A dinosaur in a digitised society
I TAKE issue with Mrs Jill Harris' (Central library: Fit for purpose and well loved Bristol Post September 3) response to my claim that Bristol's central library is no longer fit for purpose. Mrs Harris' contrary opinion contained the sentence that: "It's well loved by Bristolians and visitors alike." To be factually accurate she should of course have said that: It's well loved by some.
Another of her qualifications for criticising my view was that I hadn't spent much time in the central library recently which is also incorrect.
There are, of course, others who give a more pragmatic unemotional (without loved et cetera) rationale in assessing the future of the central library. Not least is the Political Editor of the Bristol Post, Ian Onions, who in his article (Library-to-school ideas man should be in public's good books September 2) wrote: "A tour of this wonderful building revealed just how outdated it has become to meet the needs of the modern-day library user in this digital age."
Moreover, it is surely not just the building's fabric per se which has become incongruous with the internet age; it is also the apparent ability of the council to provide a healthy temperature for those using the library. The editing of my letter (Bristol Post August 23) which claimed that the central library was 'no longer fit for purpose ' cut a quote. It was from a Mrs E Edwards (Bristol Post August 5), and read: "The children's library was more like some kind of sauna." and "I would have thought in this day and age a library would have some air-conditioning."
Also edited was my comment that: "Time and tide wait for no man, and the central library should close, and reopen as Cathedral Primary School. Then any monies raised from its sale/rent could be used to re-establish the central library in an up to date air-conditioned shopping mall setting. Many of Bristol City Council's other libraries have been given such make-overs why should it be exempt?
Bristol's central library has rightly/wrongly become an architectural dinosaur in a digitised society. In an information era more attuned to: iPods/iPads/iPhones, the kindle, texting, twitter, facebook, free-computer use, dvds, and all manner of on-line learning it has passed its sell by date, and its closure is long overdue!
R L Smith