The library is perhaps the final frontier for anyone seeking solace in a calming environment to study.
But even this public institution's silence gets disrupted by the sonic assault of smartphone notifications, hushed conversations and even loud shush-ing – which is ironically more annoying than actual conversations.
In an effort to keep the peace and prevent confrontation, one library came up with a tactic that has everyone mime-ing applause.
Redditor u/Flattermedal shared a picture of a notice posted at his university's library.
"This sign at my University with the number for the library police."
The post received over 85 thousand upvotes, proving that many agree with the policy.
A sign found in a university. u/Flattermedal/Reddit
The sign reads: "Annoyed by noise? Anonymous - no need to leave your study space. Just send a text!
"Text the word "Noise" and the exact location of the disturbance to: xxx xxx-xxxx and a member of the Library staff will investigate."
Others on Reddit sounded off in response to the texting tactic.
"id like to imagine the library police show up with one of those flashing lights on their cap blaring 'NEENAWNEENAWNEENAW' from a low quality speaker" – LinguisticallyInept
Users shared their own experiences with noise at library.
"The public library I work at is right next door to a high school, so the library is largely quiet until 3pm when the gates of hell open."
"Someone recently left a comment card about how loud and rude the kids are when they atrive [sic]. I think the librarians made a point to talk to the kids, because I noticed a new card last night thanking us for whatever we did with the kids and how we're silent once more." - catwithlasers
This former library staff member had a few anecdotes about various confrontations to share.
"I used to work at a university library. If we had noisy patrons and empty AV rooms available Id tell them they're disturbing the other patrons but we have AV rooms available if they would like some more privacy."
"80% of the time they'd just apologize and simmer down or decide to go somewhere else."
"Ssssometimes they would take up the offer and use a room with a door. Usually if it was a group project.
Sometimes they'd get all huffy."
"One time this lady's baby was angry crying constantly. Like cholic crying. And she fucking lost her bananas on me for asking her to use an AV room."
"She shreiked at me while slamming her books away and storming out that "You people don't even give a shit" and "I need to study too"
"I felt bad for her because she must be under a lot of pressure but...everyone there needed to study too..." – PerceivedSlight
Others left examples for keeping the peace.
"One of the best things my local library did was make the Young Adult section be its own, sound-proofed room (with clear walls), and to have little soundproofed study rooms. It lets teens have fun in the library without adults yelling at them, and if you absolutely need to get a VERY quiet place to get work done, you can go into a smaller, sound-proofed rooms." – WickedZombie
"My library did something similar for the children's area. Kids programming can get loud, but not in a bad way (ever seen 30 toddlers try and emulate a dog shaking off water like in the book they're reading?)." – Killer-Barbie
Calling on the library police could be a sound solution for avoiding confrontations like the one described by this user:
"To be fair i saw near fist fights all the time in my university library over people telling each other to be quiet. A bunch of hyped up 20 year olds don't respond as well in those situation then actual well adjusted adults." – CarUse
"I mean most adults don't respond well either. Ever ask somebody to stop fucking with their cellphone during a movie? Or to take their actively crying baby out of a movie? Or ask the one and only guy in your stadium section who is standing to sit down, so we can see the game?"
"You'd better be the politest fucker to ever polite, because otherwise it's a very strong chance you're going to get active aggression in return. Even then, sometimes assholes will still asshole even harder. People do not take well to being told their behavior is unacceptable."
"Edit: I would limit this to adults who aren't well adjusted, but I think the issue is that well adjusted adults won't tend to be the self-centered jackwads doing this anyway." – heavymcd
But some just saw the potential for abuse.
"I like the idea but I feel that this could be abused.." – lilcbq
"If he wouldn't have blocked out the number I guarantee it would have been abused." – 121guy
"We have this at the library where I work, and the worst we've ever had is a student messaging us when they thought they were messaging their friend but as it's monitored 24 hours a day they were quickly corrected!"
"It's a good system, except when they text "someone's being noisy on floor 1" and then don't respond when you ask for a specific location. Floor 1 is pretty big pal." – canihaveasquash
The system was misused by someone who thought that enlisting the noise police to cheer up a crying friend would be a good idea.
"We have this in my university library and I had a friend who thought it would be funny to text the noise police my location etc. I was in an individual study room trying to not cry too loudly and they came bursting in to see my gross crying face. What followed was awkward British apologies and a lot of grumbling. My friend was also apologetic but in hindsight it was quite funny." – QuicheRice
All in all though, most people saw the benefits. Because loud whispers are just terrible.
"Loud whispers are real and they are terrifying. Be glad if you've never been loud whispered to." – zomgkitteh4ever
One user was interested in applying for a position.
"So this is like a mobile 'SHHH!' service? You text a number and does a librarian with glasses on a chain comes over and aggressively shushes the wrongdoer? Where can I apply for this job" – kindaokayish
"Uhhh, Good morning Madam, Noise Police here. Can I please see your sound license?" – nEwjOrrIk
If only the problem was solved from the start with this blunt order.