- The Barbican music library received a reward for excellency.
- British libraries did not become lending libraries until the 1960s.
- The Barbican was the first in the United Kingdom to utilize RFID technology. This really attracted my attention because it was something that I was unfamiliar with. I had heard some things but seeing it actually function within a library environment was truly impressive.
- As a member, anyone can learn several different languages for free.
- They mainly serve to the younger population of London.
- The busiest time at the library is between 11:45 to 2:00
- There internet use is limited to 1 hour per day with one renewal for a total of 2 hours per day.
- They charge for one week rentals of non-educational DVDs and music CDs.
- They have an age restriction for DVD rental; 21 years old depending on the rating.
- The oldest book that can be borrowed is from the 1730s.
- They have a special London collection consisting of eight to nine thousand books.
- Anyone can practice the piano for one hour per day.
- The music collection has 16,000 scores
- There is such a thing as a music dictionary and if one knows how to use it can be successful.
- They have the largest CD collection available for borrowing in the UK; 15,000 CDs.
- There are roughly 200,000 items in the entire collection of the Barbican
I would say the most impressive aspect of our visit overall was the presentation of RFID technology. The Barbican is a library ahead of its time. By becoming the first library system in the United Kingdom to utilize RFID technology, they set the standard for other libraries to follow suit. I witnessed how well the whole system works and immediately thought of my own library at home. I believe this technology would be a great addition to American libraries. I think that it would be user-friendly for patrons. It may be a costly endeavor but it is one that should definitely be kept in mind and possibly even planned for.
This library left a lasting impression on me. Having work for a public library for nearly ten years, it was a wonderful experience getting to see the inner workings of a British public library. I was easily able to compare and contrast between American and British. I discovered similarities and also discovered aspects of British Libraries that would make great additions to the running of American Libraries.
Below is a link to a 2004 Guardian article about the use of RFID technology in various libraries. It illustrates the importance and the practical application in tracking books. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2004/nov/11/onlinesupplement.insideit