I had the idea of joining the London Library as somewhere quiet which I could visit as and when wanted/needed. The travel to London would have been a bit of a pain but when I saw the annual membership fee for the London Library I decided to drop the idea of joining the library.
My local (council run) library is used more as a community hub and cannot be considered quiet. Activities held at the library include the teaching of PC skills to pensioners and a group for mums and dads with toddlers (in a library!). The library premises are too small for a separate reading room.
I have searched for a reading room, club or library in Kent to meet my needs but have found nothing of use. I found a reading room but that belongs to a religious group and is only open one day a week.
Any ideas or thoughts will be appreciated. Thank you.
I don't know where you live in Kent or how quiet it is but, if you have not already tried it, you could try the University of Kent library - https://www.kent.ac.uk/library/opening/
The webpage says visitors are welcome.
I wonder if you live in the same town as I do, caretwo. Sounds like my local Kent library!
I live near the University of Kent, and was an undergrad there. I'm not sure how the library there is now, but when I was there - 30 years ago - the supposed 'silence' in the library was a constant source of irritation to me. I'm very sensitive to sound. I can tolerate the normal ambient sounds of traffic passing my window, etc. But in a library, I'm always distracted by whispering, 'quiet' giggling, and so on. I invariably ended up, as a student, simply taking out the books I needed and taking them to my room. It may simply be the proximity of other people that makes me hyper-aware of extraneous noise. Same on public transport, with music buzz filtering from headphones, or people yakking into their mobiles. And the cinema, with bags rustling, popcorn being chewed, whispering, etc.
They have many reading areas in UKC library, though - and if those types of sounds don't bother you, then it may be worth a visit. Failing that, all of the colleges on campus have reading areas. In those days, anyone could use them. There may be restrictions now, though. You could always check at the Porters Lodges.
Martian Tom said:I can tolerate the normal ambient sounds of traffic passing my window, etc. But in a library, I'm always distracted by whispering, 'quiet' giggling, and so on
Knowing that one really well, it's incredibly annoying. The trains here have a quiet coach and it's the worst one to be in. I had never realised before how many sharp z German has until that was all I could hear through the train noises, being at the opposite end of the coach...
When I lived near them, I used to enjoy visiting art galleries and museums. They were usually very quiet during the day and I found them excellent wind-down spaces in the middle of the city.
Thank you Taltunes but Martian Tom confirms what I thought about libraries run by Kent County Council.
I have the misfortune to live in the area of the Medway Towns and Hoo Peninsula (not Medway as that is a river and not a place or collection of places).
We have a couple of campuses in the area but, unless I am mistaken, they are for student use only (which is fair enough).
Thank you, I shall trying searching for art galleries and museums.
Haha! Everyone refers to it as 'Medway'. But Medway Towns is strictly correct. It's like people refer to New York, when they actually mean New York City, or more specifically Manhattan, rather than the state.
My local library is very much a community centre. Very noisy, all day. But then, less and less of the space is given over to books, and they're usually mainly popular commercial fiction. There's a reading area, but you'd need earplugs. People wandering around distract me, too.
The only place that I can really sit and read, study, concentrate, write, etc is my living room at home. It's a known environment, and the ambient sounds of the busy road outside no longer bother me. I don't have a doorbell, and I usually unplug the phone when at home. When I lived on our seafront, though, it was absolute murder. I felt like a prisoner in my own home because of the spontaneous eruptions of noise which could occur at any time of the day or night.
I think University of Kent library is run by University of Kent instead of Kent County Council but I accept Martian Tom's comments that it may not be quiet enough for your needs.
My place can be quiet but, on top of all the usual (difficult to deal with) noise, I do have problems with a household (four doors away!) playing music in their back garden more days than not, screaming brats (the screams go right through me), a football being kicked against all manner of objects for sometimes hours on end (when there is a recreation ground is less than a minute's walk away), etc.
My current way of dealing with the noise is to wear noise-cancelling headphones, or ear defenders or earplugs, but there are times when I just want/need to escape the noisy environment.
My GP suggested contacting the Kent Autistic trust to see if they know of anywhere suitable. That is on my to-do list.
I can empathize - I live in an old house which has been converted into flats and I have problems with the person in the flat above me running his washing machine at all hours of the day. Earplugs help to a certain extent but I don't like wearing them for long periods of time.