Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Soundwalk

A walk through the Hunter Library is the same as a walk through the city.

To my right, somebody is complaining - rightly so - that $8.33 is too much to pay for a serving of broccoli with garlic sauce. (She opts for fries instead.) There is the clicking of keys on a laptop - several laptops. Shuffling papers. Coffee cups being picked up, then placed back down. And again. Coffee cup up, back down. It's the place is a veritable coffee shop, rather than a place for study.

I pass by the reference desk, hear someone say that the stapler is near the "document finishing" station. There is the hum of printers spitting out ink on papers. Somebody is complaining about someone else, before asking if a seat is taken.

The "silent study" area is quieter, but louder in other ways. The shuffling of papers is more pronounced. You can more readily hear the buzzing whine of the fluorescent lights above. The neurotic need to text is also present. But people seem to actually be studying - I overhear someone going over something vaguely resembling psychology. (Possibly because it is psychology.)

People are more likely to take up residence on the floors, if the muffled apologies and careful shuffling through shelves is anything to go by.

Exiting the library, I find that there doesn't seem to be much difference between the inside and the outside. Still the same shuffling of papers, the same keyboards, the same coffee cups. So much for a "quiet" place to study.

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