Saturday, February 8, 2014

Heritage to innovation in one great new library

I was very excited some months ago when I heard we'd get a new library in the city centre - having visited a few in other states and countries I was eager to see what my home city would come up with. I wasn't able to visit on opening day - too busy working in another library - but I've made it in on day two.

My first impression of the new City Library was great - the design is modern, adaptable, full of natural light and really interesting. Some of the photos I'd seen looked a little sterile but once in the building it is anything but. Design features and displays of local artists and work produced using the facilities available make the space warm, inviting and seriously interesting.

I'm really impressed by this library. It seems to have everything - so many things that I'd love to see many more libraries offer. The spectrum is covered from the History Hub to the Innovation Lab with an artist in residence (though not while I was visiting) and a media lab ensuring there are opportunities to create and explore whatever art or subject inspires you. It is so much more than just a place to read books and use a computer and it is already being well used.

I had a good opportunity to browse the shelves and as I did I found lots of places to sit and take a closer look before borrowing in spaces that were being used for study, small get-togethers, wireless Internet browsing, quiet reading and more. Though there are many people here - a wonderful thing to see - the building has been designed in such a way that there is still a sense of calm and focus.

According to the greeter at the door there have been a lot of library staff from all over visiting - I don't find this at all hard to believe as while I waited for a PC to write this very entry there was an impromptu meeting of staff from a library that I used to work in. All of them have had really positive things to say about this facility.

I highly recommend coming and having a look if you haven't already. This is a brilliant new community asset. I'll be back in future for sure - if nothing else I'm really eager to try out the 3D printing. I don't want to simply print something that I download so I'll have to get designing....

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