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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Willesden Library Learning from Brent Civic Centre

The new Willesden Library Centre is now up and running, although it is still just the Library and the rebuilt Brent Museum with a lot of building work continuing in the surroundings (see below).  This is not so different from the early period of Wembley Library which has subsequently become such a great success.  A period of snagging on big projects such as these is inevitable. 

I am glad to see that lessons seem to have been learnt from the early stages of the Civic Centre, with both water dispensers and signage installed from the beginning this time.  The example below is from the lift.  Nonetheless, I think a bit more will have to emerge.  For example, the customer service bit is far from obvious as you come in.  A friend of mine went all the way to the top and down again before finding it on the ground floor.

Many of the lessons from the Civic Centre seem quite slight.  For example, the early stages of Brent Civic Centre problems with light carpets being soiled.  The carpets in Willesden Library Centre are much darker, and I gather they are carpet tiles rather than carpets, which means that darkly stained areas can be more easily removed.  Similarly I understand that the chairs are easier to clean.

That might seem quite trivial, but it can make a big difference to library users.

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