Saturday, 11 October 2008

The library of the future!

The cutting edge 'imaginary St James Street Library'.

These are exciting times for public libraries:

Andy Burnham, the Secretary of State for Culture, will today launch a consultation on changing the face of libraries which he believes are out of touch.Under the proposals, libraries could install coffee franchises, book shops and film centres. Noise bans will also be reviewed.

But as usual the London Borough of Waltham Forest is ahead of the game, as this exciting ‘imaginary library’ shows. With perfect timing the Council arbitrarily shut down St James Street Library on All Fools Day, 2007. This was part of the council’s exciting scheme to get rid of between 60,000 and 160,000 books. The library is now derelict, which benefits the environment as it no longer uses electricity.

Sadly there are a few troublesome locals still wedded to the outmoded notion of ‘books’. These dinosaurs don't seem to realise that the council is still investing heavily in fiction, with its popular fantasy series wfm, which follows the adventures of a group of ecstatically happy people who cannot believe their good fortune to find themselves living in a utopia known as 'the London Borough of Waltham Forest', where even mattresses are provided for the benefit of local people who suddenly feel the need to lie down and 'sleep it off' (below).

By 'the imaginary library' this attractive outside seating area (below) provides a focal point of attraction for diverse community activities, ranging from meetings of youth groups and late night choir practice to a lively local book club (details below). All photos taken yesterday.

Here, over a little light refreshment, book club members meet on a regular basis to discuss their favourite works of modern fiction. The next meeting will discuss this classic title: