Nov 13 2012

How Can Harrow Get Library Computers So Wrong?

We’ve posted a couple of articles before (here and here, for example) about the poor state of Harrow’s Library computers, where, most recently, more than half of them don’t work.


Unfortunately so.

But we wondered if this was common across other London boroughs, so we picked on Barnet – the current courting partner for the joined-up Legal service of Harrow: it’s just down the road and has similar demographics. They manage to have 96% of their library computers working, which compares, we’d say, rather better than the 49% that Harrow achieve. Here’s the statistics for Barnet:


It’s quite a staggering difference. Even at Barnet’s worst-performing library, with 15% of their computers broken, that’s a vast improvement over Harrow’s best-performing, where 22% are out of order. Barnet has more libraries – 14, compared to Harrow’s 11 – and more computers – 211 compared to Harrow’s 142.

Barnet, or course, has more people: some 331,000 compared to Harrow’s 239,100, and the number of computers per head of population is about the same (one computer for 1571 people in Barnet, versus 1683 in Harrow).

Harrow Council told us back in January – that’s almost a year ago – that, “We will begin soon on the project to improve our People’s Network in Libraries…” and then parroted the same answer in October, adding, “Work on the upgrade is due for completion by the end of March 2013.”

Our other neighbouring boroughs are still working out how many of their library computers are broken, so we’ll report back when we get a response. We’re not sure yet who the winner will be, we wouldn’t expect Harrow Council to be breaking out the champagne just yet!



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