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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Haringey Libraries The Library Consortium update: use of online services 2nd -7th December

Haringey Libraries will be officially joining The Library Consortium (TLC) next month (December). The systems will be upgraded from 2 to 7 December 2022 to make essential improvements.

During this period, it will not be possible to make library account queries, renewals and payments online (and via our app), by telephone or in person at our libraries.
Arrangements have been made during this period. See poster below for more details or 
find out more at  www.haringey.gov.uk/librarynews

Tags for Forum Posts: libraries, stroud green and harringay library

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Do they have any idea how long that will take? Part of my frustration is the lack of information. "Until the migration is complete" could be months! It would have been better to give a realistic amount of time and give us an extended loan period for existing loans (as during the pandemic, although it was very annoying that Haringey Libraries kept announcing that fines would be reimplemented on the very first day that libraries were open again, and also they were trying to put fines on in December 2020 when (1) we were being told we were in Tier 4 (2) lots of people had good reason to still be shielding (3) branch libraries - like St Ann's and Harringay & Stroud Green - normally close over Christmas/New Year anyway and weren't actually open properly in that period - in early January there was a new lockdown and the fines/the threat of them disappeared again. 


Are you able to ask, or is there someone I could contact to ask:

- whether they have a date for the online catalogue, renewals to be up and running again

- whether fines will be waived which are due to the extended unavailability of the system, especially for those of us whose local branches are shut for a few months (or who live a mile or so from the nearest branch, as coverage in Tottenham/the borough is a bit uneven)

Normally I'd go to my local library - St Ann's - and sort this out but it's closed to repair things which either weren't fixed or went wrong with the refurbishments a few years ago and MGL is a bit further away. However, I have two separate "groups" on Wednesday and Thursday so hopefully I can find out if I have to take books in on Wednesday and pay fines.

- I did agree to new terms and conditions but think it's wrong that Haringey users were told that our membership would end if we didn't do so by 2 December 2022 at comparatively short notice

- ID being asked for to join Haringey library in the new agreement is photo ID not proof of address,  specifically passports and driving licences. This sounds restrictive and discriminatory - I don't currently have either - it's not what has been asked for in Haringey Libraries over the last 27 years and as far as I know it's not asked for in any other library service I've come across or ones in the London Consortium - Camden is the one where I've had to take my proofs of address in to renew my membership periodically. I'm worried that this will have a deterrent effect for other users - even if they want picture ID, what about things like school/college IDs or photocards for students and concessionary public transport (rather than driving licences!) 

It's ambiguous at the least: 

Condition 8 states "Applicants for a membership card are required to provide evidence of identification such as [my bold] a current passport and/or driving licence".

Condition 16 states "To operate the service, it is necessary for the library to collect the minimum personal data required, which includes name, address, date of birth, telephone number, email address and transactions. We collect this data, because the data is necessary to carry out the agreement you have entered into, i.e., becoming a library member and to provide you with a good service tailored to your needs."

Since they need the address anyway, I'd be surprised if something like a current Council Tax form was refused.

It’s my understanding that fines will not be levied while the system is offline but I think I was told that at the library. The link for library news is here

There is a non-urgent contact form at the bottom of the page. I don’t know much more at the moment. I pop into the library about every three weeks so if someone goes before that they can perhaps find  answers and bring them back to the thread 

And further to this I have been hit with fines even though I renewed books at the library so I think I'll have to go and have a chat about that. Also a couple of extra books that I took out aren't showing up on my account so I expect there will be a few glitches before it's running smoothly

I got new fines waived, and I wasn't asking for the old fines to be waived. It's actually really hard to pay fines at Haringey Libraries these days, as I don't carry much cash around and they never seem to have change handy. I found £2.50 in coins and paid off most of a fine and hope the remaining balance (under £1) is only a few weeks old, so won't freeze my account by being unpaid for another month or two (ideally also until my local branch is open again)

New login page for the Haringey Libraries system. Old one no longer works.

