Saturday, November 19, 2011

Library Etiquette

Mafra National Palace Library - Mafra, Portugal.
Some of my favorite places are libraries. As a true lover of knowledge, reading, and literature, I adore getting lost in the stacks. Many of my friends also love good books. We all have spent many a day exploring the volumes and we all have come to appreciate those who exercise proper library etiquette while sharing the space with us.

Here are a few tips to make your library experience more pleasurable for you and for those around you.

I. Return your books on time and when you check out a book, make an effort to finish it instead of repeatedly renewing it. There are other people who may enjoy that book - don't keep them waiting for too long!

II. When browsing around on the shelves, if you remove a volume out of curiosity and aren't interested in it, put it back exactly where you found it. If you aren't familiar with shelving systems in libraries, ask the librarian to put it back for you. The only thing worse than someone who checks out a book and never brings it back is someone who takes a book and then puts it in a different place. After that, it's impossible to find. The library's computers will keep on saying that the volume is on the shelves but it's not there!

III. Keep your voices down. One may think that it's only in university libraries where people are busy at work and need their concentration, but public libraries attract many studiers and people doing research every day. I myself like to browse public libraries for books that can help me with my work on The Proper Lady and I often sit and take notes there. University students are sometimes there as well because they need more books for a paper than their university library offers. There are also those who enter libraries, public or private, just for the sake of thinking, reflecting, and getting away from the world and getting into their own heads. Respect them.

IV. When you need help, ask a librarian or worker/volunteer nicely. When they help you to find something, show gratitude! Graciously thank them for their help - show appreciation.

Elegant Motherhood Tip - Due to my passion for children and for my research on elegant motherhood, I have chosen to include this Elegant Motherhood Tip related to libraries. Since I am passionate about both children and reading, I am sure that all of you assume that I'm also passionate about encouraging children to read. I heard about something that my fiancé's parents did with him and his children while growing up and I think that this is a great idea. When my fiancé was growing up, every Friday his parents took him and his siblings to the public library and encouraged them to check out one book in each of these subjects: history, geography/travel, science, culture/art/politics, and fiction. When they were very little, they would get "I Can Read" books about science, about geography, etc. in order to satisfy their weekend reading requirements. I can tell you that it really did make a difference in my fiancé and in his siblings. Not only were they always reading at a much higher level throughout their school and university life than their classmates, but they also enjoyed it and it came easy to them. My fiancé is definitely a science and math man (double major in university in Computer Science and Aerodynamical Engineering) but he still enjoys reading books across a wide breadth of topics and has enjoyed taking classes in a wide breadth of topics as well. He's a minor in classics simply because he enjoys the Latin and Ancient Greek languages and also because he's fascinated with learning about the culture of that time period. On his nightstand, he currently has a book on the history of American Railroads, a book on crime, an Ayn Rand novel, a volume of John Donne poetry, and a book on Italian Sculpture. His siblings are just as well-rounded (and they're all science and math people, coincidentally) and as I was planning this post and telling them about it, they told me that they felt that what their parents did with them from a young age made them well-rounded and also more open-minded and generally knowledgeable. By the age of eleven, they were checking out more books than their "requirements" and still in a wide variety of subjects. They became book-lovers. They became well-rounded, knowledgeable, thoughtful, articulate, and open-minded people. 

However, if you choose to exercise this Elegant Motherhood Tip, don't just stick your child on a couch with their stack of books and then tell them to read! Read these books with them, especially if they're young. Read the books aloud if you'd both prefer, and talk to them as you go. Interact with them. If they're older and can read themselves, ask them questions about their reading material. Get them to think about their reading and if you can, read the book yourself so you can have a lively conversation with them.

One of my favorite elegant women, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, reading a book to her
daughter, Caroline, while the dashing John F. Kennedy looks on amusedly. 

Happy Reading Lovelies! 


Bethany said...

Hey Nina Hon,

I love your blog. It's helping me out a lot. I am in my late 40's but I think that it's never too late to improve oneself. Your blog is helping me to become a better person. I feel closer to God when I read your tips, mmkay?

Much love to you from Bethany in Minnesota

Nina Pundarik-Dossin said...

Hi Bethany,

Thank you for your comment. Come back and visit me again sometime soon, alrighty? :)


Nana said...

This reading tip for children is indeed a great idea, thank you very much for sharing your studies and thoughts :)

Angell said...

Hi! I have been reading and rereading your education tag/label. I love it.

This coming fall I will be starting K12 (online public school) with my 8 year old and also starting next month we are going to be going to the library regularly. I am SO taking your motherhood tip into action. Not only for my kids, but for myself as well.

I will be reserving soon Opera for Dummies (I never liked Opera but a post you wrote about it got me thinking), I'm taking one out about George Washington (I'm going to read a book about each president in order of their presidency), I'm taking one about the English culture, one about manners and lastly I'm going to take out Scarlet Letter.

You are definitely an inspiration!!