A very well-used library (Study reveals Cambridge Central Library is the seventh most popular in the country) the Central Library was being built when I moved to the area so has only been open since 19th October 2008. (Local journalist blogging about the opening).
It is accessed from the first floor of one of the main shopping centres. I find its entrance (and existence) rather too unobtrusive for my liking, so I am pleased to read that it is popular. The times that I have visited I have found it packed with customers. People are in comfy chairs and at tables or on the floor. They’re using Library computers or on laptops, headphones in. Rearranging the furniture, eating their lunch and drinking their coffees (despite the signs! I had to stop myself walking round confiscating them!!). There’s self-issue, escalators, a colourful kids library, loos, café and staff. Lots of leaflets, lots of community posters. Exactly how it should be.
I expect the integration of the library within the city centre shopping area helps bring customers in – as long as they know it’s there.