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Field trip!

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:34 am

I felt like I was back in school again. We went in a city van to Phoenix to view libraries that are about the same size as our new library will be. I was not terribly impressed. I think the cities paid a lot of money for glitz and wasted a lot of space on nothing. I was only looking for certain things like lighting over the shelves and space between shelves, etc. I did like some of the shelving but not all of it. Like I said, "glitz" not practical. The director's see big airy buildings that are monuments. The worker's see big airy spaces where you have to walk lots and lots of steps between the different sections to shelve books. There will be lots of selfhelp features that may or may not work. We saw a beautiful big book return system that automatically sorted the books into the proper bins for shelving. It had a big "OUT OF ORDER" sign on it. When questioned about it the manager said it was out of order about twice a month. He said it wasn't always down long and sometimes it rebooted itself but it's just more glitz. I can't see that it will pay for itself by using less human employees if it's down twice a month for a day or two while they wait for someone to come fix it. Self checkout works only if the patron knows how to use it. I hate to say it but there are enough befuddled people in this world that they also have to have a human checkout person to either do it for them or show them each time they come. The children's sections were nice. They had lots of space and activity centers but nothing to encourage children to check out books. Only to encourage them to use computers or visual materials. I can see why everyone thinks libraries as they are not are going to become obsolete. Why check out a book when you can download one from home? They have websites where you can download things from a home computer. You do not even have to have a library card. They count this as library usage if you use their site. So why the huge airy buildings that look like art museums? To improve their self image or to improve the city's image. They even get their books from a vendor who catalogs them, puts the barcodes on them, puts the magnets on them and stamps them with the libraries name. That one library had 158 employees but what do they do with all the selfhelp streamlined machines. Each selfhelp machine had at least one or two people there helping people figure out how to use them or doing the work for them when they decide not to work today. I do hope things improve with use but that one library had been using them for two years. Oh, well! It must be my age showing. I grew up without computers and selfhelp machines. Now 3 year old kids can do it better and maybe that's what the system is aiming to please. Future generations. I still don't understand the wasted space and high ceilings that have to be heated and cooled.
Now, we went to lunch. That was a part of the field trip. No sack lunch for us! We went to a place called "FEZ". Middle eastern in cuisine. The director was afraid he would have nothing to eat because he eats strictly plain food with no sauces or stuff junking it up. He was able to get an all american burger but he said he had to remove all the junk they put on it and could not eat the ciabetta that they put it on. I had a Casablance chicken sandwich. It was quite good. It was on a ciabetta roll. It had goat cheese for the bottom layer, grilled pears next, grilled chicken breasts, dried cherries and mixed greens with a pomegranate vinaigrette sauce on it. I think the sauce also had a lot of garlic in it. We each ordered our own lunch but the architects who were hosting the lunch also ordered appetisers to start. They were things like lettuce wraps with dried pears, dates, cherries and grilled chicken chunks in pomegranate sauce. herby grilled flat bread with garllicky hummus and shrimp, eggplant and mushroom kibis. They also ordered three big baskets of sweetpotato fries with cinnamon sugar sprinkles. Lunch over ran the scheduled time which is why we only had time for three libraries instead of four. The Friday night traffic out of Phoenix was a mess, bumper to bumper, stop and go. We were over an hour late getting back. Good thing, they picked me up and dropped me back in Mayer so I didn't have to trek up to Prescott Valley and then turn around and come back. End of field trip. Dooley

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glendann wrote on Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:52 am:

I can just see you checking out all that useless equipment.I am like that
director but I would eat the lettuce tomatoes pickles onions and cheese on my burger not much for different foods .Just plain ole down South cooking.
You seem to have had a good time but glad to get home.
Glad you made it ok.


reggaefan wrote on Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:32 am:

Yes Dooley newer is not always better Glad you enjoyed it all in all

pondlady wrote on Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:26 pm:

Wouldn't it be nice if those who designed those useless buildings had to work in them. Or better yet, the people who work in libraries could design the buildings. The lunch sounds divine!


wannabe wrote on Sun Oct 29, 2006 3:02 pm:

I'm not sure I would have enjoyed lunch. Maybe those high ceiling have something to do with acoustics. I am glad you learned some new things for your library but will they let you incorporate any of them? Wannabe


Gardenstew wrote on Sun Oct 29, 2006 5:46 pm:

Functionality comes first, presentation second. Any web designer or user interface designer will tell you that. This also applies to buildings. Don't you just love pretentiousness *rolls eyes*


dooley wrote on Sun Oct 29, 2006 6:43 pm:

We will be able to incorporate some things. That is why the interior design architect was with us and showing us buildings that they have designed. Of course, city officials with no library experience also have a say in the design. We are all hoping if enough of us veto certain things it will have an effect. The city manager is hoping it will attract more volunteers so he won't have to pay for too many more staff. Dooley

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