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Posted on Mar 26, 2019

Quincy library seeks to keep it fun, keep it quiet

Spoken like a true librarian, Schiree Ybarra wants you to know, “Dewey” have a library for you.
Quincy Public Library is embracing its well-deserved place as a community hub for Quincy-ites of all ages, while also holding true to its roots as a place of quietude.
Ybarra, head librarian of the Quincy branch of the North Central Regional Library, said the library promotes six activities per week, mostly geared toward the younger set.
Minecraft, Storytimes in two languages, 3-D printing, Legos, and wildly popular slime-making sessions have seen scores of children find their way to the library after school and on weekends. The slime-making was meant for 30 children, and 85 people showed up.
“Thankfully, everybody was so patient and calm and understanding,” said Ybarra, who has been with the NCRL for more than 24 years. “It was exciting and overwhelming, but everybody loved it.”
Libraries aren’t what they used to be, Ybarra said. Back in the day, silence was expected, and that’s not the case today. The library in Quincy is lucky to have a multipurpose room for some of the more rambunctious activities, and it has a quiet-reading room for those seeking some peace and tranquility, Ybarra said.
“If someone is looking for some peace and quiet, they are guaranteed to have that there, and we do the best we can to maintain the noise throughout the building, but we are really busy here, especially after school.”
Without putting the “shhhh” in Schiree, Ybarra said part of the job of the library staff is to remind everyone that they have to talk quietly, silence their phones and tablets, and be respectful of others.
“We do try to keep it a quiet environment as much as possible,” she said, later adding that people should remember that a library is still a library – not a playground, nor an extension of the living room.
“This is a public place,” she said. “Our mission is to bring people in, but being respectful of others.”
There may be children playing, but there may also be college students cramming for a test, or adults doing health insurance research or applying for a job or working on their taxes, or learning a language, or surfing the Net on one of the 21 Chromebooks on loan from the Quincy School District.
“We are not only about books,” she said. “It’s a resource.”
It’s a resource whose building turned seven years old in December, and it still looks fairly new. Ybarra said that that is in part because people who come in respect the building enough to follow the rules, like the no-food-or-drink policy (which still allows you to get a sip from your bottle at the desk) or the locked bathrooms.
“Stop by,” Ybarra said. “See what-all we have to offer.”

By Sebastian Moraga,