Crofton Park Library
The First Floor Ghosts of Carnegie Librarians


Carnegie Libraries are old and a shrinking number are still in use today. I visited a Carnegie library in Walthamstow and found parallels with Crofton Park Library. Whilst both libraries have operating ground floors, albeit patched up, their respective first floors are largely unused. In Crofton Park Library the rooms and corridors of the first floor are empty or strewn with boxes and disregarded books, peeling wall paper and cracked walls. The ghosts of Carnegie librarians float like cobwebs in a barely susceptible breeze, listless and traumatised through neglect. It is difficult to reconcile the gentle hum of life on the ground floor with the loneliness of the first. One hundred years after Carnegie agreed to fund Crofton Park Library on the basis that local authorities would maintain them, the local authority seems to be falling short of its side of the bargain.


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