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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Strives to Put Money Only Where His Mouth Is

DEAR ABBY: I remember when I was a child, the library was a sacred place where one could go and find peace and quiet, study, meditate or just relax and read a good book.

I am 30 now and working on an advanced degree and rely on the library as a place to get things done, but I'm beginning to wonder what happened to that "silence" rule. Patrons talk on mobile phones, converse loudly and act like they're at home. I remember when librarians were quick to make sure the library was quiet, but now they are some of the worst offenders.

If silence cannot be found in the library, where can it be found -- and is there anything I can do to turn back the clock? -- NEEDS PEACE AND QUIET IN WISCONSIN

DEAR NEEDS P AND Q: Much as we might wish to, no one can "turn back the clock." So have a chat with the head librarian and make your concerns known. While it may not be possible to have total silence, it would not be out of line to ask if there is a room in the library that could be designated as a conversation-free and cell-phone-free zone. If the answer is no, speak to one of your professors and inquire if there is a study hall where you can find the peace and quiet you need.