I think it is really tacky when people talk on their cellphones while in the bathroom (this happens frequently)!! What is the cell phone policy in the library?
Interim Associate University Librarian for Public Services Barbara Anderson replies...
No cell phones in the bathroom?! But where else can you get those special sound effects? Seriously, you have plenty of company - there are lots of folks who would just as soon flush those cell phones right down the toilets! We have received many comments about VCU Libraries' regulations on cell phone use (see our Use of Library Buildings regulations and Cabell Library's Quiet Building Guidelines). For every complaint that we're too strict, there are at least four others who urge us to be MORE restrictive.
A national survey conducted by the student market research group, Student Monitor, indicated that nearly 90 percent of college students owned cell phones in fall 2004, up from 33 percent in 2002. And according to a study reported in the April 18, 2005 issue of the University of Utah's Daily Utah Chronicle, 97 percent of college students have a cell phone! Now that's a lot of students discussing their research projects, and there's just no way library staff can keep track of that many cell phone users in the building!
There will always be a handful of cell phone users who can't understand why anyone would NOT want to hear their very fascinating half of a personal conversation or why others might NOT be impressed by their clever choice of ringer. But if 97 percent of students own cell phones, probably 95 percent DO understand that there are good reasons why cell phone use is discouraged:
- while driving
- in theaters
- in concert halls
- in classrooms
- in public restrooms (!)
- wherever others are trying to study or concentrate - like, for example, in
We have no wish to ban cell phones or cell phone use in Cabell Library. We only ask that cell phone users turn off their audible ringers while in the building and that they conduct their phone conversations in areas where they are least likely to disturb others. In Cabell Library these include outer stairwells (we have lots of those!), the 2nd floor public pay phone area, and the 1st floor outer lobby. They do NOT include the restrooms! With text messaging and inaudible signals, nobody should ever have to miss an important communication while in Cabell Library, and nobody who is not participating in a phone conversation should ever have to listen to one!