Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Death of a Library

My local library (Hyde) has moved from a beautiful building (which should be listed, in my opinion) to the town hall.  I went to have a nosey on Monday and I was greatly disappointed.

Instead of a whole building, the library is now two small rooms.  Each genre now has a shelf or two, rather than a whole aisle.  Fiction consists of a few rows of small shelving, housing crime, romance and horror (that's it!).  The second room has three computers squashed up against the non-fiction which consists of history, true-crime and literature.

That's it.  Honestly, I've never been more disappointed.  If you want to borrow a certain book, you would have to ring up and reserve it, then they will have it shipped in from one of the larger libraries (which are miles away).  This defeats the whole object for me.  When I go to the library, it's because I don't quite know what I'm looking for.  I want to browse the shelves and choose books based on their content.  I might see the title of a book I think might be useful to me, but on flicking through it, it doesn't actually fit my needs.  That's why I like to browse the library.

Now, I have to search for a book online, see if I can get a preview or read reviews, then order it and wait 2-3 weeks for it to arrive at my local library.  I might even find that searching the internet for the information I need is a lot faster than waiting for a book.  This is okay for some people, but I enjoy browsing the library and gleaning the information I need from proper paper books.

To top it all off, the librarian was far from friendly.  I asked her if they might be getting any more crime books in (basically, I was trying to say 'is this it?' without being rude), and she shrugged her shoulders without looking up at me.

I'm hoping if I keep ordering more books and chipping away, they might stock more.  Or is this really the death of Hyde Library?


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