The priority for me when visiting a new town or city is to visit their Good Beer Guide pubs, check the quality of the Greggs (which rarely disappoints) and then just have a little meander into their library. You can tell a lot about a town or city by the state of its library…..
And this is a rather lovely library, above is the local history section which had what I’d consider to be an above average selection of books about the area. The library was also peaceful, which is what I think is essential, although many visitors don’t with their ringing phones, shouting and playing music. Chesterfield wasn’t too bad in this regard and the atmosphere was clean and comfortable.
I visited the library twice, as once is never enough for buildings such as this, with the second visit having the additional excitement of six police officers rushing in to arrest someone. I initially hoped that they were arresting someone who had been excessively loud in a library, which I consider to be a capital crime, but I don’t think that was the purpose of the police’s visit on this occasion.
The building is spacious and feels modern, although it dates back to the mid 1980s. Before then, the library was located in part of what is now Chesterfield Museum and Art Gallery, with the museum keeping a book trolley as a little memento of that time.