The 2-year palaver redoing Manchester's main library has, alas, not been a success. The old building's best feature - the elegant round reading room - has been lost. Instead, we have a mishmash of facilities, including an inadequate range of periodicals located 3 floors apart. Many of the books are disorganised, with travel books , for example, spread about an entrance lobby in no particular order. The reservation system is no better than before, with many interesting books listed which for unknown reasons one cannot reserve. A cheesey cafe offers wasted space and a very limited range of food. A huge amount of money spent for a large step backwards, but then that is Britain's public sector today.
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