Friday, 10 May 2013

The Library File Goes to Glasgow - Part Three

Hillhead Library

Built in 1972, Hillhead Library is a bold, concrete building with an unusual decorative balcony over the entrance (in my opinion the decoration jars with the vertical lines of concrete and glass). It is situated in Byres Road in the bustling West End of Glasgow, just a stone's throw from the university. As befits its busy location, the library seemed well-used when I visited.

The ground floor of the library contains the lending library (I noticed that the library holds a particularly good collection of history books and classic literature), issue and enquiries desk and a separate children's section.

The ground floor feels quite large and airy thanks, in part, to the first floor gallery which allows plenty of natural light to filter down to the ground floor. The gallery is used as a study area with plenty of study desks and tables.

I felt rather grand descending from the gallery via the sweeping staircases
found on each side of the issue desk.

This was the third and final library that I visited in Glasgow and one thing which I noticed in all three libraries was the absence of self-issue and return machines. I have become accustomed to using these automated machines as most libraries in England, apart from very small branch libraries, seem to have them now. I asked about this at Hillhead Library and it seems that the machines are not used by Glasgow libraries - they carried out a trial of the machines about four years ago but apparently they are not compatible with their library system.

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