Dudley Library*

*Not to be confused with the Dudley Library in Buffalo.

Dudley Library doesn’t call itself a central library but it is the largest library within Dudley Metropolitan Council’s area. The library service is contracted out to Greenwich Leisure Limited.

I like the statue at the entrance which is similar to the one we saw in Walsall Library called Little Eva but I can’t find any information about his one. This was another bustling library on the Saturday afternoon we visited. It has lots of nooks and crannies, wooden shelves and comfy blue seating.

I really like the teen section situated on a mezzanine floor with a purple sofa. Fortunately I had a teen on hand to try it out.

The first floor had the local history and non-fiction stock. Nice, bright children’s library with a huge Elmer poster on the ground floor.

There’s a great tale on the internet about one of Dudley’s library books being returned to a library in the USA eight years overdue. Dudley let them keep it.

Hull Central Library

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Peter Church [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Hull is the City of Culture for 2016. I didn’t see any mention of that event anywhere although some buildings were lit up at night. However I get the impression the library is already an active hub in the community. It is a substantial library on several floors, close to the shopping area.

A wonderful music library with two pianos and a mezzanine floor with more study booths.

Spacious children’s library with gated toddler play area.

Teen zone off the children’s library – cool computer chairs.

Reference library and business centre upstairs.

Very good, active twitter account, tying up with the local radio station. Mention of hosting Raspberry Jams.

Brighton Jubilee Library

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This is the first time I’ve walked into a library and entered a shop. Admittedly it was a shop full of stationery, cards and gifts with a small gallery space. The Library was through the shop and to the right – past the screens displaying bus times and racks of tourist leaflets.

The vast library inside was quite a surprise….

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… and that was just the ground floor.

I loved the funky purple chairs and there was a cool wavy bench that I tried to take a picture of but people kept sitting on it – the cheek!

I particularly liked the special Young Persons area which – rather amusingly – had two OAPs sitting right behind the sign.

There was a café that was very much part of the space with the tables arranged in a social setting so you sat  “with” strangers. It seemed that readers were permitted to eat and drink throughout the library.

The children’s library was wonderfully vibrant and colourful and full of active children. Sensibly they had their own set of toilets separate from the adult ones. The back wall was an art installation by Kate Malone Ceramics called Wall of a Thousand Stories.

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Reproduced with permission from Kate Malone

According to the Brighton-hove.gov website:

“The artist was inspired by her own bedtime stories with daughter Scarlet; “We make up tales by taking three random things and weaving a story together that will include these three elements.” This interactive work is used by children, families and groups to inspire and enhance story telling. “

The only qualm I had with the library was that the stairs didn’t look very inviting and I wasn’t sure we were allowed upstairs at all. The sign was rather unobtrusive and I didn’t realise at first that the entire reference section was upstairs on another spacious floor with a Rare Books reading room and study area along one wall.