I have no idea where and how it became a rule that the library is a quiet place, but a million thanks to whoever that first librarian was for shushing conversation. Museums and libraries are one of the few places you can go in the city where people will shut up. Go to a bar, there’s music blaring. Go to a restaurant, there’s music blaring and other peoples’ conversation. Public gardens, to the extent there are any anymore, are full of people having cell phone conversations.
You step into a library from the street in a big city, and into the reading room, and you have found quiet. As much as I love the books, and their endless possibilities, I love the quiet and its possibilities more.