I did not encounter banks of PCs. I was not surrounded by bare shelves. The collection reflected the area served by the library. The staff did not ignore me.
I found a book I had been thinking of buying- Gombrich’s history- so borrow it to see if it’s worth buying. I also find a book in a series I enjoy, the “Far Flung Adventures.”
The shelves were full, with a wide range of classic and modern literature. A family was there, getting library cards for the children. People were at the tables reading books, papers… people were using the library. Edit In Rotherham user numbers are up but loans down. That I cannot explain. Perhaps some of the increased visits are down to computer use.
This sort of thing is rarerly noted by library commentators. But it should be. In the majority of libraries edit that I have used edit, a good job is being done by good people. edit I can only speak to what I know. edit
This is not to say that there is nothing to be improved.
But I am tired of the often self-serving rhetoric from commentators who cannot see what is good, or patronisingly dismiss it before moving on to what they would do. Very British- no, English. That last struck out; it’s intemperate and unfair. People commentating on libraries obviously care about them.