Libraries where does the future lay

Earlier this week we found out that the large department store in london Selfridge is due to open a library for seven weeks to run along side it’s book festival word ,word words .Here is the piece from the guardian .I remarked on twitter that it remind me of a scene from brief encounters where Celia Johnson talks about going to boots (a large chemist chain in the UK for those not from the UK ) ,Boots ran libraries ran from 1898 til 1960 ,people paid a few pennies for each book lent here is an article for info .Also there has been a library in the protest camps for the occupy movement has opened libraries ,here in london they’ve had a few well-known writers including Alan Bennett and donate their books to the cause .So are these signs of a movement with the current cut backs in local government spending here in the uk ,which has hit the UK library system hard with 500 libraries either closed or under threat 10% of UK total library system .As there is no bright light on the horizon with regards governmental  investment in fact there maybe more cuts ,so if we want people to access books that may not have the means or funds to buy them or a kid to read books we maybe need some new ideas like shops having libraries or communities banding together ,with uk literacy at 99% but the truth is one in five people have trouble reading .We need free access to books for the most of the population so even if they don’t want to read I m not a dreamer but if  they are there people have the chance to access them and borrow a book !!

How do you see the library system going ?

How is the economic situation affect libraries in your country ?


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tony
    Jan 14, 2012 @ 00:32:26

    My local system is wonderful. We have several ‘chains’ of libraries in Melbourne (my local one has six or seven libraries covering two municipal areas), and you can use you card at any library in that group. You can also request items from all over Victoria for free (not all areas have this), a service I frequently use. You can’t find everything, but I’ve rarely been disappointed 🙂


    • winstonsdad
      Jan 15, 2012 @ 19:54:33

      Mine is we had a cut in hours which wasn’t great as means I can’t get some days to local library to return books we can lend from inside county and from outside for small fees that is how I get some of my books as some aren;t readily available ,all the best stu


  2. parrish
    Jan 14, 2012 @ 06:59:46

    My immediate library appears fine at the,moment, but there have been murmurings about some of the others within this county area & despite living in a so-called “affluent area” the level of regular readers & thus users is in decline, making even those that may now be deemed safe, are in reality holding on for grim life.


  3. Mary Mayfield
    Jan 14, 2012 @ 11:12:49

    Our local, walking distance, library is reducing its opening hours – which is inconvenient but at least it will still stay open. With so many councils closing libraries totally, I’m glad things aren’t worse.
    I also regularly use the Bookcrossing scheme. There’s a static drop off/pick up point in a local wholefood shop and I often pick books up while doing grocery shopping – and send back those I’ve read. As all the books are old ones donated by public there’s no charge but the selection is pretty random.


  4. Jim O'Neil
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 14:23:45

    I live in Wirral and we won our war two years ago BUT I have relatives in Liverpool and very soon NO library will be open at a weekend = the people who work and PAY Council tax (as against retired, unemployed and disabled) will ned to use holiday allowance to get in a library. Is this the ultimate madness?


  5. Heather
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 20:57:23

    Mine is a rural library system which is open 4 or 5 days a week. The hours aren’t perfect, but I have gotten used to it. The staff are wonderful, couldn’t ask for better. They have a limited space, but there are 12 or so branches and they trade around the books. Also with the online catalogue, I can request a book from any branch and it will arrive in a relatively short time. I can’t complain about the local system. Not all of Canada is so lucky. Toronto is facing big cuts, and some of the far northern communities have truly pathetic libraries so with almost no books.


  6. amymckie
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 03:50:54

    Very interesting Stu. I don’t quite believe that community and donations can take the place of government, but I do love to see communities banding together when government fails. Libraries are definitely a huge area of need right now. Thanks for sharing this news. And as Heather said above, Toronto is, indeed, facing cuts. Darn that mayor of mine… *grumbles*


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