A library should be a place of quiet but, no, not my local library. Someone gave them the harebrained idea to redesign it with an open concept — no walls — and so now we can hear every noise-generating thing like a gaggle teenagers goofing off over here, and an inconsolable kid crying over there. Without walls the sound travels unimpeded and that has rendered the library as no longer the quiet sanctuary it used to be. Nothing’s sacred.
This is a concept that should exist in the 21st century. Like many self-respecting writers, I have a home office/study (and naturally mine doubles as a mancave/manscape when necessary since I live with multiple double-X chromosome carriers). However, that Chamber of Peace and Solitude – y’know, the kind a writer requires – is on the first level of this fine two-level domicile in which I reside and hold the mortgage. However, it’s not far from the common living quarters of the place. So if anyone else is home, their sounds of living seep unfettered into said chamber. This is why escapist places like public libraries are a valued construct (considering one does not have an offsite studio in which to retreat). The two we have here in our local quadrant of the county are fine establishments. Great, actually. However, there’s just one problem: the operating hours – particularly those on the weekends – are unacceptable. A 5:30 closing time? No, no, this simply cannot stand to reason. If 24/7 is not on the negotiating table, can we at least come to an agreement of not closing before sundown? I fully concede without shame that this is a First World Problem and I’m okay with that. I’m just a fella looking for a reliable writers’ retreat while maximizing his tax dollars.