Monday, November 24, 2008

MyWorld Tuesday

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This is the main branch of the public library in Hamburg. There are 32 smaller public libraries all over Hamburg, although some may be closed in the future due to lack of money. In the last few years, a number have already been closed down. Even if I weren't a librarian myself (don't work for the public libraries, though), that would still make me angry because there does seem to be a lot of money for other (in my opinion far less useful) projects. Libraries are not only important because people can get books to read and educate themselves there, they are also places where people meet and especially the smaller libraries that are being closed down now are often the only place in the neighborhood where kids can meet, hang out, do their homework ect. I have worked in libraries where the same people came every day to read the newspaper, to meet friends, play chess - just to spend their time. Closing libraries leaves these people, adult and kids, with almost nowhere to go, especially in poorer districts.

Thanks for listening to my rant ;) A bit more about the main library: they have over 300,000 books, CDs, DVDs, sheet music ect. and offer services such as computers for doing research online or in databases as well as a hotspot for working online on your own laptop. Of course the librarians will do research for you if you cannot find something or don't have the time to do it yourself - for me, that is the most interesting part of being a librarian. People come to us with interesting and sometimes downright weird questions, in subjects that we don't know anything about, but a good librarian will (almost) always manage to find something. A wide general knowledge is among the best tools for the job.

Here's a shot from inside, showing the section with books about law, economy and hobbies/cooking (I know, weird combination, but they are rebuilding at the moment)
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Part of the reason for the rebuilding is an automated system for returning books. Here's a glimpse:
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and here's what it will look like once it's finished:
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I'm a bit on the fence with this. One the one hand I can't wait to see how it will work and it will certainly pick up a big part of the workload of the library technicians, but on the other hand I can see that it may result in the loss of jobs. We'll see.

Now go and see other people's world over at MyWorld Tuesday

27 comments:

Dina said...

That whole big building is a library?! The people are very lucky to have it. I hope the branches survive too.
I wish Jerusalem would take lessons from you about the importance of community libraries.

Jedediah said...

It's not all the library, at the moment two (soon three) floors of books and the administration on another two floors. They share with the Goethe Institute and a branch of the post office. The building used to be the main post office.

Yen said...

Oh my! Look at those books! Nice architecture too;-)

Cheers,
Yen

Dirk said...

Wow! I hope not to much automatisation. I like old libraries and the smell of (old) books. Can spend hours in a reading room of the library

kjpweb said...

Guter Beitrag! Und ich kann verstehen, das Du sauer bist.
Wenn die Zeiten schlecht sind iwrd immer zuerst an Kultur gespart..
Cheers, Klaus

fishing guy said...

Jennife: What a neat post and look inside your library. Ours in Kent, Ohio is quite similar.

ewok1993 said...

Go rant. I like libraries too. If time is not a hindrance, I would spend more time inside one.

Enjoyed your post. See you next week.

Louise said...

Very nice library. And it's sad the smaller ones are closing.

Leslie: said...

Very interesting submission today about your world. It's a gorgeous building! :D

imac said...

Intersting post and looks a great building.

babooshka said...

I applaud thispost without the library here I would not bea bale to research as much as can about my strange island. You rant away. We all need libraries, especially one as large as this, or part of this anyway.

Jeanne said...

Amazing place and that return area - never seen anything like it. So sad when libraries get closed. A favorite quote of mine is "Libraries will get you though times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries." by Anne Hebert

kbguy said...

Very nice and interesting post. Have a Happyy and wonderful day with My World today! Mine is at http://justmeNus.blogspot.com

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Oh, I'm listening to your rant because I wholeheartedly agree that money is spent for such silly things while libraries go underfunded.

Wren said...

I'm a librarian as well, and I couldn't agree more with what you say. We are lucky to have a great public library here - like you, I work elsewhere but appreciate the value.

Mar said...

Whenever I have been late with a book, I wish our local tiny library would have an automated system... I guess it will never happen and I should be happy we still have one...
Great shots of such an important library!!

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Wow that is one huge library! And that looks like quite a deal to return a book, our library just has a letterbox!

Laura ~Peach~ said...

wow what a HUGE library and how bizzare the automated system... I cant imagine not turning books in to the librarian and them them putting them back onto the shelves... WOW... love the photos inside too!

2sweetnsaxy said...

That's a huge library and it's such a great old building. This reminds me of the big undergoing to revamp the downtown Los Angeles main library not so many years ago. It's an almost overwhelming place.

Esther Garvi said...

Oh my, what a world! I can certainly understand your dilemma! I don't think I've seen such a system even in Sweden, where libraries are way bigger than here in Zinder and order is actually kept :-)
Hope it works out for the better!

Greetings from Niger,
Esther

antigoni said...

Thank you for sharing your world.

Torsdag said...

Hallo,
ja leider geht es dem geschrieben Wort an vielen Orten an den besagten "Kragen", eigentlich der Sprache im allgemeinen. Ich halte mir schon die Ohren zu, wenn ich durch die Stadt gehe und vermeiden zu lesen, was Jugendliche geschrieben haben.
Gut, dass du in deiner Welt das Wort für die Institution "Bücherei" geführt hast.

The Good Life in Virginia said...

very interesting insight into the library and how it works...i liked reading about it.
thanks for sharing with us.

Bernie Krausse said...

I just love libraries. I can get lost in them forever. Its great how these days, if a libray doesn't have a book, it can get it forwarded to them from a neighboring library. That's awesome. Its cool that you have access to such a huge library of books.

Dina said...

Ah, Goethe Institute offices too!
They do such good work around the world. You might like my post
http://jerusalemhillsdailyphoto.blogspot.com/2008/03/herzliche-gruesse.html

Gardenia said...

Your 'rant' is really thought-provoking. Living up country, I sometimes forget how lonely cities can be. That first photograph has an electrifying sky behind it!

soulbrush said...

ha ha i would never take photos of british libraries, they are so booooring!