Library's sound of music annoys user

IS there no where you can go today for a bit of peace it quiet? It seems not. Even the traditional haven of silence - the library - has abandoned its calm, hushed stillness in favour of noise.

IS there no where you can go today for a bit of peace it quiet? It seems not.

Even the traditional haven of silence - the library - has abandoned its calm, hushed stillness in favour of noise.

The one place where you might expect to conduct the lightest of conversations in the most breathless of hushed whispers, the one place where some vestige of shush in an increasingly noisy world might have survived, has today succumbed to the trend of background muzak.

And at least one library user has had an earful. So much so Antony Bailey is demanding action.

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So incensed was he by the noise he encountered on a visit to the County Library in Northgate Street, Ipswich, he approached The Evening Star for help.

The retired nurse said: “I had such a nasty shock. On entering the art section upstairs I was met by a cacophony of pop music coming from a player on the enquiry desk. This was very irritating and upsetting.”

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Angry Mr Bailey, of Ashmere Grove, is today calling on the people of Ipswich to join forces and campaign to stamp out the noise.

He said: “The person on the desk informed me this music was “policy”. A library should be a place for quiet contemplation, not muzak.

“I find it difficult to understand the thought processes of the people who made this asinine policy. Has there been a stream of customers saying 'please can we have some pop music while we look at the books?' Is it meant to relax us? Well it had the opposite effect in my case.”

Accusing the library, which is run by Suffolk County Council, of “dumbing down”, Mr Bailey said he thought libraries were first and foremost a place of study.

He added: “Let's have a campaign for silence in libraries. There shouldn't be noise like that. It seems the only place there is silence is the reading room.

“There's too much noise around. If it isn't a mobile phone it's a radio or music somewhere. I thought the library would be the one place where it was quiet.”

Do you agree with Mr Bailey? Is there noise everywhere? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to

LIBRARY bosses today said playing music attracts users.

Councillor Graham Newman, who has responsibility for adult and community services, said: “Suffolk was the first county to open all 44 libraries on Sundays back in 2003.

“The county council asked people what they wanted from libraries, and Sunday openings was fed back. We wanted to attract people who didn't normally use libraries and the music, events, refreshments and children's activities has succeeded to attract a wider audience, with on average 6,000 people visiting a library every Sunday.

“Sunday visitors are often families that we never saw before. A full library service, widely available for everyone, only has a future if families come in and develop the habit of enjoying books together.

“We've discovered music is playing a valuable role in encouraging what we planned from the outset - a different, more relaxed feel to our libraries on a Sunday.

“Visitors to Ipswich County Library on a Sunday can use the Northgate Room if they wish to be somewhere quiet.”

Songs you might hear at the library

There's a Kind of Hush - Herman's Hermits

It's Oh So Quiet - Bjork

Silence is Golden - The Tremeloes

Sound of Silence - Simon and Garfunkel

Silent Night

Hush - Deep Purple

Shut Up - Black Eyed Peas

Careless Whisper - George Michael

Quiet Moment - Chris De Burgh

Enjoy the Silence - Depeche Mode

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