Thursday, April 29, 2021

Something About the Bristol Central Library

Still booked.

Are there travelers out there who, when visiting other towns or cities, enjoy stopping by the local library? I suspect for some it may be akin to visiting a historical society archive or museum, a way to catch a glimpse of the city's character in some shape or form. Granted, not every library has local displays on the ready and sometimes – as I’ve noticed – the only local character one finds is the community bulletin board announcing auctions or estate sales.

Not so much at the Bristol Central Library. I like to think Johnny and his friends might have stopped in here during their visit during The Secret of the Underground Room (1990). Further, I like to think John Bellairs likely visited, too, in his six months of living in Bristol.

The building is on the south side of College Green and built following a bequest to replace Bristol's old public library building. The library has two basement levels creating five visible stories on the southern side and only three stories are visible to the north. A western extension was built in 1967. Inside, exhibition space is available in the main entrance hall and the reference library is on the first floor. The ground floor next to the entrance hall contains the Lending Library. Above it is the Reference Library Reading Room, whose space includes the first floor and two tiers of galleries. Next to the Reading Room is the Bristol Room, which contains antique furniture and fittings brought from the old library’s reading room in King Street.

Part of me wonders if they have a copy of The Secret of Underground Room, similar to the copy of The Spell of the Sorcerer’s Skull (1984) in the Vinalhaven, Maine, library.

1 comment:

Jean said...

Well, I certainly always like to see the local libraries on a trip...but then, I'm a librarian!