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Peckham Library

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Published March 27th 2011
Libraries aren't always staid affairs, staffed by elderly ladies keen to enforce the rules.

Take Peckham library for instance. Open since March 2000, its funky exterior helped it to win a prestigious design award (the Stirling Award for architectural innovation).

The intention of the library's design was to impress people from the outside as they walked down the street, to make them wonder what it might be like on the inside.

So banish from your mind all preconceptions of libraries as dull, dry and boring places. Peckham library is not your usual library.

OK, let's get the blindingly obvious out of the way first there are lots of books in Peckham library. Right, now we can move on.

They also have free wi-fi, so you can go along with your mobile device or laptop and surf the web, or read an ebook in a comfy atmosphere.

If you're of a communal bent, you'll be interested to know they have an Adult Reading Group where you can go along and meet other like-minded bookworms. The reading group meets on the last Tuesday of each month, from 6.30pm to 8pm.

The library is also great for students (or anyone for that matter) who need a quiet place to study, with 70 studying spaces available.


Youngsters should investigate the Teenage Reading Group, for 12 to 16 year olds. There's lots here to engage the teenage reader, from creative writing workshops to the opportunity to pen some articles for magazines. This would be a great way for anyone interested in a career in journalism to get some valuable writing experience.

The Teenage Reading Group also hosts authors who come and talk about their work, or about how to get started as an author, with useful tips on the best way to get published.

In a time when austerity measures threaten many of the country's public libraries, it's now more important than ever to show our support for local facilities. Peckham library is an outstanding local resource. If you've not visited it up to now, be sure to check it out.

It's truly a 21st century kind of library.
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Why? Because if you don't use it, you might lose it.
When: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am to 8pm; Wednesday 10am to 8pm; Saturday 10am to 5pm; Sunday 12pm to 4pm.
Where: Peckham library, 122 Peckham Hill Street, London SE15 5JR
Cost: Free.
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