Northamptonshire Central Library

Although quite a grand building, Northamptonshire Central Library is quite unobtrusive if you approach it from the side, walking along the busy shopping streets. It is a Grade II listed building built in 1910 with statues on the front of John Dryden, Thomas Fuller, George Washington and Andrew Carnegie. I like how it proudly has ‘PUBLIC LIBRARY’ in stone at the top. The building was refurbished in 2009. The registrars have also been based in this building since 2015 so it is called: LibraryPlus.

The library floorplan shows three floors however the stairs down to the basement were roped off when we were there. I don’t know how to get to the local and family history section which is in the basement and called ‘Discover’. Maybe there are other stairs or maybe the basement area was closed as this was the period in between Christmas and New Year?

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The children’s area was fenced off and made to look like a castle. It looked really great and had swathes of colourful fabric from the ceiling which made it look quite magical. I could also see an Elmer book box (Elmer gets everywhere).

This library also has the popular spotty chairs. Green is a theme as the walls, the plaster edging on the ceiling and the end of some the bookstacks are green.

The library is also a Business and IP Centre and has an enclosed glass pod that can be hired for meetings.

There was also a display and a social media campaign encouraging customers to download an app so that they can borrow ebooks from the library.

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There are some further historical details of the library and a picture of the Carnegie Room on the Carnegie Legacy in England blog.

Unfortunately the library service in Northamptonshire is under threat as the council has launched a consultation on how to save money.

 

 

 

 

Lincoln Central Library

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Lincolnshire Libraries are now run by Greenwich Leisure Ltd. This was quite an embattled process with vocal sides: Save Lincolnshire Libraries site, another perspective. The Guardian wrote about the changeover in January 2016.

Fortunately Lincoln’s Central Library is still standing and well used. There was a handy display showing the history of the library.

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The library has a Carnegie frontage, was extended in the 1990s and given another refurbishment in 2009. The décor still feels quite art deco inspired.

Interesting study booths

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Fabulous castle themed children’s area.

There’s also a rather warm and fun Downton Abbey inspired tea rooms opposite the library too – Lady Rose’s Edwardian Tea Rooms where we sampled the afternoon tea.