There was a queue for the photocopier at South Library today.
One man told me that he only came to this library to use the photocopier or the computers.
However, for Sam, it was all about the books. It was his first visit to the South Library today. He was local to the area but had never been here before. He was weighing up whether or not to borrow ‘Slaughterhouse Five’ when I spoke to him.
A woman scrutinised a book with a large magnifying class, sitting in a corner, for a good ten minutes before deciding to take it.
Due to the way the South Library is designed with very separate rooms for books, computers and children’s books, it has a very different feel to other libraries that I have so far visited.
The book room only contains bookshelves and a few seats …
… and the computer room, only tables and computers.
“It’s quiet today,” one of librarians told me. “I do think it has got quieter here in the last few years.” Admittedly the book room was almost empty when I first arrived but in the space of five minutes, I noted there were several people lined up to use the photocopier, someone else enquiring about how to get a library card and a few borrowers returning and taking out items.
When I asked him who he thought used the library the most, he told me,”We have a lot of schools here in the week. My colleague who runs the sessions has built up really good relationships with the classes and so the kids often come here after school too.
And we run classes for under fives and babies for parents and carers. Wind the bobbin up, those kinds of songs, and a story. They get a prize if they know what a bobbin is.”
I asked him what he thought people got out of the classes.
He invited me to come along to the one they were hosting next week. “Academically, it’s good for motor skills, I suppose, and hand to eye coordination.
But really, well, we have a lot of fun.”