There's this library with a NO cell phone policy. But it does allow laptops, Pocket PCs, etc.
Presumably patrons could skype on their laptops – would that count as phone use? And they can talk to each other, across the tables – so why not to other students in other rooms or in other cities?
Some librarians might say “but they’re not using their phones for academic purposes…” Well, how do you know that? You can’t police their conversations. It’s kinda like a student looking at a J.Crew catalog on library computers – is it academic use? Well, it is if they're looking at online pricing trends for a marketing class.
The point is that patrons ought to be relatively quiet in the library. If they can use a laptop or a cell phone quietly, then they ought to be able to use that technology because it can help them with research. Patrons: Cell phones on SILENT or at least on MEETING mode, please. Set it to VIBRATE, or get out of the library… And don’t shout your conversation in any medium.
Mobile phones aren’t going away. In fact, they’re becoming ever more prevalent and ever more useful. The line between ‘computers’ and ‘phones’ has long since been crossed. The line between tools like the Blackberry and the Pocket PC on one hand, and the ordinary cell phone on the other has way been crossed. Mobile phones now have web browser capabilities, file transfer ability, e-mail, simple word processors, cameras, and other applications. You might say that the cell phone is the poor man’s laptop computer.