goes off again and I say 'Turn yer phone off!' and she replied 'I'll get right on that' in a snarky tone.  I glance towards staff desk hoping for assistance, but no one's there.  For the fourth time her phone goes off and I glance again towards staff desk and since now there's a woman there I say to her (librarian) 'Can you tell this woman to silence her phone!  I've told her twice to!'  The library walks over to the woman and in a very quiet voice speaks with her, needs to help her with her phone, but at least now it'll be quiet. 

Then the librarian walks past me and says 'You need to lower your voice' - I'm shocked.  I start to go into detail what she missed and I can sense she doesn't want to hear it.  She just wants everyone to be calm and quiet.  Which pisses me off, because that's ALSO what I wanted, and since it's her job to enforce it and not mine, I was annoyed I had to say anything to anybody.  She and I go back and forth than I just start ignoring her, knowing this isn't go in the direction I'm hoping - which would be her agreeing that it is her job to notice and enforce patron conduct rules.  She walks away.  A few minutes later the woman at other computer gets up and I'm so glad she's leaving, but she stops and stands next to me and blows her nose loudly several times.  Yeah, she was getting off on annoying me, there are people like that.  I ignore her. 

Then she walks up to staff desk and asks to speak with whoever's in charge, then proceeds to complain about me.  I try to keep silent and just focus on computer but at one point I do speak up and say 'Don't forget to mention your phone went off four times, twice after I asked you to silence it.'

A few minutes later the head librarian comes to me (once before I interacted with her a few months ago when she didn't like me speaking up to people about their phones going off) and says 'Miss H - you need to come to staff and not speak to other patrons when there's an issue.'  I'm even more upset, that she didn't ask to hear my story, only heard what the other lady had to say.  I said that - 'Can you listen to my side of the story?!'  She says 'Okay' but I can tell she didn't want to hear it, and said that.  She says something like 'We've had issues with you before.  If it continues, you'll be banned from library.'  This really got to me, why am I supposed to follow the rules but other patrons don't have to and staff don't have to do their jobs?!

(anybody still reading?)

I so wanted someone to acknowledge that it's not right that other patrons don't respect the rules, acknowledge that it IS distracting to some patrons when others let their phones keep ringing. 

I wasn't agreeing with her, she sensed it, and just like I wanted to be respected, she expected me to treat her with respect, and I didn't and eventually swore at her.  She told me I had to leave and was banned from library - I swore again at her as I got up to leave.

I used other libraries in the district for a couple of weeks, then went back to that one a couple of times, no issues, no one said anything to me, so I assumed my 'ban' was over.  Guess not as I went in today and she came at me, with two other staff beside her and handed me a piece of paper which said I was banned til March 17, and said I'd been mailed that letter.  I never got it.  It's a very serious letter, stating if I'm on any of the county library's property, I'm trespassing.  So I left. I honestly wonder, since she was really mad that I wasn't cooperating that last time - maybe she never did mail it, and figured I'd come back into the library and then I'd not be following the ban and she could ban me permanently.  If you met and interacted with her like I have - you'd wonder too probably, if she'd actually do that.  People go into library work because they don't want confrontation - well, I'd think  a lot of them anyway.  So when a patron gets annoyed that library staff aren't confronting rule breakers, it does probably upset them to be pushed towards the thing they thought the job wouldn't include?

I'm using a different nearby library system to do my computer stuff - but damn I'm mad.  Like many of you, I'm extra sensitive to noise.  After a big stormy night - ever say to someone 'Boy, that was some storm last night!'  and they reply 'What storm?'  as they slept through the whole thing!

I'm between jobs now, place I work for doesn't have work for me.  About to move out of my place (due to noise issues) and can't find anyplace that makes me think it'll be quiet.  So was thinking of heading south and doing some camping.  Have half a mind to just go back to that library - let em call the cops - let em drag me out of the library and put me in a cell.  I'm gonna hate the noise of being in jail, but just so so so tired of the world thinking it's okay to let noise, especially noise that's clearly against policy - be allowed.

Thank you so much to anyone reading this - please share your viewpoint, and whether or not you can relate. 

Sometimes I wear my very thick ear protectors (like workers wear on airport runways) to the library but don't always remember them.  Even with em, I can hear the cellphones.



Posts: 291
Reply with quote  #2 
Thank you so much to anyone reading this - please share your viewpoint, and whether or not you can relate.

OK. But only since you asked.

As I understand it ...

You raised your voice in the library. You got into an argument with the librarian. And you got kicked out.

What's your beef?


No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.

- David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright

Posts: 105
Reply with quote  #3 
Hello Mary,
The world can be very loud and people can be insensitive. I have found that if I am stuck somewhere that is supposed to be quiet with a loud person, if I take responsibility for my sensitivities by saying, "Excuse me, I have had an ear injury or I have an ear problem, and the cell phone noise is hard on my ears, would you mind turning it off for a little bit" or something along those lines, people are much less likely to get defensive about whatever they are doing that they perceive as their right to do. Not always, but so far talking to people this way has never gotten me into a fight with anyone.

I also NEVER leave home without some sort of earplugs or noise cancellation device because noise crops up in all sorts of places, sadly even the library, which used to be a quiet place and is no longer. I think you did some things that escalated the tension in the situation you were in, and one great thing about ear protection is you get to avoid getting in arguments with people. After all is said and done it doesn't matter who is right and wrong, it sounded to me like you all went wrong and felt wronged in one way or another in this story. What matters especially to sensitive people, is to try to live in a way that preserves your sense of calm. That's what I have learned. So the good news is they are going to let you back into the library after March 17th. You might tell them you are sorry there was a fuss and explain that you are hypersensitive to sound and that the library is very important place for you, so you overreacted. Try to smooth things over so you can feel at home in your library.
Good luck


Posts: 400
Reply with quote  #4 
I understand your position. Judgement can become cloudy when dealing with the whole hyperacusis deal.You lose connection with the real world and become your own worst enemy sometimes. I too chose going to a library with my first onset. I had the woman next to me with clanging bangle bracelets banging away as she typed. Then the constant clicking of the mouse as people played games on the computers...that was against policy too. You cannot enforce anything without becoming the "agressor". But,I noticed how I often tried to control people and their annoying habits,especially family. I had terrible misophonia that would cause me,to scream at my kids as they smacked their mouths as they ate.I was a mean person that people learned to avoid. Was I wrong? No. Like you, I was playing the only card I was dealt. Unfortunately, the sufferers don't get a fair game in life so we recluse from a misunderstanding and seemingly insensitive world.Next time...if there is one..try wearing earbuds with a pleasant sound to block out the outside world. Or plugs. It may preserve your sanity and calm the nerves. Been there too.
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