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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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5. A bistro

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

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6. A store

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

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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.

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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.

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Or this former Ford Falcon in Argentina.

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