Today, for my class I went to the Barbican Public library. Located in the Barbican Center, this library serves a small population of just over 11,000 individuals. It is in a building that also houses a movie theater, apartments, and several other things as well. Located in London, it was build in an area that was heavily damaged from bombings during WWII. The area was rebuilt into a city center, complete with a library and a museum!
Our library tour was fantastic this morning. I learned so many things and heard of so many great techniques which have been implemented into the Barbican Library. The librarians leading our tour gave us imformation about their reference collection, circulating materials for adults, teenagers, and children, and their large music library. By the end of my visit, I was wishing I lived in London just to visit this library on a regular basis!
A large topic covered in today's tour was RFID tagging. Used in the library for about 6 years, this type of technology is starting to be used in the United States. Just before leaving for the UK I spent several days RFID tagging the collection at the public library I work in. Learning and hearing about a subject I am familiar with, and seeing it in use was very helpful to me.
Throughout our tour we were shown different areas of the Barbican Library and how ideas have been implemented in their library. Speaking with different librarians, from an environment new to me, helped me to gain a new perspective about the library as a whole. It also gave me some ideas about how to run a library and things that should be included in the library I work in back home.
Not only were the librarians who guided our tour helpful, they were super friendly and nice. They answered so many questions, with a smile and a good sense of humor. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there this morning, and I hope to go back soon!
Here is a picture of the beautiful Barbican Center. It is an amazing complex, with lots and lots of concrete, but it still manages to be beautiful with flowers and fountains in the courtyard outside of the library.