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A gem is dulled

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Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 47,086
reviews: 14
A gem is dulled

From Saturday's Guardian: 'Historical haven for East End's great and good closes its doors forever'. Visit www.guardian.co.uk and put Whitechapel Library in the search box for the excellent article. Evidently the library building will become part of the (wonderful) Whitechapel Gallery, but the library itself will metamorphose into something called an Idea Store (I am not making this up), with its biggest plus a location in front of Sainsbury's.

No further comment needed.

London, UK
posts: 5,445
reviews: 7
1. Re: A gem is dulled

...except Bloody Typical.

It's a fantastic building. Full of character & an essential resource to generations of poorer East End children looking to stretch their horizons through education.

Although it may seem quaint & old fashioned to the current generation, it's a living example of how determination & effort can pay off.

Idea Store !

Toronto ON
posts: 676
reviews: 19
2. Re: A gem is dulled

Idea stores cater to people who have none of their own. The Boxing Day Sale should be quite special.

Cheshire UK
posts: 866
reviews: 2
3. Re: A gem is dulled

Perhaps the best Idea would be to take their Idea Store somewhere else and leave this beautiful building to continue to provide its worthwhile service!!

What next?? I shudder to think! :(

Destination Expert
for London
posts: 34,355
reviews: 27
4. Re: A gem is dulled


Are you sure that's not a misprint and they are erecting (I can't say building) an Ikea store there?!

London UK
posts: 479
reviews: 1
5. Re: A gem is dulled

Aargh I had a longer post but it disappeared when I pressed the send button. So very briefly:

Before we kick off an anti-Idea Store campaign, it might be worth looking here:


It's still a library, but much more besides, with expanded collections of audio and visual and multimedia. Whitechapel is one of the most deprived areas in Western Europe, let alone the UK, where many kids (and their families) lack facilities at home that we would take for granted (including PC access).

Yes, it’s sad to see the old building go - I used to work over the road, and went to the library regularly - but the replacement is designed by David Adjaye, one of the young stars of British architecture, and will become a local landmark.

You just have to look at the reception the locals gave the rebuilt Peckham Library to realise the potential pulling power of the building itself. If, by going to the Idea Store, kids from Tower Hamlets are able to start using their imaginations and unlocking their potential, then it doesn't matter what the place is called.

Mind you, the Idea Store... surely they could have done better than that?! ;o)

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 47,086
reviews: 14
6. Re: A gem is dulled

Capo, you're right, it's partly a matter of semantics, but still...

I wonder if the Walking Filofaxes are thinking that if the new place is called a Library, the people in Tower Hamlets will flee from it, but be more drawn to an Idea Store - if so, the (the WFs) should have done a bit more homework. If people want to seek out books, magazines or videos, or find a place to do research, they'll find it even if it's called Portal to Doom or some such. Makes me think of the library on Shoe Lane in the City, hidden behind corners and down a very quietly marked lift....

Agree competely that Whitechapel and TH need books, encyclopaedias, reference materials, computer access terminals - and lots of them. I shall refrain from commenting on the new IS until I get a look at it - next trip to London, promise.

somewhere out there
posts: 6,084
7. Re: A gem is dulled

THe Idea Store does sound good. I wish they would get an idea in their heads up here and do something about the pathetic excuse for a library we have.

posts: 23
8. Re: A gem is dulled

The introduction of the Idea Store in Whitechapel is an excellent move by LBTH - the two Idea Stores already in existence in Bow and Chrisp Street have done fantastically in providing learning facilities for local residents and I am looking forward to the one in Whitechapel being opened. I work about two minutes from the site of the new store and not only is it an attractive and modern building (which can only improve the look of the area), it will also provide much needed facilities for the community.

At first I was baffled as to why TravellerPlus thought it was such a poor idea, but having read the posts it seems that there has been some confusion as to what an Idea Store actually is - no, not some shoddy Swedish economy priced naff furniture superstore......!

9. Re: A gem is dulled

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Removed on: 11:15 am, September 26, 2005