Barking Learning Centre


The Barking Learning Centre (or BLC) is packed full of facilities, including a cafe, nursery, citizens advice, digilab and much more. The library feels very new and colourful although most of my pictures feature lime green….

There were a couple of meeting pods dotted around which I think are a very sensible use of space.

Interesting reading chair…

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The children’s library was decorated nicely. I like the red reading chair which reminds me of a cosy cubby-hole and the tree book displays are ingenious.

This is the first time I’ve seen a spa based in a library but it fits with the relaxation and leisure theme of libraries, reading and mental health.


The opening hours of the centre are extensive as it is open every day and until 9:30pm on Mon-Wed.

Barking and Dagenham Library Services have produced a video showing all the facilities available at the centre.

Truro Community Library


Truro is one of the largest libraries in Cornwall (I know because I tweeted to ask and got a very prompt and jolly reply).

The Library is in a lovely old building in a town centre location. There was a band playing outside on a sunny Saturday during April.

It felt like a big house arranged in rooms.


Love the terrazzo flooring in the corridor.

The children’s library is in one of the rooms and is called a Junior Library.


Torquay Library


Torquay Library is one of four libraries within the Torbay Library community. I’m afraid Torquay Library looks a little neglected. The signs (and building) could do with a a bit of a clean. On the plus side there was a car park next door.

The staff were very nice despite the fact we were lingering 20 minutes before closing time on a Saturday.

Inside there is quite a lot of green, yellow and wood. The carpet and trolleys are green – as are the window frames outside. Inside, the space is very open and it is lovely that you can see there’s lots of stock on offer. There is a large gallery around the central part of the building with study desks and more books.

The children’s library is colourful and there is a separate local studies room dedicated to a local historian.

I could see from their posters that they have lego club and code club and their website lists regular history and poetry evenings. Although the library is closed Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

They had an unusual customer – a pigeon.


They have a great active twitter presence with fun gifs and photos: @TorquayLib

Since we visited in April the Library has improved its teen space which is discussed in this video: