Friday 2 March 2018

Libraries Old and New

The central library of my borough is closed for three months for a major 'refurbishment', the aim of which is, of course, to 'bring it into the 21st century'. This award-winning, state-of-the-art library only opened a few decades ago, and has already been 'refurbished' once, with bewildering results – see my remarks here and elsewhere – and now it's all being done again. Odd, isn't it, how bang up-to-date public libraries like this date so fast and seem unable to adapt to change without virtually remaking themselves, whereas those sturdy old Victorian libraries of the municipal golden age can deal with whatever challenges the times throw at them with much less fuss and bother. As someone said, nothing ages faster than le dernier cri.

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