Wednesday, July 7, 2010
In my opinion, the Barbican Library showed how similar the public library system is in England and the U.S. This opinion is solely based on one UK public library visit. I don't have experience working in a public library, but from a patron's eye, they appear similar. The stacks appeared similarly organized, including displays placed throughout the library. Some of our tour focused on the improvements made to the efficiency of the library- including self check-out machines. Before entering the Barbican Library, there is an automated return box that prints a return receipt. We also learned about the demographics of the surrounding area the Barbicon represents. While 9,000 natives of the area use the Library, 350,000 patrons only come into the city for work, often using a lunch break to check out items from the Barbicon. However, 75% of those who live near the Barbicon, use it.
What most interested me about this library visit was the music collection. Richard Jones, the assistant Music Librarian, guided us through this part of the tour. He first spoke about the dangers that music libraries often face in London- budget cuts. Most music libraries are the first to be cut, when the money runs out. The Barbican Music Library is considered to be the flagship music library in London. Music libraries in London are still popular because they hold the traditional cultures of London- choral singing. The scores are uniquely cataloged in the McColvin and Reed system, rather than the Dewey Decimal System. The music librarians catalog their own music scores before sending them to be bound. This is the most tedious and costly part of the music score collection. The music library is also equipped with a collection of CDs and listening booths. Their newest feature is a self check-out machine for CDs.
I found out what Dr. Welsch was talking about when she said it's hard to get around in the Barbicon. After the library tour, I found myself wandering and wandering to find the exit! I must talk about Nevermore. INCREDIBLE! When I heard it was called Nevermore, I was hoping it'd be something about E.A. Poe! He's one of my favorite writers and I loved every second of the show! The costumes looked like they were extras from a Tim Burton film (which I also love!!). The music blended perfectly with the dark tone of his life's story. All in all, a perfect end to a wonderful day!