8 ways to use an unwanted library

Newcastle City Council – like many across the country – is ready to close the book on many of its public libraries. Campaigners in Newcastle have handed in a 5,000-strong petition to prevent the closure of 10 libraries, including Jesmond’s. But ahead of a “save Jesmond library” event tomorrow morning, we thought we’d take a look at the fate of shuttered libraries elsewhere:

1. A bar

Opposite Norwich’s Guildhall and marketplace you’ll find The Library cocktail bar and private dining room, where guests browse the shelves for a Merlot or Manhattan.


2. An operating theatre

In the Filipino city of  Dapitan, surgeons of the Maharlika Mission carry out routine procedures in a converted library building “without sacrificing the standards of sterility, safety, and quality of surgery”.




3. An Indian restaurant

The Cinnamon Club in London aims to “change diners’ perception of Indian food in the UK” in the Grade II listed former Westminster Library.


4. A stylish new home

For £795 p.w, you can rent this three double-bedroom, four-bathroom property, set within a Grade II listed, converted library in fashionable Shoreditch.


5. A bistro

At a converted library building in Chicago’s west town, Branch 27 chefs serve up seared sea scallops and pumpkin ravioli.

Branch 27

6. A store

This building is now home to a branch of Louis in Boston, selling high-end clothing, where once it lent books.


7. Pimp my library

The traditional library van has been given a makover by British designer Cath Kidston, to promote and sell the many objects she decorates with flowers.


8. The library van strikes back

But resourceful communities of bookworms will always find ways to indulge their passion for the printed word – like this phone box in New York.


Or this former Ford Falcon in Argentina.