Saturday, March 15, 2008

Librarial and other matters

Today I thought I'd go and have a nose around the City Library after work. After turning the corner from Degraves Street into Flinders Lane I was greeted by a sea of people and some flashing blue and red lights. Turns out the police were arresting a couple of drunk and disorderly types, there was a lot of arm twisting going on. I was surprised at the number of people just standing there watching. I didn't stop to watch though, I just kept going in to the library.

Once I was up the stairs and in the Library I turned right towards the catalogue computers only to find they had vanished. There was a paper sign stuck to the wall saying they had moved them to the pillars next to the stairs in the foyer. Sure enough they were there. What a bad idea though, talk about un-ergonomic. Although the screens swivel up and down to adjust for height, I would imagine these computers are pretty uncomfortable for anyone other than average height like myself to use. Not only that but the network in there is so slow, it took minutes to load up the page after hitting search, or clicking on a selection (couldn't help but notice that they had upgraded to Internet Explorer 7). I just gave up and went searching manually for what I wanted.

This led to my second qualm, which was the fact that there seemed to be more books sitting around on trolleys waiting to be put on the shelves than there were books on the shelves. This made finding what I wanted extra difficult, as if they were sorted in some sort of order, someone else like myself had come along looking for something and mixed them all up. I just gave up on the whole library thing at that point.

For the first time in my life I felt like I had to complain about something, so I went and found the suggestions box and sheets (at least I could find them) and spent a good 10 minutes writing out my complaints (in doing so I used the desk that used to house the catalogue PCs).

On my way out it seemed the police were still there, although there is a police station right opposite where the arrests were happening so I guess that is natural. I then took a tram up Collins Street to Spring Street where I was going to change to a train at Parliament, but decided instead to walk across the Treasury and Fitzroy gardens to Jolimont Station.

On the way I noticed how much cooler it was in the gardens. It was almost as if the coolness was radiating off the nice green lawns. This reminded me about something I was reading a few weeks ago about green roofs in cities and how they help to keep temperatures down. On a day like today at 39-40 degrees outside any relief would be welcome, not to mention the benefit of somewhat cleaner air and more public open space the rest of the year.

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