It takes more than a nice shiny new building to improve things.
Yesterday I visited Wymondham’s spanking new, award winning library:
Yes, the building is impressive, light and airy but overall I was left feeling cheated.
Despite only being open now for 6 months it already smells of old people inside. There is plenty of space to move around inside, with a flashy, trendy area to read magazines and newspapers over a cup of coffee, but the internet area in the main library area consisted of 6 computers the looked randomly placed on old school tables in the middle of the room. The quality of books was less than expected, looking very rough around the edges (OK so I know a lot of them would just have been moved from the old library, but even so!) and there was nowhere near the selection of books that I am used to in my local village library at Hethersett; and this is supposed to be for a Town not a village. For example they only had 1 Stephen King and 1 James Herbert, both of which I had never heard of, and I struggled to find anything I wanted to borrow.
When I did eventually find something, I then had to contend with their self-service booths which, being somewhat technologically minded, didn’t daunt me at all to begin with.
Step 1 scan your card: BEEP <There is a query with your card>
Look around, no staff to be seen so try a different station.
BEEP <There is a query with your card>
Finally track down a staff member “Oh they probably just want to check you’re still at the same address”
He confirms I have not moved and issues me a new card anyway.
Right here I go again. Step 1 scan your card: BEEP <OK>
Step 2 place book in hole: I put my book in, only to discover somebody has left something in there already and it scans them both in AND there is no cancel button on the screen and I really didn’t want to take out the Audio CD of Heidi no matter how good the story might be!
After finding the member of staff again we concurred that the only thing to do was to “Borrow” Heidi finish on this terminal and then return it again immediately.
This self service thing seemed to be very staff intensive to me!
Oh well, I think I shall stick to good old Hethersett.