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CHAINED BOOKS. Chetham's Library in Manchester, ENGLAND ... ... The oldest free public reference library in the United Kingdom. Estab 1653 under the will of Humphrey Chetham (1580–1653), for the education of "the sons of honest, industrious & painful parents", & a library for the use of scholars. In continuous use since 1653. Operates as an independent charity, open to readers & visitors free of charge. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chetham%27s_Library
Located in Cronulla, a suburb of Sydney, the Old Library building dates from 1908 (it was a Methodist church that was later converted into a library). Owner Mario Kalpou worked with design firm Hecker Guthrie to create a lofty, white-painted vaulted space with fireplace alcoves, industrial lighting, and luxe linen lounge seating. Photographs by Shannon McGrath.