Hold on, is that Greensleeves?

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For all the money being spent on new technology today, in some cases replacing humans with a machine is not really a positive development.

I am sure I am not alone in preferring to talk to a real person when calling a company or government department, rather than spending minutes on hold listening to automated announcements telling me it would be quicker to go online and/or the 30 second clip of Greensleeves, that seems synonymous with being on hold with certain organisations.

A good example of technology being a poor substitute for a real human is the awful self service machines fitted in Sheffield’s libraries. Gone are the enjoyable interactions we had with our three much-loved librarians, when our local library at Stannington was still staffed by the council. whilst having our books stamped, this to be replaced by more looking at a screen and doing the job ourselves.

Forgive me for being cynical, but the installation of machines such as this seems to be nothing more than an attempt to cheapen and lessen the value of the work done by dedicated staff, such as Sheffield’s librarians, making it easier to reduce staff numbers, and eventually, as we have sadly seen at Stannington, dispense with them completely.

Regardless of cost, retaining librarians in communities would have been of more benefit to people than what the council has chosen to spend its money on such as the Tour de France, repaving the Moor and pouring even more cash into rebuilding Park Hill.

M Vaughan