Yesterday I dispatched a missive on this very blog about how I, if someone were to have accidentally left me in charge, would run Hampshire’s libraries to increase their usage – not manage their decline.
I did conclude, though, that it wasn’t all the council’s fault. Despite being a member for nine months, I’ve only actually borrowed one book – and I should be doing better.
But today, instead of the usual nagging feeling I have which urges me to pop back here and delete whatever it is I’ve written, I wondered just how fair I’d been to myself.
If I’d have abandoned Amazon over the last 12 months and used the library instead, could I have read the same selection?
I don’t for a second think that my reading habits are ‘normal’, but neither do I think they’re that out of the ordinary either. I’ve a penchant for ‘bullshit to make your life better’ books, I’ll give you that, but otherwise it’s pretty straight up stuff.
And I have to admit, I completely didn’t expect what I found.
It turns out that there’s a very comprehensive collection and plenty of copies of each book – and most are also available at my local library too. I’ve done a list below, if you’re interested.
So in short, I was right. We should use our libraries more. But I was also right that the people running libraries shouldn’t be overseeing their demise because people aren’t using them – they should be asking why people aren’t using them, and fixing that instead.
My suggestions might just help.
Could I have used the library instead?
|Book Title and Author||Read Date||Available in Hampshire?||Available in Alton?|
|How to Be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More and Love What You Do – Allcott, Graham||18/02/16||Yes||Yes|
|So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed – Ronson, Jon||15/02/16||Yes||No(1)|
|Balancing Act – Trollope, Joanna||11/02/2016||Yes||Yes|
|The Establishment: And How They Get Away with It – Jones, Owen||Abandoned||Yes||Yes|
|The PR Masterclass: How to Develop a Public Relations Strategy That Works! – Singleton, Alex||17/01/2016||No||N/A|
|According to Yes – French, Dawn||11/12/2015||Yes||Yes|
|A Prayer for Owen Meany – Irving, John||29/10/2015||Yes||No(1)|
|Pay Me Forty Quid and I’ll Tell You – Culwick, Michael Ashcroft & Kev||28/10/2015||No||No|
|The Unfinished Revolution: How the Modernisers Saved the Labour Party – Gould, Philip [Borrowed from Hampshire Libraries]||03/10/2015||Yes||No(1)|
|Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse: And Other Lessons from Modern Life – Mitchell, David||03/10/2015*||Yes||Yes|
|The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership – Branson, Richard||09/08/2016||Yes||No(1)|
(1) Book wasn’t available in Alton but could be requested and collected a few days later.