A picture of the Sheffield Central Library in Surrey Street. It is impressive, monumental even. When you walk through a door of this scale you know that you have arrived somewhere special! It gives a clear message about the status of the institution that you are entering.
At the same time it can be off putting. Access of course is a problem (there is an alternative entrance for wheel chair & push chair users which is clearly signed) but also the very formality of the entrance must put some people off. Today, shops and public buildings tend to have large glass windows so you can see what is inside and to entice the passer-by into the building.
The building is due (long overdue) for internal restructuring and there have been proposals in the past for a new central library, none of which have come to anything. For a city that has created a new image for itself on the back of public building projects (Millennium Gallery, Winter Gardens, Peace Gardens) it seems a shame that the public library has been neglected.