Welcome to the Upper Norwood Library Trust

Upper Norwood Library by Richard Calvert

We aim to keep you informed about what is happening with the Trust and local authorities (Lambeth and Croydon who fund the library) and we want to hear from you about what you want and need from the Trust.

Building works

While the refurbishment of the library hub continues we thought you might like to see the artist impressions of how it might look when the work is completed.  The pictures have been created by the talented Tim Sharville of Gunpowder Studios.

Historic Moment

Exactly 116 years after the Upper Norwood Library opened – on July 4, 1900 – responsibility for the building was handed over to the Upper Norwood Library Trust.

At 8.30pm the keys to the building were handed over by Susanna Barnes, on behalf of Lambeth Council, to Laura Wright, Chair of the Upper Norwood Library Trust.

Susanna Barnes hands over the keys to the library building on behalf of Lambeth Council to Laura Wright, Chair of the Trust.

Susanna Barnes hands over the keys to the library building on behalf of Lambeth Council to Laura Wright, Chair of the Trust.

The Upper Norwood Library and Community Hub will operate from July 5, 2016 and the Community Hub Directors, Margaret Adjaye and Emily Jewell, and their team will be joined by familiar faces from the Lambeth Library team.

Joint statement from Upper Norwood Library Trust and Lambeth Council

Upper Norwood Library Trust and Lambeth Council are pleased to be able to provide an update on the negotiations around Upper Norwood Library.

From early July this year, Upper Norwood Joint Library (UNJL) building will be run by the Upper Norwood Library Trust – members of the local community who have a real passion and commitment to the library.

The Trust and Lambeth Council have been talking for years about how best to transfer the library to the community and, while it has at times been a frustrating process, the vision for the future now looks bright.

Lambeth Council and the Upper Norwood Library Trust are confident that the new arrangement will provide a great service hosted by, and run for, the local community in Upper Norwood – and at a more sustainable cost to the council, which is facing severe budget pressures.

The Trust will be working to develop a range of cultural and educational activities in the building, which aim to engage the whole community, an endeavour which is being joint funded by both Lambeth and Croydon councils to the tune of £85,000 each.

The library service will still be managed by Lambeth with Lambeth’s library staff providing 35 hours of library staff cover per week for two years, with a review after a year. This is what the Trust has requested to be able to complete their business model and will assist the Trust whilst they establish the new service.

It is proposed that the library will have a very similar book stock as now, operate in much of the same space and host regular community activities such as the popular Waggle and Hum – as it always has.

Money has also been set aside by Lambeth and Croydon to improve the condition of the building – we will provide more news on those improvements within the next month.

Laura Wright, Chair of Upper Norwood Library Trust said “We’re absolutely delighted to have secured a level of professional library staffing within the building over the next two years and thank Lambeth for their desire to support our vision of a thriving community hub with a brilliant library at its heart. We know that both authorities are battling with austerity measures and so we are delighted with this outcome. We will continue to work on behalf of the local community to create a vibrant place for the community to enjoy, with not only a staffed library but new cultural and educational activities”.

You Can Become a ‘Library Legend’.

You can help write the next chapter of the story of your library. This is how:

  • Donate the cost of a cup of coffee or more, once a week
  •  Join the Upper Norwood Library 100 club (First Edition) and pledge £100 a year – that’s £1.92 per week
  • Become a volunteer and use your skills to help the library

Our vision

  • A library and community hub, with cultural, and educational opportunities for our local community, fit for the 21st century.

How can we make it work financially?

  • Limited local authority financial support
  • Both local authorities have promised £85,000 for the next two years.
  • The building will be in good repair
  • The Trust will fundraise, apply for grants and generate revenue to raise the money to sustain a thriving library and community building in Crystal Palace

What will it look like?

The whole of the ground floor will remain, more or less, as it is, with the same level of book stock.

Lambeth Coucil will provide library staff for 35 hours per week the equivalent of a full time librarian.

The Trust will use the building to develop revenue and grant generating ideas and space for local community activities.


We continue to negotiate

Like so many of you, we are disappointed by Lambeth Council’s decisions on library provision across the borough but we understand the tremendous financial pressures they are under and the difficult decisions they have has to make.

We have been patiently negotiating for the past two years to keep the library open in these challenging times.

Inevitably, it cannot be exactly as it was before. Indeed, we welcome the fact that the Trust will be free to open for longer hours, introduce new activities and create new revenue generating activities so that Upper Norwood Library has a secure and sustainable future. In fact, we have already funded a number of pilot courses in the library, before taking over responsibility for the building, which have proved a great success.

Our long behind the scene negotiations have secured a properly stocked and professionally staffed library which will be supported by a variety of revenue generating and funded activities run by the Trust’s staff and volunteers.

We have lots of ideas but are keen to hear yours on how we can raise funds and make sure the library is sustainable for the long term.

So, what’s next?

More than ever, we need your support.  Some of you may have been involved in the Save the Library Campaign, or volunteered to help and in the early days of the Trust, and you, like us, will have been frustrated by the lack of momentum.

We need to fundraise and we need your skills to support the Trust’s activities.

Registered charity number 1151668.

Website by: Gunpowder Studios