Oct 20 2012

Harrow Libraries Public Computers – Over half don’t work!

In January 2012, we asked Harrow how many of their public-access computers in their libraries were actually working, and available for the public to use. As we pointed out at the time, many council services were moving online, and for those people without their own computer, the libraries should be offering computers available to the public to use.

At that time, 36% – that’s 51 out of a total of 142 computers – were out of order. We thought that was bad, until we saw the results from October 2012. At the moment, over half of those computers – 76 of the same 142 – are out of order. The worst place if you were looking to do any of your council business online would be Gayton Library: out of their 19 computers, only four are working.

Every single library has more than one fifth of their computers out of order. Eight of the eleven libraries in Harrow have half of more of their computers out of order.

This is the same council where the online parking payments system broke recently, the same council where the planning portal was out of action for a week (with a further weekend off here), and the same council trying to run a multi-million pound business with a broken email system.

It’s a rather dismal result, especially since in January, we were told: “Upgrading of Harrow Libraries’ public computers was approved at Harrow Council’s Cabinet Meeting on the 19th January 2012, as part of a report on the ‘Future of Cultural Services in Harrow’. We will begin soon on the project to improve our People’s Network after in Libraries and will be ensuring our customers are kept informed of our plans.”

The same stock answer was given this time around, with the postscript: “Capital funding for 2012/13 for the upgrade has now been approved by the Council’s Capital Forum and specifications and technical assessments have been completed. Work on the upgrade is due for completion by the end of March 2013.”

The complete table is given below.


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