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More on libraries....

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After my recent post on libraries, came across this one on the Internet today:

A pensioner has complained to her local Gloucestershire library after it started streaming pop music over its PA system.

76-year-old Doraine Potts, a retired Oxford University languages lecturer, complained to staff after hearing the Sugababes playing during a visit to the facility.

"I was trying to choose a book in my local library but I just couldn't concentrate. That's how loud it was - the beat was just thumping away," she told The Daily Telegraph.

"It was totally inappropriate for a library. When homes are filled with pop music and youngsters walk around with their ears glued to iPods, is it too much to ask for libraries to remain dedicated to reading?

"It's great to encourage youngsters to read but loud music impedes people from doing that."

In a statement, Gloucestershire Libraries Service defended its decision to play "quiet background music" at the Bishops Cleeve library.

"Bishops Cleeve is a popular and lovely library and it has been very busy since we introduced music," a spokesperson said.

"There is a sound system there which plays quiet background music and the majority of visitors enjoy the atmosphere.

"When asked, staff are happy to turn down the sound if it is disturbing visitors. Libraries are not just about books any more."
Just for reference, here's a picture of Bishops Cleeve:

and here's a picture of Bishops Cleeve library outside :

and here's a picture of Bishops Cleeve library inside :

...and let's just highlight that last sentence:

"...Libraries are not just about books any more."


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  1. hippokrene's Avatar
    Not sure what the pictures were for, but I agree that libraries are not just about books any more.

    However, whether libraries are just for books or not has nothing to do with whether they play music over the speakers or not.
  2. Hobbit's Avatar
    Hi, Hippokrene!

    The pictures were really because, with our global audience at SFFWorld these days, I'm not sure whether those abroad would know what 'a British library' looked like (I'm sure some may think that they are all like something out of Gormenghast, or such like...), nor indeed Bishops Cleeve, which for all I know could be seen as a sprawling metropolis...

    ... but yes: should libraries be playing music over the internal system or not?
  3. hippokrene's Avatar
    Ah! It looks a bit smaller than my local library, which is smaller than the biggest library in my city.

    If people want to listen to music at the library they can bring their head phones. There's no need to play music over the speakers. This is the same reason I support making people turn off their cell phone when they enter the library.