If you've bookmarked the Login/Catalogue page as [ https://prism.librarymanagementcloud.co.uk/haringey/ ] and tried to login today as I did, you'll get an error message. So I went and asked at Stroud Green & Harringay Library.

You have to start at the Haringey Libraries webpage [ https://www.haringey.gov.uk/libraries-sport-and-leisure/haringey-li... ], then click on the 'Log in to your library account' link below the 'Join for Free' graphic.

That takes you to this page [ https://libraries.haringey.gov.uk/bookshelf ], the login link is top right of that page which takes you to [ https://libraries.haringey.gov.uk/user/login ]. That's now my bookmarked page to login.

I had assumed the new system was not yet live - but it is working!

The app takes you straight to the Search facility of the catalogue. Initially it's confusing as all the copies of that book everywhere in the consortium are listed, but if you place a reservation it doesn't specity where it's coming from. I imagine loads of library vans whizzing around the countryside delivering books to each other.

You can filter it* to 'All Haringey libraries', there's a dropdown 'Search Area' list above the initial massive set of results.

*Well, on a PC you can, I don't know if the smartphone app is a different layout.

I've worked that out too. I use google as my homepage and googling Haringey Libraries Bookshelf works for me. Here's a link:


Now my main problem is that I can't renew (most of) my books online and I know I'm not maxed out on renewals - because as my local branch library is closed and I'm going to a group thing at Marcus Garvey Library, I've been trying to make sure that I don't have to make special trips just to return/renew books to avoid fines. 

When I tried taking in some books and discharging them to borrow again, the system wouldn't let me have them again. I was told they must have been reserved somewhere else. What, all of these? It isn't the recent publications I've been having problems with and the ones that are most likely to be wanted by other readers, and if I can tell that someone else has reserved a book I will happily take it in and then, when I can, place my own reservation. 

I've worked out that a lot of the books that have come from other Haringey Library branches, especially the big three (mostly ones I reserved for collection) have been easy to renew, though a couple are maxed out. But books from my own branch haven't been moved over to the new system, even quite recent acquisitions that I've only initially borrowed within the last couple of months.


No 1 - This is an imported 'American' system. The vocabulary is very nebulous and vague - if your book is overdue you are labelled a 'delinquent' (yes I know the American definition fits this word but we are not in the States!)! Outrageous.

2 For a library database there are no Dewey Decimal numbers attached to the descriptions of the books. It's all very well having all the covers as photos and 'teen fiction' etc etc but if I want to look up a DD number or see similar books to the ones I want to borrow - I can't. This is a dumbing down and yet another reason why importing a proprietory American system is not going to work for serious users of the library. It is ESSENTIAL for non-fiction books in a proper library. You can't do any sensible research - you just get visual pabulum. The British Library is a much better bet in this respect.

3. A lot of print newspapers (i.e. real not virtual ones) are no longer available. The paid for subscription service is NOT an alternative and never works in the big screen in Hornsey Central Library - it just polls forever.

SO suggestions:

1. Make the database nomenclature more precise - no Amercianisms.

2. If it is a good system it will be extensible so you can add Dewey Decimal fields - if you can't then Haringey has bought a turkey not fit for purpose.

3. Put "real" newspapers in the libraries and reinstate all the ones you left out - some examples the TLS TES THS etc

Good things :

1) The new online language service is brilliant - pity it doesn't work on Safari but hey - you can't have everything.

2) You don't have to pay to reserve a book from Haringey - a lot of the books I reserve have come from the archive - this was an expense skewed towards those of us who don't just read the popular books. Glad it is ended. I guess you will have to pay when you can borrow books from other boroughs from February or will that be free too? We shall see. 

2) The new pianos to help people to learn to play in the libraries - also brill.

3) The mini desks by radiators + plugs for laptops in Hornsey Library - well done - at last you are listening. 

Let's hope these aren't all dominated by noisy schoolkids eating and drinking and throwing things at each other around exam time likewise with the piano.



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