I have been really looking forward to seeing Worcestershire’s Central Library for some time. The Hive is the first (and only?) collaboration between a public central library and an academic library in the UK. It makes for a huge library on 5 floors which is bustling with activity.
This is probably the only library I will come across in England with a Roman oven in the foyer! I like the way each floor is characterised on the sign, e.g. Floor 2 Explore the past.
This is also the first time I’ve seen an automated sorting returns point. You put the books in the slot, there are checked-in by RFID and then they go along conveyor belts to drop into the correct trolley for the floor/section of the library. Fab!
The library is packed full of book stock, colourful comfortable seating, study desks, study lamps, computers. It has quite high wooden ceilings and felt quite church-like.
It has an extensive children’s and teens library which is the length of level 1. There is a café and shop, toilets and lift and everything you’d expect from a modern building. Its opening hours are impressive at 8am-10:30 EVERY day!
If you’ve got time there’s a good 12 minute video explaining the thinking behind creating the Hive and its first 6 months after opening. It is on The Hive’s website About page where there’s more information about the building and the vision behind it.
Long live The Hive!