Ampthill Library – Ampthill, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

Photo: View from Ampthill Park, Bedfordshire

Credit: © Copyright pam fray and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.(CC BY- SA  2.0)

Author: Andy Foster

An avid traveler with interests as varied as quizzing and soccer, it is not surprising that Andy Foster is also a lover of libraries. Andy worked at British Aerospace for some years, before deciding that his abilities could  be put to  better use as a teacher. This decision turned out to be a blessing for many hundreds of his students at Cranfield University’s Department of Air Transport who benefit not just from his passion for aviation and his accessibility, but also from his eagerness to help students stay connected to each other and to their alma mater.


Ampthill Library Photo Credit: Andy Foster

Ampthill Library
Photo Credit: Andy Foster

I used libraries when I was a youngster growing up in Fleet, Hampshire, and then Bedford, Bedfordshire. I hope others will post about those libraries but if not I will later.   But this one is the  Ampthill library, which is in the town where I live. Ampthill library is described as “A community lending library with a collection of fiction and non-fiction books for children, teenagers and adults, DVDs and audiobooks for borrowing as well as free computer use” (Culture 24 website)
My family has made extensive use of the library. When the children were young we would take them to toddler mornings so that they could enjoy stories and playing with other children. As they got older and their ability to choose their own books increased, they would walk to the the library and find what they wanted to read. During the summer holidays the local council run libraries hold a reading challenge which encourages children to read more. Some of the other activities for children are: Continue reading


Linen Hall Library – Belfast, Northern Ireland

Image: Old Linen Hall, Belfast in the site of the City Hall
Author: Annu Koshy
Linen Hall LibraryLinen Hall Library- one would miss its entrance if you are not a book lover; though it is situated in the heart of the city. I call it the  hidden gem of Belfast
The Linen Hall Library is a unique institution. It was founded in 1788 by a group of artisans as the Belfast Reading Society and in 1792 became the Belfast Society for Promoting Knowledge. The society adopted a resolution in 1795 “that the object of this Society is the collection of an extensive Library, philosophical apparatus and such products of nature and art as tend to improve the mind and excite a spirit of general enquiry”
 So it continues to do, 226 years later, to this day.

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Painswick Library – Painswick, Gloucestershire

Photo Credit: Jay Nair

Author: Jay Nair

 It was a beautiful April weekend in 2009. Everywhere you turned, the spread before you was awash in the resplendent magic of spring. I trudged into the library building, having spent much of the morning wandering around and soaking in the idyllic sights of Painswick, “Queen of the Cotswolds”, with little sense of purpose or direction (very much in tune with the spirit of the land). There weren’t many people inside, just two or three. It was a warm and cosy little place, the way a library should be in a picture-perfect village of yellow limestone houses and a population of 3000 tucked away among rolling green hills in the pristine English countryside. As I stood there sifting through the flyers, maps and newsletters on a low shelf near the entrance, I felt the icy cold of a glare from the old lady behind the counter fall on me. Was I doing something I shouldn’t be doing? Continue reading