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Brian.

How Are Your Libraries Doing At The Moment?

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Recently I received an email from my local library saying that they were returning to normal opening hours. As you would expect I was delighted to hear this but digging deeper into the changes reveal that this wasn't entirely true. Due to cuts, before Covid each day was split into two sets of opening times, self-service, and fully-staffed. During the self-service times there were no staff around apart from a security guard and you had to issue your own books using self-service terminals. This was annoying but worked fine so the library had all the usual faces there throughout the day.

 

The new opening hours are only during the fully-staffed hours which are 11am-4pm. They will be holding people at the door to ensure it isn't too busy and ask that people wear masks when inside which is fine. However, they have removed all the tables and chairs and are not opening the quiet study area. I used the quiet study area fairly often and I can't see why it isn't opening as it is essentiall 2 long rows of single occupancy desks which are easily 2m apart. The council claim all this is in line with the guidance they have been issued by the government. However, they are opening and allowing use of the internet on the bank of computers inside and I can't see how that is of a lower risk than the study area.

 

I'm curious how other libraries in the UK, and abroad to be honest, are currently operating. What is it like where you are?

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I don't use the library system here in Scotland, although I am a member of two different districts.  They never seem to have what I want (I didn't think that Graham Greene's Brighton Rock was particulary obscure) and the one that's nearest to me is awkward to park at. The online council website for the district in which I live lists the local library as operating as normal but never having gone there I can't say.

Edited by lunababymoonchild

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We had a wonderful Library, but owing to Council cuts/ mismanagement/ general idiocy, it was closed two years ago, and resited inside our local Council Building. The new one is a joke, crammed into a tiny annexe,where it previously filled a huge building and had many different sections,including a terriffic reading room,which was always very busy with students,researchers etc.

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My local libraries (Edinburgh) opened up recently. They've been open on a 'book a slot' basis for a while but now most of them - with the exception of a few that are being used as test centres - are back to normal. I haven't been back in yet, but I'm looking forward to it!

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Our library in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA currently requires a mask when entering. I used to frequent the library a lot but now with their Digital Library I very seldom go into the actual library. Almost all books are available for download. Books that are on the top 10 list, etc usually have a hold which doesn't bother me as I don't mind waiting for a given book. The very popular books sometimes have 50+ copies available for download. There is always something I want to read while waiting for a specific book. I would rate our library a 9 of 10. There are very few books that I read that I don't get from the library, maybe 3 or 4 a year. I am very thankful for my kindle and the opportunity to download books from the library.

 

I also can request books for the library to purchase if there is something  they may not have and normally they will make the purchase.

Edited by muggle not

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On 20/09/2021 at 8:19 AM, Brian. said:

I used the quiet study area fairly often and I can't see why it isn't opening as it is essentiall 2 long rows of single occupancy desks which are easily 2m apart. The council claim all this is in line with the guidance they have been issued by the government. However, they are opening and allowing use of the internet on the bank of computers inside and I can't see how that is of a lower risk than the study area.

That's very strange. Maybe it's to try to keep people moving in and out quickly, so nobody ends up waiting too long at the door if the library is at full capacity? Unless your local library is a LOT busier than mine though I can't see that being a particularly big problem. 

 

On 20/09/2021 at 10:14 AM, timebug said:

We had a wonderful Library, but owing to Council cuts/ mismanagement/ general idiocy, it was closed two years ago, and resited inside our local Council Building. The new one is a joke, crammed into a tiny annexe,where it previously filled a huge building and had many different sections,including a terriffic reading room,which was always very busy with students,researchers etc.

Wow that is a huge shame :(.

 

On 21/09/2021 at 8:44 AM, Pangolin said:

They've been open on a 'book a slot' basis for a while

That sounds interesting. So you can go in and browse as long as you've booked a slot?

 

The library near me (which, as I've mentioned, was my local library as child - the first library I ever went into - and we've moved right by it!) has had a screen up in the door with a slot cut out since I've been here. I assume you can call and ask for a book then pick it up through the window. I haven't been past it in the last week though so I'm not sure if that's changed. I'm looking forward to going back in (even if I do have more than enough books to be getting on with...). The library is also the community support centre for this area, the council use it and there are (or were, pre-COVID) events there for children and elderly people, so I think it's fairly safe.

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