The library card is a passport to wonders and miracles, glimpses into other lives, religions, experiences, the hopes and dreams and strivings of ALL human beings, and it is this passport that opens our eyes and hearts to the world beyond our front doors, that is one of our best hopes against tyranny, xenophobia, hopelessness, despair, anarchy, and ignorance.
The Barbican was pretty typical of a public library. They do have their own children's library room and a whole room dedicated as a music library. The music library was fascinating. Not only did the music library contain two electronic pianos, listening stations, sheet music, reference books, journals, and CDs, it even contained an area for unsigned London artists to leave their music for others to view. My brother is a musician and an avid lover of music. All I could think of the whole time was how much he would love to have this library so close to home! Lucky for him, we do have the USC Music Library at home.
One thing I really love about libraries in London is their promotion of Life Skills. All of the libraries seem very adamant about making sure everyone has adequate training in life skills. These skills can be everything from reading, learning to manage your money, dieting, etc. The Barbican is no different. They have many programs that promote life skills, reading challenges, and really focus on community outreach. I think this can be a great extension of a library as an information center.