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Jamie Stuart
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Re: Leatherhead library (6th Mar 09 at 10:49am UTC)
I guess they must have some good reasoning behind the decision.. Perhaps they had some complaints about the need for a bigger childrens area? But as I've never been to Leatherhead library i cant comment on that - I have no idea what the layout was like previously. Although it does seem odd that they'd do such a thing without any notice. It'll be interesting to see what views others have on this, do you know any other people who go there on regular basis? How do they feel about it? Perhaps someone who takes their kids there may have a different opinion? {Smile}

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Re: Leatherhead library (7th Mar 09 at 11:11am UTC)
I am from Leatherhead what happened to this Library? Someone removed oryginal post?

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Re: Leatherhead library (7th Mar 09 at 12:39pm UTC)
<!--StartFragment--> Yes, my original post seems to have disappeared -- not sure what happened. I simply asked if anyone had any views about the recent changes in the library layout (the reading room has been moved out of the old conservatory, which is now a room for children; the computers which used to be spread throughout the library are now all in the same not terribly suitably lit room; etc.) Certainly better for pre-school age children -- but perhaps they are not the most obvious constituency for a public library -- and a bit of a pity for other users.
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Re: Leatherhead library (7th Mar 09 at 5:57pm UTC)
I believe it sounds like this is a broader plan for the entire Surrey I have seen this webpage growing in size for some time now and I understand this is some sort of target for keeping kids interested in books (instead of internet and tv  only) http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/sccwebsite/sccwspages.nsf/LookupWebPagesByTITLE_RTF/Storytime+times+and+locations?opendocument they also want clearly split PCs between these used by children and adults.

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Re: Leatherhead library (14th Mar 09 at 7:09am UTC)
Yes, that seems right; and nobody in their right mind could disagree with the general idea, of course. It is I think a pity, however, that the cost of the improved services for children must be a much worse service for other users (e.g. retired people, older students, etc.) who may or not have access to any obvious alternatives such as school libraries, creches, etc. And also that no general consultation with users was held before carrying out rather drastic changes in a very important service.
 
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Re: Leatherhead library (14th Mar 09 at 6:47pm UTC)
I agree with frscspd - consultation is needed - always with all users - no two questions about this. I've heard that some libraries purchase Play Station equipment. This of course has little to do with creating book-loving young generation.

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Re: Leatherhead library (15th Mar 09 at 7:31pm UTC)
Well, I think what has happened in this particular case really is a bit unfortunate -- especially since, for all the SCC's talk about welcoming feedback from users, it is my impression that at this point there may be little margin for manoeuvre. Is there any serious chance of things getting back to something like they were, if enough users do ask for it?

The idea of play-stations in libraries does not sound very promising either. Where did you hear about it, MadSurrey? If this really is what libraries are turning into, I for one can't see why it would be a good idea to attract kids to them anyway. 
 
Jamie Stuart
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Re: Leatherhead library (16th Mar 09 at 9:31am UTC)
Wow, playstations in libraries? What has the world come to? lol. To me that seems like a very big step in the wrrong direction if this truly is the case in some places. I think kids these days already spend far too much time sat behind the computer or games consoles. In my opinion, there's no excuse or need for games consoles in libraries.

frscpd, I'm sure something can be done if you get enough people to side with you on this. It's in the best interest for any public service to listen to it's users, as they rely on people like you to keep them running. However, I can see this being a problem to change back because I'm sure they would have spent quite a bit of money to make the change in the first place. So I agree completely that they should have asked your opinions prior to making any of these changes. But sadly it's too late for that now and im not entirely sure what can be done, if anything.

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Re: Leatherhead library (16th Mar 09 at 2:49pm UTC)
frscspd -
here is quick reply to your question regarding Playstation:
The Robert Phillips Trust has granted £100,106, the largest grant in the history of the Charity, to provide a range of fantastic facilities for children and young people. Following consultation with a group of students from Rydens High School these facilities will include plasma screens, a playstation console and games, and laptops in the Young Adult area as well as bright innovative flooring and furniture.
This is visible on Elmbridge website here:
http://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/news/news.htm?mode=10&pk=2187

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Re: Leatherhead library (17th Mar 09 at 5:05pm UTC)
Thank-you, Jamie and MadSurrey. 

I must confess I cannot get my head round the playstation business. For my part, I think it is terribly important that the young are attracted to libraries and books. I also see that it may well be just as important to offer them opportunities in various other directions: a good acquaintance with IT is obviously important, and some of them may not be able to acquire it at home. If one wanted to go in that direction, it would be good, for example, to have more computers equipped not just with Microsoft Office applications, but also with other editing or image-manipulation software such as Adobe PhotoShop or Illustrator. But a playstation?! I also cannot believe that it makes good sense to separate children- and youngsters-dedicated computers from the rest, and in general to create ghettoes for children in such places as public libraries -- surely our libraries are not frequented by ogres?! 

I think you are right, Jamie: I can see that, after what may well have been, alas, quite a large investment, a complete turnaround would be problematic to say the least. It is a bit galling that after taking action without consulting users this must be the situation, but here we are... But perhaps, if at the SCC someone were prepared to listen, all that would be needed for some damage-limitation would be a bit of intelligence and good-will. For example, perhaps the location of the computers could be re-arranged with relatively little difficulty or expense? And I am sure something could be done to encourage the old-age pensioners etc. to feel a bit more at home in their library again. 

 
 
Jamie Stuart
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Re: Leatherhead library (18th Mar 09 at 9:24am UTC)
You are more than welcome frscspd,

That's an interesting read there MadSurrey, I think frscspd's idea of investing in a broader and better range of software packages would be a good idea for all libraries in general. We need to encourage the use of image editing software in libraries. Kids love it coz its creative and can be quite fun to just mess around on if they get tired of reading... I remember using the image editing software in my high school, i started out just messing around on it and then eventualy self teaching myself how to use it to its full potential. Thanks to my early experience of the software, it got me interested in artistic design and thanks to that I now often use image editing software to create quite complex images of an artistic nature. So I fully agree that if kids are going to do anything other than what a library is intended for - reading, then why not make it something useful but still fun, like image editing? It would far more constructive for them than sitting on a playstation.

But anyway, back on topic - I think you may be right there frscspd, it seems all that's needed in this case is a better arrangement of the equipment.

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Re: Leatherhead library (26th Mar 09 at 12:08pm UTC)
Do you know how one may put forward suggestions -- e.g. concerning the image-editing software? I guess the difficulty is getting beyond Microsoft to include other stuff such as Adobe may perhaps involve some investment? I still think that, given the importance of visual culture in our world, it would be well worth the trouble, both for youngsters and for grown-ups.

Also about some re-shuffling of the current arrangement in the library. That may, I think, be a bit tricky because whatever one says there's no denying that there's an element of criticism of the current state of affairs and the way it was brought about...
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