Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bowing to the inevitable

Although I planned to abandon this blog, and give way to the official blog for the library service I work in, I still get sent the occasional link that seems worth sharing.

This piece, from The Guardian, does seem to have almost given up on arguing for libraries, and seems to imply that we might as well get used to them no longer receiving funding from local government, and having to find their own sustainable income.

I'll resist the temptation to wonder whether a computer-recycling station running by someone with the 'gift of dyslexia' really seems an obvious match for libraries of books. Perhaps not. If libraries really have started heading down the book-free route, then maybe. Who can tell?

I can see how the funding of a building through recycling seems like a good idea, but can it prove sustainable? Does the money buy new stock, or does it pay people a wage? How long does unpaid volunteer enthusiasm last (especially when confronted by demanding customers)? How do libraries appeal to people if they don't get a regularly replenished stock?

Too many questions, not enough answers, in my book, but see what you think.

The original council library staff have lost their jobs, by the way, having passed on their skills.

The buildings have become 'community hubs'.

Library closures: what can local people do?


Kath Dunbar, a vociferous anti-library closure campaigner, echoes his views. Dunbar, 56, is among a core of around 10 volunteers now running New Cross library. "We're getting people more involved in the library who perhaps wouldn't have come in before," she says. "It's becoming more of a community library, without a doubt. I think the potential of what we can do is amazing."

New Cross People's Library

I wish them luck, of course, but why does it have to be this way? Especially as Councils claim to worry about illiteracy, and then fail to provide the essential, bottom line service for tackling illiteracy - causes of which have to include not having enough access to books at home, or sufficient encouragement to explore them (outside of school, bookshops and other daunting places).

Monday, October 10, 2011

Another Look

If you have visited here before, and wonder where the familiar layout went (and, indeed, the blog list, favourite places, etc) I can only tell you that I decided to test out the dynamic views that Blogger now offers.

The old lookSince the library I work for acquired its own front ends (Twitter, Facebook, Blog) I decided to more or less retire this one - but I still enjoy to experiment.  You can flip through the 7 new options yourself, but you can't revert to the old one, which also had links to favourite places to visit, blogs I like, etc.  (sigh).

So here are the results of the various 'looks':

Flipcard - Recent

Flipcard - Label

Flipcard - Date

Flipcard - author (only interesting on multi-user blogs)





Timeslide - not sure I understand this one

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