I feel out of love with Tumblr because I’m fickle like that. Farewell, Tumblr, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.
However, I am now blogging here instead which I’m sure will come as a great relief to all my non-existent followers.
1. The stock is good. Really good.
Whoever co-ordinates the acquisitions is just about my favourite person in the world right now. I am too poor to buy the new Junot Diaz book, or Hawthorn & Child by Keith Ridgway. Thankfully, the Southwark Library Service has kindly provided. I am no longer consigned trawling listlessly through the Metro on my morning commute and for that I am truly grateful.
2. The staff look kindly upon the technologically inept
They have some fancy new machines at Peckham Library for borrowing and returning your books. As someone who is easily confused I managed to put 50p into the wrong slot, jamming the machine, making it very angry and causing at least 5 librarians to dwell around said machine in total bafflement at how anybody could be quite so stupid as to put money in what may in fact be the library card slot. Fortunately, the staff at Peckham Library are very nice and they still let me back in the building. Occasionally. When supervised.
3. It’s cheap at half the price
Some London boroughs (Hammersmith & Fullham… I’m looking at you…) charge £1.00 for reserving books. Not gold old Southwark, where only 50 pence is required to secure the book of your choice if it’s within the Southwark Library system somewhere. All the books I want to read seem to be stocked by Canada Water and Dulwich, so as a citizen of Camberwell I’m pretty pleased that I don’t have to shell out a pound each time I want to read something. Go Southwark!
4.The online catalogue is completely comprehensible
Unlike the British Library’s catalogue which I will never understand. No matter how many times they try to explain how I can find a volume of a journal I remain utterly puzzled.
Also you can renew and reserve books online which is super convenient if you work full-time.
5. The buildings are beautiful
Peckham Library was famously designed by Will Alsop and is so architecturally awesome that it has won several awards. Special mention goes to the view from the stairwell on the third floor where you can take in a view that includes no lesser London landmarks than the Shard, the London Eye, the BT Tower and, less thrillingly, the Strata building; take the stairs to the fourth floor, where the Library’s located, if you want to enjoy the view.
Camberwell Library is also lovely in its own way, cosy and low-key.
Southwark Library Service, I salute you.
Image of Peckham Library taken from Flickr with thanks to Ellen Forsyth.