Silence. “It’s what I like most about this place.” Silence. “It’s so quiet here.” Silence. “You must have the most quiet job on campus.” Silence. Freely used to describe our environment. Silence…is not what you will hear here.
Here you will hear, the rushing air of the A/C, the swish of pants as a patron leaves the room, the typing of keys on a keyboard, the sudden sneeze or stifled cough, a discussion between scholars, a tour being given to plain faced students, but not silence. Here you will hear, the clicking of a mouse, the scratch of pencils, the muffled whispers of conversing researchers, patrons seeking help in person or by phone, boxes being opened, pages being flipped through, a ringing cellphone a patron hurries to answer by dashing out of the room, but not silence.
This building, this job, this moment is anything *but* silence. Yet, it is the favorite word of choice to describe us, shame us, compliment us, mock us, label us. Silence. Is not something you will hear here.