Mansfield Central Library is based in the corner of a shopping centre. There is a lobby downstairs with a desk and some self-issue machines, stairs and lifts. I wasn’t positive the Library was open as there wasn’t any activity in the foyer. Once upstairs I found a really modern library.
I loved the curvy bookcase set up that can be seen from the mezzanine. It helps section off the children’s area and local studies area. There were, what looked like, two grannies having a picnic with their grandchild on a table in the children’s area.
The mezzanine above was great but empty of readers. There was another floor above that which was gated off but looks like it is probably used for events.
The need for two security guards wandering around was worrying.
Derby Central Library was built in 1879 but has come under threat recently (Guardian, 27 July 2016)
The library shares the building with a museum and art gallery but they were closed on the Monday I was visiting. However within the library there is a gallery if you look up of old shop-like items.
The library was very busy, loads of stock, security guard, teenage section. All the computers seemed to be in use but I think there may have been a job club running.
It reminded me of Islington because whereas there I noted that the ornate plaster work and cornicing was all painted turquoise, in Derby it’s all painted a deep red.
The Central Library is nestled in amongst the shop fronts and is the Central Library and Contact Centre. The ground floor has some fiction and the children’s area but there are three more levels above. It is a bit of a rabbit warren with two sets of stairs.
A very impressive music section. Staff and help points on every floor. The children’s area doesn’t feel large enough for the city’s population. There’s a local studies area and an exhibition area which is a large square room. The exhibition area felt a bit empty at the time but had displays about the First World War round the walls.
Even though it’s a Monday morning on a warm day the desks were packed with readers.
Rudimentary study booths had been created by sticking display boards between the one- person desks that were by the window but they were very popular.
Security guard, lift, self-issue. The signs outside were green but inside there are blue wooden bookcases with red signs.
Would benefit from some investment.
I was in Oxford for a conference so I thought I’d find the time to visit Oxford Central Library. However, it turned out that the library is currently housed in temporary accommodation while the Westgate Shopping Centre is redeveloped: Temporary new home for Oxford Central Library. When the library can reopen at its shopping centre site in October 2017 it will have a new façade.
In the meantime the Library is based in the Castle Quarter and is making the most of its facility. It’s actually a really nice large room and they’ve packed in as much stock as possible.
There is also a small children’s corner.
I will have to find time to go back to Oxford when the new library is finished.