Canterbury Library

We visited Canterbury Library and it is a really impressive building and service.
The Library is in fact the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge and consists of an Art Gallery, Library and Visitor Information Centre.

The ground floor has the art gallery museum and then the library is upstairs.  There is a great cafe on the ground floor too.

The library is well stocked and the shelving is bright, clean and well signed.  It is easy to find the books that you are looking for.  The space is appealing and useful.

It is an excellent example of an historic building retaining it’s period features and history and being part of the changing society within a city.  The library sits well as an integrated service and space with the art gallery, cafe and other facilities.


Rye Library, Sussex

Rye Library is on the main High Street in Rye.  We were visiting Rye as I wanted to see where the E. F. Benson Mapp and Lucia novels were based.  Unfortunately Lamb House was not open on the day we visited.  It is a very picturesque town and we had a walk round the church and some of the shops.

The Library is called the Library and Community Help Point and is modern and bright inside.  There is a good selection of books fiction and non fiction and audio books and DVDs. The children’s section has ‘information’ which I thought was good signage.
They have self-service kiosks.  They also have a scheme where you can buy a bag and 4 books.

Canterbury Cathedral Library and Archives

Canterbury Cathedral Library was one of those that I sort of got into but not enough to take any good photos or have a good look round.  We were looking round the Cathedral which is beautiful – a bit like York Minster but not as awesome as Durham Cathedral and spotted signs and a door to the Library.  So needless to say went in and then stood there gazing around.  It was only small and there were people in there looking at books and other materials.  Then a librarian came along and chatted to us and told us all about the Library and the Archives.  Nearly all the materials are held in closed stacks and then brought out on request for people to consult and refer to you.  They have a wide range of historical materials about the Cathedral and about Canterbury city.  You can make an appointment to use the Reading Room.


Freemasons Museum and Library, London

The Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London is well worth a visit.  I had found out about it when I was researching libraries to visit in London that were either unusual or less well known.  I found this Time Out article and so we decided to add it to the list of places to investigate.  It is easy to get to as it is centrally located in Great Queen’s Street and is an imposing building.  It is very grand inside but the staff there were very welcoming and helpful.  It is possible to have guided tours of the building and other areas, but we just looked round the Museum and Library.

The exhibition was very interesting and explained the history of Freemasonry.  The artefacts in the Museum were fascinating and it gave an insight into social history as well as freemasonry.  There were photos and books in the library and places to study and read.  The books are all reference only and many are unique and valuable.