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.
St Helen’s Central Library was a short walk from the train station as many libraries from the Victorian period are. It is situated in a pedestrian civic square in the Gamble Building (opened in 1896) although quite modern inside.
It has a lovely colourful, hard-wearing children’s area.
The library is very active within the community without having the benefit of an expensively refurbished or new building. St Helens Library Service is used as a case study by the government titled “The art of the possible: libraries as creative hubs” which includes an excellent picture of swimming in the library! In August 2016 the library was given a National Lottery Award for its cultural hubs team.