In a first for London, visitors to the library will not only have access to some 40,000 books, music CDs & films but will also have spaces to host theatre performances and evening courses.
From January, local citizens will be able to access council services such as benefits and council tax help. They’ll also be able to take in the amazing views of the historic Canada Water basin, which it overhangs.
The library’s wi-fi network, with nearly 30 laptops available for hire, reflects the growing trend towards the ‘library as living room’ ethos. Across Southwark’s libraries members currently clock up more than 10,000 hours of internet use each month on their wi-fi network alone.
Cllr Veronica Ward, cabinet member for culture, leisure, sport and the Olympics at Southwark Council commented at the opening:
“The new Canada Water library is the latest chapter in Southwark Councils library programme. It is going to be a hub for the whole community. It’s a unique building that offers opportunities for learning, cultural activities and social events and will form the heart of a new planned town centre. We have worked with Capita to deliver our IT solutions as the library is self-service, fully wi-fi enabled and offers a full range of online resources.”
Renowned architect Piers Gough commented that the new library was “a small site with a hugely ambitious library” and that “libraries still hold the capability to take you to other realms”.