A new chapter for Dalston - work on library under way

Work to build a new library and public archive as part of a major development in Dalston is on track, with the state of the art facility due to open next summer (2009).

The library, which will replace the existing CLR James Library, will be more spacious than the current facility and will offer a dedicated study space, community meeting rooms, an enhanced children’s library and will incorporate a café.

The design will serve commuters using the new London Overground station particularly well as the ‘quick picks’ area will allow them to grab a bestseller and issue it themselves and be back at the station within five minutes.

The library will be the largest public library constructed in Hackney since 1907. Hackney Archives, which holds historical documents relating to the history of the borough from the fourteenth century to the present day, will also be located on the site. The archives are open to all and are especially popular with Hackney residents researching the history of their home.

The community facility will be a key part of the new town centre development, which will also include more than 500 new homes, including affordable, social rented housing and homes for sale. There will also be shops, cafes and restaurants.

The library and archive will face on to Dalston Square – the largest new public space to be created in the area for more than 100 years. The square will also house the entrance to the new London Overground station, Dalston Junction, set to open in 2010 as part of the extended East London line.

Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe said: “The new library and public archive will be a valuable facility for our residents, providing a wide range of opportunities to learn, research and visit for pleasure.

“The whole development will bring major investment to the local community, with the borough’s first proper link to the Tube network offering easier access to jobs across London and encouraging more investment into the area. The new homes, open space, shops and restaurants will boost the heart of Dalston.”