The library has been rebuilt excellently and there is a very good ratio of books to half-hearted attempts to compete with Blockbuster.
I got a new library card as mine was to old for the new system, an added advantage to having an up to date card is that it allows access to online reference books, that the library has paid a subscription for, (note your number needs to be entered using a capital D) one I use a lot is The Dictionary of National Biography, in book form it costs over £3,000,000 and takes up a lot of space being 60 large volumes.
I digress I am reading a series of children’s books at the moment and they had the one I wanted to read next which was also very useful.
I couldn’t see any signs of a sprinkler system, unless it is incorporated in the smoke detectors, so I will check up on it, as we don’t want repeat performance.
The only major problem I could see was that there isn’t enough shelving space, it is a case of tastefulness of the interior design overriding the primary function of the building, which is to a repository of books. This meant that some of the non-fiction sections were rather weak. Its very difficult to judge the range of fiction in a library for me, as the titles people borrow differ quite a lot from those that sell secondhand, for instance the large range of Mills and Boon they have in most public libraries don’t sell at all in a secondhand bookshop and quite a lot of fiction that never makes it into paperback if published pretty much exclusively for public libraries, this is no bad thing as it helps many authors get started.
The local history section was a little strange but I expect this is due to teething problems rather than any long-term problem, all but one of my cheap reprints was behind glass something that defeats the object of making them available to everyone. All 120 titles are in print and under £10 well under the averagely, average price of the other lending stock. The balance of the antiquarian and collectable books in the archive left a lot to be desired, so I don’t know if the central archive was being a bit mean however I am sure it will get sorted out in the fullness of time. They only have two of the four old local papers on microfiche, I don’t know if this is due to space restrictions or cost. For example they had three copies of Irelands history of Kent, he was noted for producing fake Shakespeare plays, his history of Kent is a plagiarism of Hasted the main county history that they don’t seem to have. At the time Irelands history was published many doubted that he had actually visited the county.
All said and done we now have one really good publicly funded leisure facility in Ramsgate and many thanks to all concerned.
Mainly though one is aware of the great sigh of relief that it wasn’t ruined by having a Thanet Gateway in it.