Cambridge City Library

On a recent visit to the United Kingdom, I visited the Cambridge Library (not the university version – the public offering) which is part of a large new shopping centre in the town. As with most modern libraries, it had lots of natural light and was furnished with light coloured shelving. There were large numbers of users of all ages, reading, using computers (their own or the facility’s) and consulting with staff. Staff were spread through the building and were proactive in offering assistance.

Materials were shelved as Fiction and Non- fiction in the adult and young adult section, and Fiction or Information in the children’s area. Face out displays were well used and material was generally shelved in order.


A view through the first floor.


Children’s offerings:


Each section in the train was shelved in author order
Parenting material was located in the children’s section.
Babies had their own spaces (but parents had to reach them!)
A view through the first floor.

The adult section was diverse and much larger than the children’s collection space.

What I really liked about this library was its quiet sense of purpose, its focus on users, and the fact that  books were shelved in precise order but obviously being well used as they were not pristinely upright!

Perhaps the lack of spine labels on Fiction materials leads to better attention to shelving? Something to ponder.