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I agree that  the degree of noise you allow in your library should be dictated by 
your students' needs and how/why the library is being used.  I think that, in many 
cases, high school students have enough places to socialize, and they may really be 
in need of a safe, quiet place to study for a test, work on research, catch up on 
their homework, read, etc.  My rule is that they can whisper, and I usually 
demonstrate the difference between a low voice and a whisper--which usually is good 
for a chuckle--but it's a good way to show them that when they're whispering only 
those directly beside them should be able to hear what they say instead of talking 
in a low voice which can still carry over to the next tables and disturb students 
trying to study for a test.  We remind them in a nice way, and students are really 
good to respect the needs of other people.

When there's only one class in the library, and they are all involved in looking 
for books to check out, it gets noisier, but that's okay--no one is being kept from 
studying or working.


Vicki Nelson
Odessa High School
Ector County ISD

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