Hammersmith Library is set for a £2m revamp and will become the permanent home of the borough’s archives.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council has announced plans to take the best elements of the 1905 Grade II listed Hammersmith Library and combine it with the modern feel of the new and hugely popular Shepherds Bush Library (below).
Shepherds Bush Library opened at Westfield in September 2009 and has enjoyed success in a time when library usage across the country is falling.
The Shepherds Bush service is branded as ‘More than a Library!’ because it offers residents a variety of services under one roof. The council wants to apply that ethos to Hammersmith Library, on Shepherds Bush Road.
Work is likely to begin before the end of the year and improvements will include self-service terminals, Wi-Fi, and general refurbishment.
The borough’s archives and local studies collection are currently housed at the Lila Huset on Talgarth Road, for which the lease expires in 2016. The council intends that the archives will be housed at the refurbished Hammersmith Library, with greatly increased public access.
The council is putting £340,000 into the scheme, with the remainder funded through Section 106 agreements with Development Securities, the developer of the Hammersmith Grove site, and the developer of the Kings Mall car park site, St George.
Cllr Greg Smith, H&F Council deputy leader, said: “The unprecedented success of the new Shepherds Bush Library goes to show just what can be achieved by modernising library services. We are incredibly excited at the prospect of replicating that ‘More than a Library!’ model at Hammersmith.”
Shepherds Bush Library, situated at Westfield opened in September 2009 and has seen a 300 per cent increase in membership compared to the branch that it replaced. The £2million library was built at zero cost to the taxpayer, as the council stipulated that Westfield would need to build it when planning consent for the shopping centre was granted.