Hot Topics

The rapid demise of the public libraries...

  Quickbeam 09:14 29 Mar 2016

Click here Being covered on Breakfast TV at the moment.

This is a quietly shushed industry that hasn't had the high profile coverage that the coal or steel industries have had upon announcement their demise, but is it a shot in the foot when we have record levels of illiteracy for a first world nation?

Imagine the reaction if it was suggested that steelworkers should continue to do their jobs as unpaid volunteers, yet this is exactly what's happened in this trade, which is/was a free educational service.

  Brumas2 21:57 29 Mar 2016

Both Fran and I are avid readers, I usually have 5 on the go, dipping into one and reading a chapter and then going on to the next for variety.

When we first came to Belford we attended the libraries at Berwick and Alnwick and always took out the maximum number of books .We moved from a larger two storied, 3 bedroomed house in Lincolnshire to a smaller 2 bedroomed bungalow in North Northumberland (as Fran couldn't manage the stairs anymore and our children had flown the nest)

We got rid of a shed load of books as we just didn't have the space and gave them to local charity shops and was only after mentioning this to our new neighbour that we realised we had made a boo boo.when she mentioned all about Barters .

To cut this long story short (about time I hear you all cry!) we now have a credit of £200 and we use it as a library, taking books back, receiving credit for them and buying books using the credit we have amassed. It is wonderful in the winter as it is in an old railway station, the fires are always blazing in the waiting room area and the buffet has good grub - it makes for a good day out.

  Brumas 23:06 29 Mar 2016

Sorry, I missed out the link Barter Books

  Brumas 23:06 29 Mar 2016

Sorry, I missed out the link Barter Books

  Milkshakenz 07:28 30 Mar 2016

I live in Richmond, New Zealand. To the best of my knowledge the original Kiwi library model was based on the UK one. While not a regular visitor, I can see our local library (and others) continue to go from strength to strength. Why? They offer free wifi and internet-enabled PCs plus help on using them. Many have cafe's where you can grab the latest from a vast array of international magazines and browse for free with your flat white. You can also log into your local library remotely and download many books to your E-reader.

Richmond library also has a small recording studio where kids can play with Apple Garage Band or oldies can record their life stories for posterity. Not to mention the classes showing people how to go online. New Zealand libraries are vibrant places because they have adapted with the times; and books are VERY expensive to buy new in NZ!

  Forum Editor 18:35 30 Mar 2016


Very interesting.

British libraries also offer the e-book service, and in our case a DVD loaning facility. My wife often comes home with a film - we're allowed to keep it for a week.

The library also has PCs and free WiFi. It doesn't have a cafe, however.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

How to start your spring clean

D'oh! Simpsons infographic shows how bad the show's become

Users report serious problems with macOS Catalina 10.15.4

Amazon Prime Day 2020