My mother still lives in Tamworth, Staffs where I was born and raised and she always saves me interesting stuff from the local paper. I think most local newspapers have a section these days which focuses on the history of their particular area and the Tamworth Herald is no exception.
Because of the interest in libraries lately they took the opportunity to give a brief history of how they came about and how the one in Tamworth developed. Nowadays it's housed in a modern building but in the past it has been located in several different sites.
In the early days most libraries had a Reading Room. Tamworth's had a big open fire and was furnished with comfy armchairs. Apparently they were so comfortable that people would go in for a nice warm nap and so the armchairs had to go. On another occasion it was reported that 'single gentlemen of the borough, having done their washing, were using the Reading Room as a drying area, leaving items of personal clothing scattered around'. This, of course, was sternly discouraged.
Ah, those were the days...