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To hate the new Do It Yourself libraries

(86 Posts)
Behindthepaintedgarden Mon 09-Feb-15 11:20:37

Our lovely local library, with nice cheerful assistants who nonetheless ensure that noise is kept at a reasonable level, and a nice cosy peaceful feel with elderly people sitting around reading newspapers, children quietly choosing books or listening to 'storytime' on a Wednesday afternoon, and schoolkids studying or doing homework, has now been turned into a noisy clattery warehouse.

The seating areas have been taken over by gangs of teenagers chatting, texting and facebooking and not showing any interest whatsoever in the books on display. Kids tear up and down the place shouting and screaming. Elderly people grapple with the swipe service. The school mums dropping in to change books after pick up stand around in groups talking at the tops of their voices. And in the middle of it some poor students try their best to do some studying.

It's bedlam in there. AIBU to wish for our nice old library which always felt like an oasis of calm, and where you could choose books in peace and quiet, and where elderly people could sit in peace reading the paper or chat quietly to library staff who knew what books to recommend to them?

Fudgeface123 Mon 09-Feb-15 11:22:53

YANBU but you are lucky that it's still open, the 3 nearest to me have closed down sad

OstentatiousBreastfeeder Mon 09-Feb-15 11:25:05

My library has never been the boring tranquil place you describe. It's constantly a hive of activity and noise, loads of activities and art/music sessions.

If I want to read quietly I go home smile

shakemysilliesout Mon 09-Feb-15 11:25:30

I prefer it. Hate going on about the good old days.

Behindthepaintedgarden Mon 09-Feb-15 12:15:38

Dunno. I think some things about the old days were definitely preferable to a lot of so called 'progress'.

SaucyJack Mon 09-Feb-15 12:19:03

Where do you think teenagers should go then? They're not welcomed in parks by parents of younger children- and even if they were it's too bloody cold anyway.

Behindthepaintedgarden Mon 09-Feb-15 12:26:25

Well I don't think they should be hanging around libraries chatting, and taking up all the seats that are actually meant for people who want to read newspapers or books, and making noise so that kids trying to study can't concentrate.

shakemysilliesout Mon 09-Feb-15 12:28:21

What I like about the op is that it describes what is great about libraries- everyone being together and vaguely tolerating each other. It's great- rarely happens anymore! It's not trying to please one group more than others. So u cud say it pleases no one! But I love it. Adults aren't allowed at theme parks without kids hardly, teenages aren't allowed in parks without people complaining, but we all still have the library!

OstentatiousBreastfeeder Mon 09-Feb-15 12:36:58

Damn those teenagers, utilising our safe, educational public facilities while there are perfectly good park swings to sit and drink cider on


MrSimms Mon 09-Feb-15 12:37:43

Yes, libraries as community hubs - fantastic.

The old shhhh brigade are the reasons libraries weren't used and the reason so many have closed.

Would be good if there was a quiet reading room too I suppose, but being used as Op describes is far preferable to not being used and closing.

marshmallowpies Mon 09-Feb-15 12:46:08

The self-scan machines are great for returning books in a hurry, as you can at least avoid the queue, if there is one, when all you're doing is returning a single book.

But for taking a new book out, I was a bit annoyed to find all I got was a paper slip with the date on it. I went to the librarian and said 'can I get my book stamped just in case I lose the paper slip, otherwise I'll never remember the return date?' The librarian said 'that's not how we do things now. You can write the date in yourself'. A world where a librarian won't even stamp your book for you is a sad world indeed. hmm

Bigbadgeorge Mon 09-Feb-15 12:47:05

Wow I would complain about teenagers wanting to hang out in a library! Being in that environment might inadvertently encourage reading and certainly better than them hogging swings in the park

5Foot5 Mon 09-Feb-15 12:48:19

I am unsure why you connect the changes you describe with the library going self service. Our local library went self service 2 or 3 years ago and its character hasn't changed at all.

In our library there are two floors and the upstairs is where people go for quiet study - downstairs has always been a bit livelier.

echt Mon 09-Feb-15 12:49:19

Gosh, so the "shush brigade" are the reason libraries are closed down. hmm Utterly bizarre reasoning.

MrSimms Mon 09-Feb-15 12:52:56

Well yes, echt. they were unwelcoming places, so no-one went, especially young people and parents with small children. Lack of use was the reason they closed.

TwoOddSocks Mon 09-Feb-15 12:53:04

Surely it would be better for teenagers to have somewhere more appropriate to hang out AND for people that want some quiet to have it. Even separate areas for quiet studying and socialising would be great. Not everyone has the luxury of a quiet home to read or study in. When we were small my mum used to go to the library to study because she couldn't do it with two kids running around in a small flat. I know a few elderly people who liked to read quietly in the library to save on their heating bill.

I hardly think the OP is being unreasonable enough to warrant all these grumpy replies. A service that she and lots of other people used to make use of has been taken away (or changed beyond recognition) and she misses it.

TwoOddSocks Mon 09-Feb-15 12:59:35

MrSimms did you ever go in a library> - mine was always full. There was a kids section where you didn't have to be quiet and an adult section where people could read quietly.

MrSimms Mon 09-Feb-15 13:02:31

I've been to the library every single week since I was, don't know since before I can remember but definitely since 3/4yo. Trouble is no-one else was. When DS1 went with his yr2 class he was the only one who was already a member.

senua Mon 09-Feb-15 13:05:42

I'm not keen on the current form of libraries. Ours is full of dumbed-down Mills & Boon, you can hardly find the classics or reference books any more. Also there is very little study space, it's mostly computer desks.

squoosh Mon 09-Feb-15 13:15:04

I love a nice quiet library. The world is so bloody noisy these days.

Ilovereadingbooks Mon 09-Feb-15 13:37:04

I was born mid 60s, my mum was an older mum and very strict. she loved her library and books and used to take me. It was very old fashioned in there with everyone going shhh, I sort of knew from a young age to be very quiet and just sit in the corner with a book while she had a look at what she wanted to read. One occasion, I must have been around 3 years old I just said 'mum' not loudly - the assistant wiped the floor with us and practically told us to leave.. my dad even did a letter to the local paper about how we were treated! makes me laugh when I go into my town library, there is a lot of noise they wouldn't have tolerated in the 60s and 70s, and people hanging round the self service tills ( which I hate personally) looked bemused and having to get help and they have been there for 6 years or so to my knowledge. they often don't work either, which just puts strain on the few assistants they do have left working there trying to sort it all out! I would miss it if it goes, the hours were cut back but I dread the day it shuts completely.

yoshipoppet Mon 09-Feb-15 14:20:05

Marshmallowpies - you could always buy your own stamp.

marshmallowpies Mon 09-Feb-15 14:29:23

Yoshi yes that would be satisfying! My mum was a teacher & I think she had one knocking around the place for stamping comments on the bottom of essays...

shakemysilliesout Mon 09-Feb-15 16:27:18

I think the op was quite grumpy, warranting grumpy replies. Full of annoyance on behalf others. I don't miss old libraries.

Behindthepaintedgarden Mon 09-Feb-15 17:04:41

I wasn't being 'grumpy'. I was outlining why I prefer old fashioned libraries. Just because someone doesn't like something and outlines why, doesn't mean they're being grumpy. If that was the case, you could throw that accusation at half the posters on AIBU.

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