The library is the perfect calming and tranquil environment. I noticed recently while studying at the library, how calm and relaxed my children were while they finished homework and read from the vast selection of books. My children get excited when I mention we are going to the library. They demonstrate the same enthusiasm that they would have if I mentioned we were going to an amusement park. Homework is a dreaded chore at home, but at the library it seems to be fun and a breeze to complete. Somehow the idea of perusing the isles of books is motivation enough to finish without any parental reminders whatsoever.
What is it about the library that automatically induces a relaxed state of mind? I began to notice most everyone in the library was completely satisfied with sitting still reading or working on the computer. Of course there is always that one exception to the rule…which usually reveals itself from a small young body that probably has a habit of being the exception to the rule no matter where they happen to be. Regardless, it is quite astonishing the effect books have on the psyche. I have observed over the last few weeks a collection of homeless people who visit the library on a regular basis. There must be a meditative ambiance that draws them from their humble, solitary and (what I would think) stressful arrangement, to the non-judgemental, populated and peaceful establishment. They appear happy and content.
I have yet to enter the library empty. I’m sure it exists sometime, but my experiences have been filled with books and people. Even though the library is busy with many bodies, it still seems to remain quiet and serene. How is that possible? There aren’t any signs posting QUIET! The librarians aren’t walking around making SSHH sounds. It seems to be a collective agreement not to create chaos in the library. No matter who is in the library, it still seems to feel safe and comfortable. Nobody seems to be in a hurry to leave. In fact the librarians start announcing 15 minutes before closing and then again at 5 minutes. Most everyone waits until the 5 minute mark to start packing up and making their way to the desk or kiosk to check out or resolve out dated cards. I am basing my observation obviously from the local library where I live, but I am curious if this is a worldwide phenomena or I just happen to have an outstanding library. If libraries share this amazing attribute, maybe the library could be a form of therapy or stress relief for those individuals after a long hard day at work, a high pressure commute or simply everyday life noise and vibration.