This is the first library I remember visiting for Story Time when i was about 5. It’s probably the library I’ve had the longest relationship with apart from my current squeeze. My mum used to take us there because I think we were marginally quieter inside and she’d get 5 mins to have a coffee while we drank Panda Pops in the cafe and played in the lift. I remember being given a Bookworm badge by the librarian and thinking ‘Oh, that’s what I am.’
It used to have a cinema room (where we watched Sinbad the Sailor) and an audio library where I borrowed my first Nick Cave tape cassette when I was about 12, so it’s responsible for seminal non-book moments in my life too. And all for pennies.
Significant book memories (misty flashback filter here):
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - inspired Potter-levels of obsession in me for the series. Aslan taught me that a book can make you upset and angry but still love it.
I’m Adopted! - I remember picking this out with trepidation but my mum was totally cool about it.
The Trial - obvs it was some years later that I read my first Kafka, thanks to this library.
The Faerie Queene - ordered this up for my university reading list. The copy they got me had uncut pages which was easily as exciting as Britomart’s adventures.
Because I felt so happy and grounded in this library, whenever I moved to a new place the first thing i did was get my local library card. Thank you, Bedford Central!