Five minutes on a Thursday afternoon

Libraries have changed; everyone knows this. There are no shushing fingers, aisles of silence and stern librarians imparting knowledge (not sure there have ever been these, especially wearing spectacles down their noses and tweed skirts). The library is used by people from all areas of the community for so many different reasons.

Fendalton Library
Femdalton Library, Flickr CCL-2012-09-24IMG_7917

Libraries are true community spaces, and I decided to test this out by wandering around Fendalton Library on a Thursday afternoon at 2pm. Here is a list of what I found in 5 minutes… It reads a little like the twelve days of Christmas:

  • 9 people playing board games
  • 10 knitters knitting
  • 4 browsing the recent returns
  • 7 using the wifi on their laptops
  • 5 people reading
  • 6 in the non-fiction section
  • someone skyping in Italian
  • a mother reading to her child in our oversized chair
  • 5 students studying
  • a tutor teaching a young child maths
  • a group practicing conversational English
  • 4 people issuing books
  • kids returning a mountain of picture books
  • 2 people using the wifi on their phones
  • 8 people on the public computers
  • 1 on the photocopier
  • a boy making origami
  • 1 shelver shelving
  • two trolleys being emptied
  • two help desks being used
  • and someone asking where the toilet is

Whew! All over this fair city, libraries are full, librarians are working hard and people are finding what they need, interacting with others, enjoying themselves and gaining and imparting knowledge. Not a bad place to work I guess.

2 thoughts on “Five minutes on a Thursday afternoon

  1. Gallivanta 17 November 2015 / 5:27 pm

    Not a bad place to work, or visit, at all.

  2. Roger Strong 17 November 2015 / 6:10 pm

    What a shame! When I was growing up in Christchurch in the 1950’s the reference library -which was upstairs in the old Cambridge terrace building was a quiet place where I could read and learn. It was also warm in winter and cool in summer. Even the downstairs regular library was a fairly quiet place. Now libraries are often noisy places and some people even seem to celebrate that. Do you ever consider just what we have lost? Being a noisy and busy place full of talk and even shouting doesn’t mean it’s a better place. The fact that so many people have the concentration span of a gnat might be explained in part by the noisy libraries I think. I loved the old library but I don’t enjoy libraries today nearly as much.

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