Why Can’t We Take Naps in the Library?

As usual, I studied in the public library this afternoon. The library was quite empty, with few people present today. Due to the warm and cozy atmosphere, I unconsciously drifted into a nap, finding it very relaxing. All of a sudden, I was awakened by the librarian, who informed me that sleeping in the library was not allowed. Confused, I asked why, to which she simply replied, “You just can’t sleep in the library; that’s the rule.”

Driven by confusion and curiosity, I conducted some research on the internet, where I stumbled upon an answer on Reddit provided by a librarian.

Here is what the post says:

From my perspective, there are three main reasons why public libraries have rules against napping.

Firstly, library staff may not be able to distinguish between someone sleeping and someone having a medical emergency. While it might seem like most of the time people are simply sleeping, in a busy library with thousands of visitors, even a small chance of a medical emergency adds up. I’ve witnessed several instances where what seemed like someone sleeping turned out to be a medical emergency.

Secondly, library resources are meant for active use by library patrons. Allowing napping without a policy could lead to multiple people occupying seats and tables, which potentially takes the opportunity away from people who do need it

Thirdly, there’s a concern for security. If someone falls asleep with personal belongings nearby and those belongings are stolen, it could lead to conflicts with library staff.

As a bonus point, while sleeping itself isn’t inherently problematic, it often accompanies other behaviors like taking off shoes, drooling, or snoring, which can disrupt the library environment and discomfort other patrons. For instance, there’s a regular occurrence in my area where someone falls asleep in a window seat, leaving her butt crack exposed.


Reddit Post

Chinese translation below:


受到困惑和好奇心的驱使,我在互联网上进行了一些研究,偶然间在 Reddit 上看到了一个图书馆员提供的答案。