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Library Of Birmingham Web Site

aston lad

master brummie
Does anyone know if the library web site has closed down ?, I somehow cannot find a link to it anymore ?....
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Following the disappearance of the Shoothill images I had a look at the Birmingham Library website and was distinctly unimpressed. There seem to be pages with lots of white spaces and looking for local images just seems to get lost in more non-useful pages. I tried one of their links to something called 'Calmview' ... not much use.
I have previously seen their 'Themes' pages but they don't seem to use screen space efficiently.

As a comparison I tried a test with the Manchester Library.
A simple well laid-out page appeared ...
Scroll down to the search box and enter trams ... 50 tram images are listed with dates etc.
Click on any thumbnail pics and they enlarge.

If you don't want to look at trams type the word Oldham and a 933 pics are listed.

It was quick and efficient with more useful information per screen page.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
Following the disappearance of the Shoothill images I had a look at the Birmingham Library website and was distinctly unimpressed. There seem to be pages with lots of white spaces and looking for local images just seems to get lost in more non-useful pages. I tried one of their links to something called 'Calmview' ... not much use.
I have previously seen their 'Themes' pages but they don't seem to use screen space efficiently.

As a comparison I tried a test with the Manchester Library.
A simple well laid-out page appeared ...
Scroll down to the search box and enter trams ... 50 tram images are listed with dates etc.
Click on any thumbnail pics and they enlarge.

If you don't want to look at trams type the word Oldham and a 933 pics are listed.

It was quick and efficient with more useful information per screen page.
well phil even before the foundations to the new libaray was laid i was predicting that this library would not work and would not be fit for purpose...in the few years since it has opened i see no reason to take back my words..wish i could...but repairs have been needed to various parts of the building...staff cut in half...opening hours cut in half including the archives dept only being open every 4th saturday( unless things have changed)...how ridiculous is that...we were definately sold down the river with this one..just my own opinion but we were promised so much from the new build and in reality we got so little..

lyn
 
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I used to spend a lot of time in the former library and got to know staff such as Peter Drake and Patrick Baird. Can you guess how long I have spent researching in the new library?
Zero. I had a quick look not long after it opened and saw rows of empty book shelves and lots of people looking at computer screens. Oh, and seemingly more coffee shops than counters. I realise things have moved on but, for me, there's nothing quite like a tangible item in your hands. I went to have a look at the archives but the shelf I wanted to look at was unavailable because somebody was using another shelf and the whole thing was on rollers so access is limited.
The cut in staffing and hours extinguished any hopes of using the library. Due to work I used to go in the evenings and on Saturdays. So, and it seems incredible to me, I have not used the building for any research.
I wonder if they will also need buckets to catch rain water in 20 years time!
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
I'm still wondering whether the 1000 or so digitised images which we knew as the 'shoothill' collection are still on a server somewhere or are they lost and only the original photos exist in a filing cabinet somewhere.

It was good while it lasted ...

Remember how it looked ... one of the best image search tools I ever used ... :)

The photos were digitised and stored on a server somewhere .. and one wonders whether they still are on a server ?
 
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Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
totally agree with you kieron...just another white elephant...i rarely use it..

lyn
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Was a great resource, especially if you were looking for images of houses in old courts before clearances. Pity. I liked to simply browse the photos too, amazing what details there were in many of the photos.

It must still be held somewhere, surely ? Viv.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
On the positive side, I think a lot of the photos will be on BHF. I know Oldmohawk has posted quite a few and I certainly posted a lot on here. So all is not lost, they’re just posted on many different threads.

Hopefully a search will throw up many, and the word ‘shoothill’ will probably pick up quite a few too. Viv.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
I have started to identify all the images which are on the BHF, it might come in useful someday ... :)
I presume the Library supplied the images to Shoothill who did a similar thing to what has been done below with images supplied by NASA.
zoom in and out ...
 
Once when I was in the old library I stumbled upon an index card for a book that sounded quite interesting. Just to see if I was right I filled in a slip and requested to view it. The librarian was both flabbergasted and slightly annoyed. Apparently, I was the first to ask for this book for almost 12 years! Apparently, if a book was not used in 15 years [I think that was the figure] the library could dispose of the book as it was no longer required. My request would mean that it would have to wait another lengthy spell before it could be dumped. It made me wonder how much stuff was simply binned - not simply through lack of use but the fact it was so hard to know what they had. The stack was massive and the boxes of material held in storage apparently equalled that last scene in "Raiders Of The Lost Ark." I could be completely wrong, but I doubt if all that stuff was moved to the underground part of the new library. I don't think there was the capacity for it all. It is a bit frightening to think of the volume of material that may not have survived the move.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Brilliant Phil. Thanks.

I remember you also rescued the Keith Berry photos a few years back.

Is this something we should worry about as sites are no longer funded/maintained ? And can we do more through BHF to make sure we have a copy of the images ? Such a waste otherwise.

I was wondering the other day about the Digital Handsworth site. Is it now hovering in limbo in the ether ?! Viv.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
I used to spend a lot of time in the former library and got to know staff such as Peter Drake and Patrick Baird. Can you guess how long I have spent researching in the new library?
Zero. I had a quick look not long after it opened and saw rows of empty book shelves and lots of people looking at computer screens. Oh, and seemingly more coffee shops than counters. I realise things have moved on but, for me, there's nothing quite like a tangible item in your hands. I went to have a look at the archives but the shelf I wanted to look at was unavailable because somebody was using another shelf and the whole thing was on rollers so access is limited.
The cut in staffing and hours extinguished any hopes of using the library. Due to work I used to go in the evenings and on Saturdays. So, and it seems incredible to me, I have not used the building for any research.
I wonder if they will also need buckets to catch rain water in 20 years time!
The place sounds more like an internet cafe in a large, costly building! ;)
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Brilliant Phil. Thanks.
I remember you also rescued the Keith Berry photos a few years back.
Is this something we should worry about as sites are no longer funded/maintained ? And can we do more through BHF to make sure we have a copy of the images ? Such a waste otherwise.
I was wondering the other day about the Digital Handsworth site. Is it now hovering in limbo in the ether ?! Viv.
devonjim asked the Library about the collection (post below) and the links in their reply were unsatisfactory when I tried them.
Had a "winge" about this collection disappearing. This is reply from Library.
Screenshot (232).png
I note their website appears to be unsecure when I click on it !
They do have a link to 'digital Handsworth'.

I compared the Birmingham Library's website to another city's website in post#7
 
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