Libraries Not For Lending

By Lindsey Last edited 109 months ago
Libraries Not For Lending

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


Maybe they could learn a few things from my local library in Norwich. It's the most used library in the country and it's always busy. It's newly built, light, airy, friendly. It's got loads of computers, DVDs and CDs as well as a massive selection of books, quiet reading and working areas, sofas, foreign and British newspapers and magazines. It also has a section called Express with DVDs, computers, teenage books, quick fiction and graphic novels that stays open until 10pm some days.

Basically it's actually a nice place to be.