Went to visit the newly reopened Cambridge Central Library this weekend, a week or so after it (finally) reopened.
I have to to say, its fantastically done. There appear to be more books now, and spread out over three floors in a very appealing style. The entire library layout encourages you to pick a spot and a book and sit down and start reading, or researching, or surfing, whether at one of the libraries computers scattered around, on on your own via the free Wifi available throughout. With a lot of the comfy chairs arranged near panoramic views of the city and the Grand Arcade, its perfect for people watching or gazing out over the city. Its even got a reasonably priced cafe!
Another great thing is the online resources – they’ve got access to a lot of on-line databases, some of which they had before, but weren’t obvious. they’ve done a lot of work publicising them, both through large TV adverts in the library, and info on the website. Via the website, once you have your PIN and barcode, you can access a lot of these resources from anywhere. The on-line library includes access to a subset (I don’t know how much of a subset but it seemed fairly large) of the OReilly Safari online site, which is pretty cool.
Incidentally, I found out about the library reopening from thier Twitter feed. Excellent & well done to the Librarians and the City Council!