top of page

Public Library Etiquette: A Guide for the Summer Season

As schools close their doors for the summer break, public libraries open theirs even wider, welcoming students and families into a world of imagination, learning, and community resources. The library, with its quiet corners and endless shelves of adventure, becomes a sanctuary for young minds and a haven for eager learners. Navigating this space respectfully ensures that everyone can enjoy the wealth of knowledge and tranquility it offers. Here's a primer on public library etiquette, especially tailored for parents planning summer visits with their children.

1.Embrace the Quiet Zones:

Libraries are synonymous with silence, a rule that holds special significance in quiet zones. These areas are dedicated to study, reading, and reflection. When visiting with children, it's important to explain the significance of these zones and encourage them to speak in hushed tones, if at all, to maintain the serene atmosphere that library-goers cherish.

2. Care for Borrowed Materials:

Books and materials borrowed from the library are treasures to be shared. Treat them with care, avoiding dog-ears, spills, and marks, ensuring they return in good condition for the next reader to enjoy. Teaching children to handle books gently instills respect for shared resources and pride in their borrowing privileges.

3. Interact Respectfully with Librarians:

Librarians are the guardians of the library's realm, equipped with vast knowledge and a willingness to assist. Approach them with courtesy, whether you're seeking book recommendations or navigating library services. Encouraging children to ask librarians questions can foster independence and an appreciation for the library staff's role.

4. Participate in Library Programs:

Many libraries offer summer programs designed specifically for children and families, from story hours to educational workshops. These programs are wonderful opportunities for engagement and learning. Participate actively and adhere to program guidelines to ensure these events are enjoyable and enriching for all attendees.

5. Respect Library Property and Spaces:

Remind children to treat library furnishings and property with respect, just as they would items in their own home. This includes using furniture as intended, cleaning up after activities, and respecting the personal space of other library users.

6. Monitor Internet Use:

If your children are using the library's computers or internet access, supervise their activities to ensure they're engaging with appropriate content and following the library's digital usage policies.

7. Leaving the Library:

As your library visit concludes, ensure that the space you've used is as welcoming for the next family as it was for yours. This means re-shelving books if you're familiar with the system, or returning them to designated areas for re-shelving by library staff.

As the summer unfolds and you seek out the cool, quiet embrace of the public library, remember that this space is a communal treasure, enriched by the respect and care of its patrons. Let's continue to foster a love for reading and learning in our children, while respecting the sanctity of this shared space. Do you have tips or experiences from your library visits to share? Or perhaps questions on making the most of your library trips this summer? Let's keep the conversation going and share our collective wisdom for the benefit of all library-goers this summer.


bottom of page