Today I have visited Swindon’s new Central Library. Like some others, I was rather underwhelmed. The building is impressive and is very light and airy inside. But whilst the new building may be a fine permanent replacement for the not-as-temporary-as-they-should-have-been portable cabins it replaced, inside it all looks rather temporary.
That lightness and airiness are mainly a result of the bookcases all being low-height, light-weight and on casters. It gives the impression that someone might wheel them all away at any moment. It was quite quiet and library-like… except for some of the librarians who clearly didn’t feel the need to mimic the hushed tones of their customers. Finally, the local history collection within the reference section was very good. ’Tis a pity that there’s almost nowhere to sit and read from said collection.
Swindon’s new Central Library is well worth a visit, but not as well worth a visit as it could have been.