The Royal Borough of Maidenhead and Windsor doesn’t designate a central library so I chose Maidenhead. The one-way road system of Maidenhead defeated us so we ended up parking outside Homebase and walking back to the library. This meant we approached it from the side but did mean we were able to walk alongside the canal rather than the road. There is also a fountain and amphitheatre at the side entrance.
From the front, the library is opposite the Town Hall which looked very nice with a lot of flowers in bloom outside. From the canal vantage point, our first impression was more about why the whole building was swathed in a large net?
The library building was reminiscent of the Lord Louis Library in Newport on the Isle of Wight – although much bigger. I am assuming that the net was in place to stop birds flying in through the open slat ventilation and nesting in the open rafters above. However, the net meant that the windows hadn’t been cleaned and it did make the inside feel a little darker than I would have liked.
The local studies area was in the centre and from the teenage zone looked like an air raid shelter. My teens liked the teen zone with it’s laptop bar, sofa and collection of young adult fiction and graphic novels.
There was an area at the front of the library that had a book sale in. I can’t work out if it was intended to be a cafe area or a bus shelter area (as there was a bus times information screen) or a versatile exhibition area (there was an NHS exhibition up). Above was a huge mobile of bulsar wood type aeroplanes which was lovely but the vast open vaulted ceiling meant it’s impact was rather lost.
This is the first time I’ve noticed parcel collection boxes in a library. I’ve seen them at petrol stations which is a good idea as you can get to them 24 hours. I would be very interested to hear how well used these are.