The rebirth of Maida Vale Library

“You’re opening again. Thank goodness!
I’ve really missed having my local library.”

In a feat of ingenuity, teamwork and sheer hard graft, Maida Vale Library has reopened this week!

As regular users will know, the library had to close unexpectedly in June this year because of faults found in the roof structure. After extensive surveys by engineers, it was determined that repairs would take until at least April 2013. It was also decided at this point – early August – that it would be possible to house a temporary library service in the basement, and work began to make this happen.

Testing the technology and finding homes for the books, not very long before reopening... eek!

Testing the technology and finding homes for the books, not very long before reopening… eek!

It’s been a busy month!

In less than four weeks all the stock has been removed from shelves, shelving dismantled, existing furniture removed from the basement (and the Schools Library Service removed to another temporary location), new power sources and data sockets installed, new partitions built, computers set up, seating and tables arranged, shelving reassembled and shelves restocked. The final stage – from empty room to fully functioning library, took just five days. As you might imagine, it went to the wire…

But Maida Vale now has a library worthy of the name. And when the first customers returned on Tuesday morning, they were all delighted with what they found:

“Oh, it’s really nice.
It’s a lot smarter than I was expecting!”

Here are some pictures (click on them to see bigger versions):

“It’s so nice to have my local library back!”

And it’s so nice to be back. See you soon.

[with thanks to Andrea, Eric and Gordon]


12 responses to “The rebirth of Maida Vale Library

  1. Thanks, great blog! Good to be back!


  2. Well done. That’s great news. A temporary library is much better than no library at all.


  3. Well done guys for all your hard work a real credit


  4. Good work! I look forward to visiting the library soon.


  5. Thanks very much for your efforts -was really missing the local library..!


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  7. Hooray! Glad to hear the library is open again.


  8. Thanks everyone for your nice comments – lovely to know the library was missed, and very relieved that it’s back too.


  9. Pingback: Putting Maida Vale Library back on the map! | Books & the City

  10. Hi there, wondering round about when the Maida Vale library opened.. it’s an older looking building on the outside?? Thanks


    • Hello Krystal. Maida Vale Library opened as a library in September 1948, but the building is older – it’s a former Methodist church which was built in the 1870s. The design is quite typical of Methodist churches built in that period.


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