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ether
19-01-2011, 11:31 AM
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/campaign-grows-against-cuts-that-would-shut-375-libraries-2187030.html

Map of libraries under threat: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=210849821991286385577.00049636af20aee18bb14

Recent Protest: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/852892-library-emptied-off-all-books-in-protest-against-closure

gumdrops
19-01-2011, 03:49 PM
depressing. i think its something like 400 libraries out of about 4000 which doesnt seem that much, unless you live in one of the areas where this happening. awful shit really, plus that statement that only white middle classers use libraries is so off the mark, and the people that need libraries more than others are going to be deprived, which is tragic.

that said, i love my local libraries, for borrowing books that is, for anything else i wish they would go back to how they were. theyve been remade as 'resource centres' or whatever the term is so silence is out, and the mood is much more informal. which is good in a way, but it means that if not-so-quiet conversation between staff is encouraged, then its ok for people in the study areas too. but then this prob has as much to do with the stupid kids as anything else.

baboon2004
19-01-2011, 03:51 PM
This is crazy. Side-note - would this even have been conceivable in a pre-internet Britain, where I remember visiting libraries a lot more often in order to get information, not even particularly to borrow books?

baboon2004
19-01-2011, 04:54 PM
Except here.

http://www.debateitout.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/north-korea.jpg

droid
19-01-2011, 05:00 PM
Ive been using the library loads recently. I know people who've depended on them for internet access and for typing CV's and stuff.

Libraries are ace.

Mr. Tea
19-01-2011, 05:09 PM
Everywhere seems to look more and more like an Ikea advert.

Or an airport departure lounge, or a Starbucks...

I really, really hate this. They did this to several bars in the student union while I was at university. Clean, white, plain, bland, aseptic, modern (or perhaps cautiously futuristic in the most anodyne way possible), corporate/institutional. Obviously not every public building can look like a 500-year-old coaching inn or a 1920s cocktail bar, but this tendency to expunge every trace of grime, fustiness, old-fashioned-ness or individuality is very depressing.

baboon2004
19-01-2011, 05:16 PM
Way more noticeable outside London I'd say (not sure where everyone is from on this thread), where clone towns have existed for a long time now. I grew up in the suburbs in a 2-up 2-down semi with 100like it on the same road, and am enjoying being able to live somewhere with more character in London. As to shops/public services, you could slowly see independent retailers closing one by one, all to be replaced by chains.

"Clean, white, plain, bland, aseptic, modern (or perhaps cautiously futuristic in the most anodyne way possible), corporate/institutional" - I'd say 'corporate' is the key word here. Leisure spaces are being imbued with the same aesthetic that work spaces have had for decades.

baboon2004
19-01-2011, 05:38 PM
"Kim had always known he was different. Only now, he was about to find out just how different."

you
19-01-2011, 07:19 PM
Business - Busyness is the culprit here. Technology being a major enabler.... Libraries ought to be ( at least in my experience ) quiet oasis' of meditation, with opportunities for solitude in every corner - this isn't strictly productive but it is vital, unfortunately this sentiment is rarely explored by media - now people have more access to information than ever before but I suspect fewer pages are being read in one sitting ( per person per average ) than ever before. The same could be said to the MP3's effect on music. The corporate furniture of modern spaces also align...... so hard to be still, so easy to be distracted - give me a chesterfield chair and a dark corner please. No one pours over a book nowadays, its just wikipedia'd briefly to get a 'snapshot' of context and content overview....... no one spends a whole summer with one album, its just downloaded, skipped and discarded in a few days. People are too busy now, but the busier you become the less you gain - Libraries should offer a chance to be still and indulge in learning or contemplate a text - with LED's glinting in every corner of life and copious chattering dialogues clogging up our daily consciousness a Library is even more important for us than ever before.

Rant over

Sectionfive
19-01-2011, 09:08 PM
http://icledgreenlighting.com/Fluorescent_Double_Ceiling.jpg

These things should be banned.

