Bolton Central Library

This is the first time I’ve come across a library, archives and … aquarium in the same building. It is an impressive looking building –¬†particularly after the modern ones I have seen recently.

A member of staff stopped me in the foyer to warn me that the computers weren’t working today – which I thought was considerate. The reserved books are left out so that people can pick them up themselves – which I find very trusting. The returned books are sorted into subject while they await shelving which is very helpful for readers. Lots of stock. Open Sundays. All in all scoring lots of points for customer service.

Kensington Central Library

Wood. My first impression was wood. Proper wooden bookcases, wood covered pillars, wood tables, wooden window seats – even the lift is hidden behind wooden doors. It does make the library look quite grand.


The ground floor has the lending library and an area sectioned off for the children’s library. Upstairs is a large reference library, plenty of computers and a local studies area partitioned by a glass wall. There is a third floor which appears to be rented out to 2 companies.

The tub chairs have wheels on them which I’ve never seen before.


I was so comfortable here that I actually joined and used a computer for an hour! The staff were very helpful and patient.