The Barbican Library
The Corridor of Light
I meet a forty-something blue collar guy from Edmonton, who spluttering, tells me that he canít swing a cat in the bed-sit he lives in. He works in Tottenham and comes all the way into the Barbican, often twice a week, just so he can do his paper work and bills. He always comes after work so finds the late nights useful. He says he likes the Barbican because he can spread all his papers out.
Bedsitter looking for space to swing a cat.
The left hand corridor of the Barbican Library is traversed by small sets of shelves, home to various periodicals and newspapers. Itís most endearing and unique aspect is its juxtaposition to the only windows in the library. Peace and tranquility flood in with the light, and contrasts with the stuffiness of the rest of the library.

When the windows are open on a warm day, you can hear the water features on the estate and admire the post-modern architecture creeping above the modernist horizon of the Barbican estate.

There are several clusters of soft seats where people sit down, take a rest and immerse themselves in journals they might never otherwise read.

Iím walking past a guy sat on one of the soft seats. Heís in his early thirties, in three quarters of a world of his own, and as he catches me walking past in the corner of his eye, he looks up at me. I immediately attempt to divert my gaze as I notice he is vigorously scratching his testicles (through his trousers). Unfortunately our eyes meet for a split second, and before weíve even fully comprehended what weíve both comprehended, we look away and pretend it never happened.

Towards the back of the corridor of light there is an assembly of large tables, where people can spread out and do their work. Thereís a gentle breeze flowing through the window, and an elderly lady in an orange suit flicks through some papers; a man in his late thirties sat at the far end of the assembly of desks, doing some kind of research coughs. The lady lets out a small laugh, and then another.

The varnished tables are like a sea of wood. We donít need all this space but we love it - thereís more than enough.




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Barbican Library Videos Barbican Library Links Other Library Links


Brutally Cemented Into The Future

Hiding From the Bibliotheque Hunters

The Guts of the Library

Are You Contented?

Plugged Into The Matrix

The Corridor of Light

Thank-You For The Music

International Arts Centre v Community Library

Peter Boxer: Library Reading Groupie

Barry Cropper: Head of Library 1981 to 1995

John Lake: Head of Library 1995 to Present Day

White Hairs' Wonderland