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.

 

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A view through the first floor.

 

Children’s offerings:

 

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

Brompton Cemetery

A large green space of calm reflection lies just up the road from our accommodation. It holds the evidence of many lives. It is open from early in the morning until 8pm, and people walk there, rest there and visit some of the more recent graves. Crows, pigeons and squirrels share the space with humans. It is heartening to see the volunteers working to maintain this large and old site. An unexpected refuge from the heat and the urban flurry.

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London Musings

First full day of our trip to the UK and Ireland. Much is different since 1976!! Most noticeably for us is that London’s not the cold, dull place it was then. The fact that this is not a winter visit is obviously part of the reason. Trees have leaves on them, and it is the middle of a heat wave. Sights like these were impossible in January:

The buildings have also been cleaned. St. Paul’s gleams, the riverside buildings are spruced up. The buses, while still red and double decker, are clean and rather “green” although the tube is a little tired.

Staying in a hotel brings a stark contrast to home: heating is available, but air conditioning only in the communal areas. No fridge in the room!

Trains are “cooled” by opening windows. Underground is stifling. Most shops seem to just open their doors.

Today’s visits included Lambeth, The Imperial War Museum, and the Thames.