A while back we discussed some of the incoherent thinking, if that’s actually the appropriate word, surrounding the Borough of Camden’s approach to fixing what they saw as a problem with the district libraries—they weren’t providing what was called, by the expensive design consulting team hired by the Borough, a “memorable library experience.” The grisly details are here. As you might expect, there have been developments. And as you might also expect, they have not been positive.
Let’s start with what the Borough decided to do with my own local library, the Heath Library. Gone is the checkout desk staffed by people who could be helpful and knowledgeable about the library contents and the services offered. Instead we now have two large black box machines with which one now checks books in and out. They also look as if they could dispense a pretty classy cup of coffee, but I haven’t checked too closely. And instead of several helpful staff, known to all, we now have one or two new people—well, one is an old familiar, but most of the staff that had been there for years are no longer part of the local landscape. Continue reading