The Barbican Library was opened in 1982 and was the first public library that
we were going to see on our trip. Our tour guide for the day was Jonathan
Gibbs, and you could just tell that he enjoyed where he worked, even if they were in the midst of changing some IT aspects at the time, as the IT and Operations Librarian he had a lot on his plate at the time.
We got to see the three main sections of the library, that were the children’s library, general library and the music library. The children’s library is the part that most interested me because that is the age group that I am planning on going into. The librarian and her assistant were so in tune and has such great ideas for library programs that were going on in that section, and seemed to take the noise and ch
children running around all in stride.
I found the music interesting because I had never seen one before, they had such a large collection of records, cds and sheet music to choose from, it is the largest multicultural building in the world. One of the pieces that struck me was that this section had a section specifically for unsigned artists and was on full display for the public.
We found on this trip that British libraries have many of the same issues as American Libraries, such as where to place the Young Adult Section that readers feel included in adult sections but are not in an intimidating place that younger readers are afraid to find it. Along with that there is the issue of making out of print and not very popular books, they haven’t been checked out in a certain amount of time, available t
o the public, but where to store them.
This library was a nice change to what we had been seeing, and made us realize that everyone, regardless of where you live, deal with many of the same issues in the public sphere.