CGI of the proposed new library
The decision follows a comprehensive public consultation earlier this year which showed clear support for a modern new library building, but also prompted some important design changes from the original published plans.
The latest proposals are for a modern three storey library, incorporating an improved children’s section complete with buggy parking space, enlarged study accommodation, self-service kiosks, upgraded computer and digital learning areas and a coffee and drinks outlet next to the magazines section.
A new library for different times
The existing library building that fronts Northcote Road is now nearly 50 years old and was built at a time when library services were much more limited in their scope. Its design is outdated by modern standards, it offers restricted and inflexible space for shelving, no space for computers on the ground floor, suffers poor ventilation and lacks natural light. It also has inadequate disabled access, no space for prams or buggies and unsatisfactory toilet and baby changing facilities.
The new library building will also incorporate a separate community centre for use by local groups, including a nursery. It will also create a new business suite on its second floor offering small businesses and the self-employed state-of-the-art communications technologies, adaptable work spaces and meeting rooms for hire.