Bec in the library

"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges

Study visit: Regional combined public/high school library August 1, 2014

This really is quite an odd library. Even after being a patron for almost 10 years (very sporadically as I am only there a few times a year while visiting family members), I can’t say I find it a particularly dynamic or interesting library.

The staff are LOVELY, knowledgeable and passionate about their work, but the space is just drab and pretty darn uninviting. As a high school library, I am not sure how it even functions. It is tiny and not conducive to collaboration or even much leisure reading. It screams function only rather than any kind of form or, gasp, reflection.

I appreciated that the library focuses on providing services for the less mainstream patrons, with services to cater for adult literacy learners, the elderly and the print handicapped.

The staff were not willing to be drawn on aspects of their selection policy which was rather frustrating – I mean, why the secrecy? All they would say was that it was “a complex issue.”

It is surely with great relief that the library is seeking an alternative LMS to replace their current use of DYNIX. The frustration experienced by patrons using the library floor DOS catalogue is off-putting in the extreme. Even the more modern interface, accessible for both on and off-site use, is clunky.

The community benefit greatly from free access to special events focusing on children’s literature and local history.

There is a large scale renovation and even relocation on the cards sometime in the next 5 years and I can honestly say it cannot come soon enough.

Most of the furniture and shelving is old and much of the building is poorly lit and difficult to navigate, especially for mobility impaired users. It does not have a “school hub” feeling about it at all – there are only a handful of displays relating to information literacy or reading advocacy/development, none of which seem have any student input. There is a small collaborative space but it is doubtful that a group any larger than six high school students could fit in it at once.

Whilst the children’s story time and various local history events are well attended, the library still doesn’t seem like a vibrant, interesting place to spend time. It’s almost as if it’s well used by accident. It’s very difficult to define my feelings about this library because I would use it no matter what – it’s a library, it gives me free access to the things I love more than anything else in the world (family excepted) so I’d go there regardless.

Hmmm, seems terrible to give it such a shelacking and then not have any concrete ideas on how to fix it…


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