Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Love the Library?

Daughter and I love the library. We go and peruse the books, I read her the stories she chooses, she decides if she likes them, she follows me to the adult section while I choose my books, we have a little chat to the librarian, she encourages daughter in her reading. Saves me a fortune on buying books and gives us a fun morning out.


However, changes have been afoot at our local library.

Ominously they closed for a week and when they opened what did we find? No large desk in the centre of the library with friendly, helpful librarians. No, there were two machines with computer screens and letter box openings with laser beams.


We now have a TECHNO LIBRARY!


So, how does it work?


Well, as far as I can tell it works like this:

The, shall I say, more mature, person in front of you in the queue is totally bamboozled by said machines and calls the librarian who does it for them.

Daughter and I approach the machine, our books won't scan, we call the librarian.

Man behind us returns his books to find he's been fined for no good reason, calls the librarian.

We go to issue our books, one won't scan, we call the librarian.

My MIL and some of her similarly mature friends have stopped using the library because of the machines.

Librarians respond to this by standing next to the machines and asking if anyone needs help.

No, we don't need help with the machines, we just need librarians!

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

This is progress?

22 comments:

Tawny said...

How ridiculous, I don't get to my library nearly enough, I should, if just to stop that happening here!

auntiegwen said...

Our library did that too. I got an invitation to the VIP official launch, rock and roll eh ?

used to be a punk, now I get to meet the Mayor at the local library

Maggie May said...

This is terrible isn't it? No machine can replace a real person.
Just by listening to your account of all the people who needed help on your visit proves that there is a need for humans! Can you protest or get a petition up together or something?

The Dotterel said...

Yep, progress - and all paid for by shutting down a couple of dozen local libraries.

Suburbia said...

I'm still too scared to ues the scanner things in the supermarket! I'd never sort out library ones.

However there is one assistant in our local library that I would LOVE to see replaced by a machine, or, on second thoughts, perhaps she already has !!

Studentmum said...

We love our library too and have spent many happy hours there browsing & choosing books. Teen girl now uses it on her own. Luckily our library still has real people checking out the books. Libraries are changing and not always for the better. Although I suppose new technology is better than closing altogether which is happening as well.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Unfortunately many 'librarians' a loose term for assistants whom have nil points in the book or literary department, they are assistants who fill shleves and fill dvd and cd cases....I used to covet anyone working in a local library, you used to have to have a degree I thoguht! well duh!! No point supporting a local book shop, there arent any, just multi national chains..(bit of a meg ryan moment grabbed me there there)

great post..working mum

I ADORE LIBRARIES too, I still get regular books out for reference, and I got FERN out and JULIE Walters bio, I cant always wait for the half price paperback deals at tesco.

In aprevious life, when I wasnt hairdressing, or fashion buying I was a bookseller, and took a 2 yr qualification...loved bookselling, don't get me started on book shops, clothes shops, customer service...oh god I must blog about it and get it out of me!! arghhhhh!!!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

So sad, but true - Such is progress!

The writing is on the wall for libraries as we knew and loved them... My son will never frequent a library, and gets all his information online - I'm not happy about that, but I cannot change how the next generation has decided to learn - Sad lessons, WM...

Nicol said...

The library by our old house was huge and wonderful and I found myself there multiple times a week. It had also entered the technology age with the self-check out. To the most part it did spead things up. We still had a nice library staff to talk to if we needed help.

Our new library is the size of a small office and with very few books. And you have to pay to put items on hold unlike the old. I miss my old library.

Mean Mom said...

Our library leaves a lot to be desired. It is unbelievably small and even the new books are well worn. I've stopped going, for the moment, because I thought I might catch something from handling the books!

The library is supposed to be moving to a bigger building, which has to be renovated first. Presumably, when it finally opens, then, we will have the new scanners, too. Oh, great.

They'll be taking on twice as many librarians to cope with the problems caused by the scanners, I suppose!

Dusty Spider said...

Trouble is, libraries are closing down all over so if your's is trying to update itself, maybe that's a good thing? Just a thought.
ps There's an award for you over at my place. xx

Sass E-mum said...

The same thing has happened in our library. The curious thing about the increasing technology (lots of computers in our library now) is that it increases the need for real people.

Also, it's not so quiet anymore. They hold a regular toddler group for nursery rhyme sing alongs every Wednesday.

It's also the cheapest place for hiring DVD box sets of 24. I can't remember when I lost took a book out!

Pam said...

That is exactly what happens to me! I get so frustrated when I can't figure our the electronic card catalog. Finally, my husband, speaking v-e-r-y slowly showed me how to work it. Sometimes, I long for the good ole days!

Working mum said...

I have such mixed emotions about this. If machines mean we keep the library, then we want the library, buy why can't we have a library with librarians? It isn't just the help and information they give, it's the personal touch - the librarians used to talk to daughter about the books she'd chosen and praise her for her love of books - a machine can't do that!

mothership said...

HA HA! They have done this at our library too, and have the librarians lurking around the machines to help people who can't use the system or to assist the system when it doesn't work (frequently). The only thing I really like about it is that Four and One find it vastly entertaining to scan the books and hear the 'beep thud' and collect the receipt. Then we usually have to go to the big desk to see the very grumpy librarian for all the books that didn't scan properly.
One thing that I really do love about our library system is that you can search the catalog, order a book online to be held and then it gets put on a special shelf and you get an email to tell you it's there. With a one and four year old in tow there is NO WAY I can ever actually look for a book myself so I just order up whatever I want to read, collect it and get out. Amazon has lost hundreds of dollars this way.

Liz said...

Oh no! How silly and scary! Those self-scan machines at Tesco never work for me.

Housewifeinthehighlands said...

How awful. Our local library is being refurbished just now and now you have me worried they will be putting machines in. We also have a library bus that parks outside our house once every three weeks. It is an old yellow van filled with books. It is brilliant and we love going there to choose books. Partly because it is so convenient (if you are dressed in time, that is and not having a mad scramble to get dressed and out before it goes away) and also because it has less books so it takes less time to choose.

The Mom Bomb, a/k/a Folksy Mama said...

I'm so with you. And now I hear that real, bound-books with pages are on their way out, too. I have yet to buy a Kindle out of protest.

Reluctant Housewife said...

That's ridiculous. The library in my old home town had one of those machines, but the librarians were there as well... People could use the machine or go to the librarian. To only have the machine is just nuts.

scrappysue said...

and there are those that would call that 'progress'...

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

The more things change, the more things stay the seame!

OY VE!

Polly said...

Oh no. Librarians are a true treasure, that simply cannot be replaced.