Huntington Beach, California city council has taken steps to protect libraries from this new form of noise pollution.
Using a cellular telephone in a city library could cost incessant yakkers plenty - up to $1,000.
City leaders adopted an ordinance, which takes effect Sept. 15, that bans all cell phone use in libraries, including talking, text messaging and ringing tones of any kind.
First-time violators will be warned, then fined $250 if they don't comply. A second offense gets a $500 fine and a third offense gets a $1,000 fine.
Huntington Beach civic leaders believe those may be the nation's stiffest fines for cell use. The ordinance was prompted by complaints about annoying rings and people walking around or standing at computer terminals chatting loudly.
As a parent who stares in disbelief at other parents who would rather talk on their cell phones than listen to their own children's choir, band, orchestra concerts or plays, I commiserate with Carol Page:
"People are really getting sick of these things with the screaming and yelling and these anguished conversations," said Carol "Miss Manners" Page, founder of CellManners.com, a site dedicated to promoting cell phone etiquette.