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Don’t Laugh in the Library: 10 Must-Know Library Rules

Forget “don’t laugh in the library.” Learn these ten library rules to help you and your kids have fun without upsetting the librarian.

When you picture the library, do you see a stern-faced librarian telling you to hush?

While libraries come with a lot of rules—some of them true, like “use inside voices,” and some of them exaggerated, like “don’t laugh”—libraries are supposed to be fun. So here are ten real library rules to help you and your kids have fun without upsetting the librarian:

1. Respect Quiet Zones

Some libraries have sectioned off quiet zones to ensure a conducive environment for reading and studying. Encourage kids to be mindful of designated quiet areas within the library. If they want to talk, they need to find a conversation area or ask to go outside.

2. Supervise Children

We love kids, but they’re still learning boundaries and social skills. Keep an eye on children at all times, not only to ensure their safety but to prevent disruptions to other library patrons.

3. Use Inside Voices

While laughing in the library is allowed, that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t still be some level of noise control. After all, ten feet of separation between a quiet zone and a conversation zone can only guard against so much volume. Remind kids to use inside voices to maintain a peaceful atmosphere for everyone.

4. Explore Together

Going to libraries is fun, but for kids, part of that fun is spending time with their family. Explore the library together by browsing books, attending storytime sessions, or participating in library events and activities.

5. Attend Storytime Responsibly

Librarians, authors, and volunteers spend a lot of time trying to make library activities fun for kids. If you’re attending storytime or other children’s programs, arrive on time and remind your kids to participate actively and follow any instructions given by the presenter. This shows respect to the staff members and ensures a positive experience for everyone.

6. Handle Books with Care

Library books see so many hands every day. And after so much use, they easily get worn out. Teach children how to handle books with care and encourage them to return books to their proper places after use. This helps keep every book in good condition for the next person to read and love.

7. Be Courteous to Others

Remind kids to be courteous and respectful to other patrons and staff members. This means respecting the privacy of other patrons and refraining from disturbing or intruding upon others’ personal space while in the library. It also means paying attention to the rules and actually listening when the librarian tells you to hush.

8. Ask for Help When Needed

Forget that image of a stern-faced librarian. Librarians love to help, even if they seem quiet and untalkative (it’s kind of their job). Don’t be afraid to ask library staff for help or assistance when needed, whether it’s finding a book, using library resources, or seeking recommendations for family-friendly activities.

9. Respect Library Property

Remind kids to respect library property, including furniture, equipment, and facilities, and to report any damages or concerns to staff promptly. This includes using resources responsibly, like computers, printers, and other equipment, and to follow any usage guidelines provided by the library.

10. Clean Up After Yourself

When you move locations or it’s time to leave, don’t forget to clean up. Dispose of trash properly and return any borrowed materials to their designated areas. If the library permits food and drinks, be sure to follow any designated areas or policies regarding their consumption, and then clean up any leftover mess to maintain a clean and pleasant environment for everyone. If there are any spills, be sure to tell someone promptly.

Have Fun!

Above all, have fun and enjoy your time at the library by exploring books, engaging in activities, and spending quality time together.

Learn to Laugh in the Library with These Books

The cover of the board book Axolotls: Day to ZZZ.

Axolotls: Day to ZZZ

The cover of the picture book Donuts: The Hole Story.

Donuts: The Hole Story

The cover of the picture book Unicorn and Horse.

Unicorn (and Horse)

Shaelyn Topolovec earned a BA in editing and publishing from BYU, worked on several online publications, and joined the Familius family. Shae is currently an editor and copywriter who lives in California’s Central Valley.

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