The Upper Norwood Library Hub re-opens to the public at 10 am tomorrow (Saturday 15th July) having undergone a major refurbishment.  

At an event in the library on Westow Hill this evening Laura Wright, who chairs the library trustees, told around 80 guests: “This is such an exciting night for us.”

She thanked Croydon and Lambeth councils who have co-funded the refurbishment.

There were thanks for her fellow trustees, for Bryher Scudamore who stepped down as a trustee a couple of weeks ago “but has been absolutely central and essential to the trust. “We wouldn’t be here without her efforts.”

Laura also thanked missing campaigner Robbie Gibson.

“I’d like to remember Robbie Gibson. “He supported many projects but he was passionate about the library and we miss him.”

Among a myriad of thanks there were those for the staff and the library hub co-directors Margaret Adjaye and Emily Jewell.

Laura also thanked “the amazing community in Crystal Palace who have been so supportive of us and really want this to work.

“I hope you use the library, borrowing books, using it for community purposes.

“Whatever your personal politics these are strange times. “All I can say with certainty is that we will be working to ensure the library hub is a huge success and will be here to serve the Crystal Palace community for another 117 years and more.”

Hub co-director Margaret Adjaye said: “We’ve got a unique opportunity to do fantastic things here.”

“Please go out there and spread the word we’ve got this amazing building.”

Co-director Emily Jewell thanked the Lambeth library team who had been working 12 hours a day for the last week. She asked guests to “eat, drink and be merry for toimorrow we open.” (10 am – Ed.)

At tonight’s event music was provided by the Crystal Palace Choir and local author Laura Barnett read from her latest novel ‘Greatest Hits’.

An official press release on the re-opening says: The newly decorated lending library has a wide and up to date range of books and other media with an efficient ordering service for anything not in stock. There is free wi-fi access and computers to use, as well as copying and scanning facilities.

There are different size spaces available for hire, these are suitable for meetings, conferences, learning and educational events, community group activities, for local business use, parties and much more. There are also car park spaces for hire at reasonable rates.

Apart from the regular library reading group and parent and toddler session, there will also be a new coding club, a children’s Chatterbooks group, a teenage debate group, a homework club, a reading for well-being group and the return of the weekly Saturday storytime.

The library hub is also going to be operating community outreach programmes, regular activities for adults and children, and education and volunteering opportunities. There is also the coffee shop which provides healthy food options. More will be added in the future as the service develops.

In partnership with Crystal Palace Transition Town, the library hub is crowdfunding to create a new Library of Things where people can borrow a wide range of items, from a drill or a bike to a guitar or camping equipment, all for a fraction of the normal rental cost.

For further information on services and activities, please email info@unlt.org, visit the library hub website or just pop in and see what’s on offer.


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