I decided to go to the library in Billingham as I hadn't been before. Although Billingham is close to where I live it is not in County Durham as we are but in Stockton-on-Tees. I often pass the library on the roundabout but I didn't think that was the main one as the sign outside says Roseberry Library. So I looked up other libraries in Stockton / Billingham and found that Billingham library is Bedale Avenue. It is on a housing estate and the building houses other priority services.
It is a interesting brick building - 1940's? and inside was really great. There are wooden book shelves, old radiators and large windows and it feels very appealing and welcoming. The feel of the place is colourful and lots of books arranged in ways that draw you in. A good fiction selection and smaller displays of new books, books for good reads and book clubs etc.. There was information about events and initiatives eg World Book Night.
There was a children's section and a small computer section. The library was busy with children and adults. The staff were brilliant and very helpful and supportive to users. They were friendly and very efficient. I decided to join the library and the librarian was very informative and explained what I needed to know - I was impressed.
(the only thing was that I felt a bit guilty as I think it must be obvious that I'm looking round with a purpose - I try to take photos surreptitiously but I think I'm going to have to explain in future as I don't want librarians/library assistants to think I'm inspecting them).
Next I went to Roseberry Library which is on the main road roundabout coming into the town. Billingham is a typical concrete car park & shopping centre but is quite alright. They have nice flower displays. The library has a good fiction selection and non fiction and books about local history etc. There is a reference section accessed by a spiral staircase. Wooden bookshelves again, great posters and displays. Staff friendly.
I liked the retro feel of the place and I think that councils should promote and use that to attract different sectors of the community. They are great buildings and there is a demand for retro furniture and items such as records from the 50's and 60's. It would be a good venue for a party.
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