This design revisits the traditional notion of a library as a repository for, and a place to enjoy, books. Externally, the block interface contributes to a streetscape open to multiple social activities. The courtyard morphology is carefully considered and shows how it can provide variety both of scale and function. With enticing interior spaces, formed by skilful deployment of the basic elements of roof, floors, walls and staircase, the library exudes respect for its contents and its readers – which should foster beneficial relationships between them. Crisp detailing helps turn a prosaic experience into something special.