Wednesday, 15 July 2009
We visited the Barbican Library which near the St. Paul's Cathedral and is actually considered to be in the city of London. It was a very interesting example of urban renewal in that the area was apparently more run down before World War II. The area was bombed and then rebuilt in a very interesting and innovative way. The Barbican is a complex that includes an art gallery, apartments, restaurants and pubs, gardens and pools of water which make for pleasant strolling, movie theaters, and the library. I really liked this approach, in that the library is integrated into the residential space in a very communal sort of way.
The library had very strong music and children's sections. Many people seemed to be enjoying the space, and it had a very comfortable neighborhood vibe. In some ways it seemed similar to American public libraries, and the organization and layout seemed very intuitive. The library also included a very interesting art exhibit. Overall, the library seemed very successful at furthering its goals of educating and entertaining its patrons.