This is the first time I’ve walked into a library and entered a shop. Admittedly it was a shop full of stationery, cards and gifts with a small gallery space. The Library was through the shop and to the right – past the screens displaying bus times and racks of tourist leaflets.
The vast library inside was quite a surprise….
… and that was just the ground floor.
I loved the funky purple chairs and there was a cool wavy bench that I tried to take a picture of but people kept sitting on it – the cheek!
I particularly liked the special Young Persons area which – rather amusingly – had two OAPs sitting right behind the sign.
There was a café that was very much part of the space with the tables arranged in a social setting so you sat “with” strangers. It seemed that readers were permitted to eat and drink throughout the library.
The children’s library was wonderfully vibrant and colourful and full of active children. Sensibly they had their own set of toilets separate from the adult ones. The back wall was an art installation by Kate Malone Ceramics called Wall of a Thousand Stories.
According to the Brighton-hove.gov website:
“The artist was inspired by her own bedtime stories with daughter Scarlet; “We make up tales by taking three random things and weaving a story together that will include these three elements.” This interactive work is used by children, families and groups to inspire and enhance story telling. “
The only qualm I had with the library was that the stairs didn’t look very inviting and I wasn’t sure we were allowed upstairs at all. The sign was rather unobtrusive and I didn’t realise at first that the entire reference section was upstairs on another spacious floor with a Rare Books reading room and study area along one wall.