What is the Rule on Library Personal Space?
November 30, 2012
As a new Page at the Platte City Branch, I put away lots and lots of books. When shelving, I have noticed that personal space boundaries are bigger in the Library than in other public places. If I walk down an aisle of the grocery store, a person doesn’t leave just because I’m coming down. However, in the Library, if I am coming down the aisle with a book, people turn and run. Even kids know this rule. Only about one out of ten people are not the norm.
I guess the aisles in the Library are a bit narrower. But I am not carrying a skunk in my hands to provoke an immediate about face! Maybe it is the noise factor. If we walk past each other, we have to say "excuse me," etc., and they are unsure if that might be too loud in the Library. Or maybe, just maybe, I am spying on them and will know their secrets just from the type of books they like to read. Well sorry, I don’t have that ability or the bionic vision needed to read the titles of the books in their hands.
I learned in psychology class that we have approximately three feet of personal space that only our most intimate partner or children are allowed to intrude upon. However, if you have read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, you know some people have the love language of physical touch. So they are the huggers, the touchers, and the baby-head patters. Even these types of people need a wide berth in the Library!
So the next time you’re in the Library, make sure you give people enough personal space when walking the aisles. Just don’t forget to smile. Everyone needs to know you’re not leaving the aisle ‘cause they smell!
Platte City Branch