Our "bring it on approach" to sexing up libraries was bookishly bold but seems to have been borne out by the latest visitor figures that put 6 London libraries in the top 20 most visited in the UK. Croydon Central Library rocks 4th place with the radically restyled Ideas Store in Whitechapel not unsurprisingly lagging somewhat behind in 18th. Book lending is down but we've long known that local libraries provide refuge from the streets for many killing time or with nowhere else to go. Free, warm and with things to read, separating the bibilophiles from the drinkers and dozers was ever a daily trial for the public librarian. It's good news for the web though with online usage up 20%, reflecting the fact that not only are libraries havens for those wanting to get online without parting with pounds but we're all pretty lazy and forget to return books now we can renew them forever over the net.
Last Updated 05 March 2009