Shh: Mugar Manners

When I was about ten years old, I was yelled at by a librarian for eating candy off of a candy necklace. From that day forward, I understood that libraries are very serious places (as well as developing a slight aversion to candy jewelry). Luckily, Miss Mugar Manners can help sort out the rights and wrongs of library etiquette.

Photo by Flickr User Roncaglia

Dear Miss Mugar Manners,

I like to study at the library with a friend or two and sometimes we get a-chattin! It’s okay as long as we whisper and maybe giggle right?


Mandy Murmurs

Dear Mandy Murmurs,

No. Frequent whispering does not equal politeness.  In fact whispering and laughing constantly is indeed more annoying than occasionally saying something at a normal volume.  There are many alternatives you can choose from if you want to talk: go on some form of instant messaging, send a text, write a good-ol-fashioned note, or study in the PAL Study Lounge on the third floor, where you can gab without receiving menacing glares.

However, Miss Mugar Manners says there is one exception to this rule. The first floor computer lounges and study areas permit a certain amount of talking. Just watch your volume and be aware of others in the area.

Dear Miss Mugar Manners,

The guy sitting next to me said he would be right back and asked me to watch his laptop and stuff. But now I am really hungry and want to get dinner and he still isn’t back! Is it okay to leave?


Stranded on the Second Floor

Dear Stranded,

If the asker exceeds an average amount of time, about ten to fifteen minutes, then you are no longer obligated to be the guardian of his goods. The missing person should be considerate of your time and should not expect the security of his laptop to be your top priority. The practice of asking is a little questionable in the first place – everyone should be responsible for their own property.

Dear Miss Mugar Manners,

I know food isn’t allowed in the library, but I just wanted to bring a couple snacks. Is that acceptable?


Starving Student

Dear Starving Student,

Miss Mugar Manners understands that snacking and studying are a great combination. Therefore, if you bring food into the library, choose wisely and always clean up. Do not think you can get away with smuggling in a bucket of Popeye’s Chicken or anything too greasy. A bagel or a dining hall banana should suffice and do not leave too much of a trace. Just leave the table as your found it and throw away or recycle any trash.

About Heather Vandenengel

Heather Vandenengel (CAS '11) is a campus writer for the Quad.

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