The refurbished Customs House at Circular Quay opened in 2005. It's an imposing building dating from 1845, which houses a library, exhibition space, offices and at the top, Café Sydney. The ghost of a convict who was hanged on the site supposedly roams the premises proffering rum to passers-by; no one offered me a drink of any kind, but a helpful librarian told me that the building, though aesthetically very pleasing with its recurrent themes of red, white and black, interesting modern features, lamps, curves, computers, onsite coffee bar ("Young Alfred"), swastikas on the marble (with a handy plaque explaining that use of the fylfot pre-dates the Nazis' appropriation of it), ongoing exhibitions on Sydney architecture/Italian grocers/the magic of Shanghai, and last but not least a scale model of the Sydney CBD under glass, is a failure as a library. The architects responsible for the ambitious refurbishment didn't give any consideration to its use as such, and it is, like the swanky new Surry Hills Library, "a stressful place to work" as a result. No wonder Queen Victoria looks so stern from her vantage point above the portico.