Bethnal Green Library is insulated from the busy roads surrounding it thanks to its location on the outskirts of the Bethnal Green gardens.
It gives it a little of a stately feel.
Two children riding puffed-up, plastic bikes were ahead of me, with their mother, and were welcomed into the library by one of staff.
At first, I thought he was going to ask them to take the bikes outside but in the next moment, he was showing them where the ‘parking spaces’ were (in front of the information desk) and so they didn’t get a ticket.
Then he began passing them books out of the children’s library.
The two children ran around in wild abandonment. The happiness of the librarian’s welcome reflected back in their toothy, gaping smiles.
I had to be the annoying person to ask him where I could work on a laptop and what the wifi password was but he broke off from the children to tell me where to go, what the magic word was.
But before I’d turned away, he had already started reading to them.