Then, we heard from Annie Bell, the Reader Development Librarian, who organizes events and services to make it easier for customers to choose what to read. Her job is to try to encourage library users to read more and to read more widely. She talked about the author events that she has set up in the past for the library, as well as events and services that continue to happen at the library. The library provides reading materials for over 50 book groups, and they also organize groups of people to read aloud to elderly people in care homes. She also discussed training that the library does in reader's advisory as well as training for leading book discussions. It was interesting to hear that the library, like most libraries in the UK are experiencing massive government cuts, and the libraries that we visited all discussed the impact that these cuts have on services they can offer. The librarians at the Central Library are providing so many services to their patrons, I can't even imagine what they could do with more funding--a lot of the services that they provide aren't available at many of the libraries in the United States.
Lastly, we heard from Wendy Pearson, who is the Service Development and Learning Librarian. She discussed some of the services that the library provides, including computer classes for beginners; they wanted to provide informal, encouraging places for library users to learn. They also have volunteers that serve as IT Buddies, that provide one on one instruction to those who need help with using computers. They also provide classes and events on family history, social networking, and sessions that discuss job applications and employability. They also provide adult literacy programs, including English as a Second Language programs and classes for adults that are unable to read. They also have outreach in prison libraries.
|On the second level of the reference room at the Central Library|