In the Library

The library is one large first floor open-plan space. At this end of it, in the reference section, six tables: four uniquely shaped allow pairing to make two octagonals; the other two – rectangles – form a square). Purple chairs surround all three arrangements. Purple is the theme here: chairs (soft and hard), shelf signs, noticeboards. I sit at one of the octagonal arrangements; ahead and to my right, the librarians’ work station from which a constant stream of chatter seems to omit, either with patrons or between the staff themselves.

If we forget books for the moment, ahead of me are three pillars; clustered around each are six computer workstations appropriately numbered: 13-to-18 are nearest, 1-to-6 furthest away. Immediately to my right, a bookcase filled with blue lever-arch reference folders; away to the left an array of various drawers which are home to maps, documents, index cards.

Shelves hug the wall pretty much all the way around the space, with a number of free-standing / mobile shelving units breaking up the remainder of the library. In the far right corner from where I sit, although the children’s section is obscured by the mobile shelving, it is given away by the plethora of things suspended from the ceiling. Just at the minute hot air balloons seem to predominate. In front of the kids’ section, an area for CDs and graphic novels, plus the entrance to the staff / storage areas.

At the top of each section of shelving, a purple sign with white lettering. Starting from the left I can see: Reference – Local Studies Lending – Religion – True Crime – Customs and Folklore – Travel – Books in other languages – Poetry – Maps – Sport – Audio Books on CD – Large Print Fiction – Reading Well – New Books (red lettering in captials on white!). All the fiction is contained in the far left-hand quadrant of the library, currently hidden from me thanks to ‘Travel’ through ‘Sport’. I can see the edge of the fiction section via a number of rotating displays which house some of the library’s paperbacks.

I have books on the shelves in both ‘Poetry’ and ‘Fiction’ sections (under ‘G’ and on those rotating displays). And this is where I work twice a week…

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