John Havard Library in Southwark
I joined John Havard Library in Southwark and received a very attractive orange card kindly provided by wonderful librarian Helen. Helen told me about the regular story times held in the library which sound amazing especially given the beautiful mural that overlooks the children’s section. The library was thrumming with activity when I joined with students and families chatting in the very cool cafe that sits at the front of the library. All ages could be found on laptops and phones. Whilst waiting to use the loo a gentleman selling the Big Issue asked if I’d like to buy a copy, unfortunately I had no change so our talk turned to the weather. Unusual for London I got a real sense of community here. The library is small but bright, the wood themed cafe looks like it belongs in a magazine and the smell of coffee is strong and delightful in the air. A poster about the history of the area talks of the independent hamlet of Southwark, a once-upon-a-time stopping-off place for travellers before entering London and a hangout for those wishing to avoid the authorities. At 5:30pm on a Friday afternoon not a single table is unoccupied, the library is calm and welcoming with no shortage of smiles. I was very reluctant to leave.