I agree with everything here but double for pubs.

mrfaucet
19-01-2011, 11:58 PM
depressing. i think its something like 400 libraries out of about 4000 which doesnt seem that much, unless you live in one of the areas where this happening. awful shit really, plus that statement that only white middle classers use libraries is so off the mark, and the people that need libraries more than others are going to be deprived, which is tragic.

that said, i love my local libraries, for borrowing books that is, for anything else i wish they would go back to how they were. theyve been remade as 'resource centres' or whatever the term is so silence is out, and the mood is much more informal. which is good in a way, but it means that if not-so-quiet conversation between staff is encouraged, then its ok for people in the study areas too. but then this prob has as much to do with the stupid kids as anything else.

I remember when the library where I grew up was redone as one of these. I was back from uni for the easter holidays for the first time since it'd reopened. A friend and I decided to go to the library to do a bit of a revision for the exams we had coming up, but it was basically impossible because of all the talking and general noise that was going on. There was even a kid riding his bike around the place. Is there any need for that?

gumdrops
20-01-2011, 11:11 AM
Clean, white, plain, bland, aseptic, modern (or perhaps cautiously futuristic in the most anodyne way possible), corporate/institutional. Obviously not every public building can look like a 500-year-old coaching inn or a 1920s cocktail bar, but this tendency to expunge every trace of grime, fustiness, old-fashioned-ness or individuality is very depressing.

the worse thing is when people think its progressive or better just cos its 'new'. my local library used to be a really nice old style library with dark wood desks and counters, with small albeit old desks. now its just anodyne. but then now you dont even have librarians to check out your books, you just do it through a computerised counter, like the self service tills at tesco. libraries should feel like libraries.

oh and flurouscent tubes are def horrible. makes you feel like youre in B&Q.

Mr. Tea
20-01-2011, 12:55 PM
I had to have my thumb scanned once to leave my jacket in a nightclub cloakroom.

Civil liberties ULTRAFAIL.

Come to think of it, I think this was at Cable in Bermondsey a few years ago...I was there again for NYE just gone and found it to be staffed by the rudest, stupidest and most downright malicious staff I've ever run across in a club. Fucked if I'm going there again. Sorry, a bit off topic. Just don't go there.

ether
04-02-2011, 09:31 PM
Save our libraries day tomorrow.

list of demos and events here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/interactive/2011/feb/01/library-protests-map

Benny B
07-02-2011, 01:13 PM
Birmingham's getting a fancy new library: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/feb/06/library-closures-birmingham-council

Up in Newcastle we're quite lucky too, we got a brand new library in the town centre a couple of years ago. I've spent loads of time there over the last few months doing coursework because I can't get anything done in the house. Even now my course is finished I'm still going down there to sit and teach myself Spanish.

One thing I like about these new modern libraries is that you can sit in the cafe and get a coffee while you're reading or studying or whatever, and you can use the wi-fi connection for your laptop. You couldn't do that in the old one. Its also very light and airy whereas the old one was quite dingy and horrible really. I can quite happily spend hours in there now.

I sort of see why people are against these new modern libraries but tbh I much prefer them, at least to our old one anyway.

gumdrops
20-06-2011, 03:58 PM
libraries def are not the same. am using mine just now. someones eaten a load of kfc on one table. and someone else has just come in with a kebab. suppose the only public place left that values/enforces silence now are places of worship.

Mr. Tea
20-06-2011, 04:09 PM
libraries def are not the same. am using mine just now. someones eaten a load of kfc on one table. and someone else has just come in with a kebab.

Oh for fuck's sake, really? Is there actually anyone nominally in charge of this place? Are they too apathetic or intimidated to say anything? Are there even any human staff at all? Is eating hot food encouraged in "libraries" now?

gumdrops
20-06-2011, 04:16 PM
yes really. well luckily when i came in the kfc had already been eaten but the bag with the bucket is still on the table. guessing it was eaten in here otherwise it would have been thrown away outside. i see no staff here. there must be some somewhere. funny that this is a new 'done up' library, but there are next to no staff here! at the other one near me - also done up - the librarians talk as much as everyone else. once i had to ask them to be quiet lol. wish i lived near the british library.

Mr. Tea
20-06-2011, 05:06 PM
Oh well, as long as you've got a handy touchscreen-operated terminal for taking books out and returning them, that's the main thing...