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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 29 May 2008
Library is a cold, mechanised warehouse

• I WENT to register with the British Library to undertake some research.
I was horrified by the new regime – I call it a regime because that is the most suitable polite term I can think of.
It is not a library any more, with books on shelves and, with helpful staff.
It is a cold, mechanised warehouse where users are treated as thieves might be and spoken to accordingly.
There are security people in all the reading rooms as well as the entrance.
Coats and bags, even pens, are not allowed and one has to use plastic bags. Not much help if there is a lot of research material that a student is using.
This is more like an airline on high alert than a library.
For rare and precious books and materials I can understand the need for monitoring of use.
The British Library literature is full of “we require you…” and “you must…” It says staff have the right to work without fear of abuse or rudeness. But if they act like mini-Hitlers then, yes, individuals will say something.
How about treating readers with courtesy and respect?
How about stopping the criminalisation of the British public? How about stopping the loss of dignity the British public are being subjected to step by step? I, for one, have sent my card back.
S Smith
Mill Lane, Retford, Notts

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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