Riverside House reminded me of Rochdale. Both are modern library buildings mixed in with community services in a riverside setting, in a place starting with R, with big curved glass doors and with grey and purple as the décor theme!
The library takes up the ground floor in a U shape. There are swipe gates in the middle for the council staff to access the council offices. The library areas were very nice and modern but not that big. It also includes an exhibition area at one end of the library and some display cases with pottery in at the entrance.
The children’s area was great, with a stage area still kitted out from Halloween and a reading hideaway.
I arrived in Rochdale by bus and then walked all around Rochdale before I realised the library had been right behind the bus station where I started. Doh!
In my defence there isn’t a library sign outside; it’s called Number One Riverside. It is very modern glass building but because it was a grey day the building seemed grey. Inside, however, the theme is purple. The staff have purple badges and scarves, there are purple trolleys and purple signs and floorplans. I liked the swirly doors.
It is a very noisy and bustling community centre although the coffee bar was shut and the children’s library was empty. All the computers are in use.
This was the first library where I’ve seen counter-terrorism posters.
Solihull Central Library is housed within ‘The Core’, which is a cultural centre including a theatre, café, gallery and a council walk-in centre. It is also the local base for various voluntary and community organisations.
Solihull itself felt like the “posh” end of Birmingham. It was all well kept and we were able to park next door to the Core in a multi-storey. Outside was a homemade beach with children playing on it as it was the summer holidays and a lovely warm Monday in August.
The Core is a large building with the Library mainly at the back area. I hadn’t realised that it had only opened earlier in 2016. The colour scheme was quite purple and funky and I was delighted to see more book benches dotted around.