Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Ex Libris

Three years ago, Cambridge Central Library closed its door to the public, and promised to be open again as soon as possible. I was a student then, with little time for reading books other than for my course so I barely noticed its disappearance. But when James and I moved back to Cambridge, we were sad to note that the library was still closed. Both he and I are avid readers, but James is such a quick, voracious reader, that without a steady supply of new material, he suffers severe withdrawal symptoms! We frequented the library in Ely whenever we were moored there, as well as the poorly stocked library van that parked in the market square two days a week. We even resorted to bookswapping, to try and keep fresh reading matter flowing! But it was not enough, really, and a despondent James read and re-read the books we have on the boat.

So, when the library finally reopened its doors on the 29th September, we were delighted. I kept up with the progress of the refurbishment using the library's twitter feed: @camcentral. It is a huge, hi-tech library, on three floors in the centre of town with automatic check-in and check-out using RF tags on the books. It has wifi, loads of computer terminals, a cheap, tasty cafe and a large collection of books. There is even a film library where you can watch anything from the vast BFI catalogue in booths using headphones. We were very impressed when we visited on Saturday, and will be returning. Frequently!

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