The City of London has a number of libraries under the City of London Corporation. The Barbican Library is one of three lending libraries in the city (the other two are Shoe Lane Library and Artizan Street Library and Community Centre).
As part of the Barbican Centre, the Barbican Library could offer unique resources typically not found in a public library. For example, theater performances and galleries of artwork exist in the Barbican Centre, thus providing library users with easy access to all forms of culture.
Within the Barbican Library there are two libraries that are considered separate, with their own checkout guidelines.
Upon entering, we took advantage of the comfy children's seating on the floor! As a designated area for children, the Children's Library allows kids with greater freedom to roam and make noise (however the doors cannot be closed due to fire safety reasons and thus some sound will make its way into the main library). The resources available here are for children ages 0-14, and the fiction is separated into age groups.
The Children's Library offers many programs, including story hours, reading groups, crafts, visiting authors and reading mentors. The most interesting service was a delivery service to school libraries. For a fee, schools can receive 300-400 nonfiction books each term to supplement their collection. With this type of service, students will always have access to new and different materials.
The Music Library is one of two remaining music libraries in London, and has the largest collection of CDs in the UK. As a way to support the local community, the Music Library offers a collection of unsigned CDs--and it seems to be the library's most popular section of CDs!
Also offered here are quality resources one could only dream of finding in an academic music library here in the States. There are a large number of professional periodicals and 16,000 scores. Members can also use a practice piano for up to an hour at a time! As a person that has extreme difficulty remembering songs or where they came from, I found the song index in which every song has been indexed to be an invaluable resource.
|Main Barbican Library|
The remainder of the library was a typical public library, with fiction, DVD, nonfiction and local history sections. With the exception of the Children's and Music libraries, the Barbican wasn't too different than the Canterbury and Bath public libraries I saw over the weekend.