Barnet Council has decided that the historic Hendon Library will remain in its original location and be refurbished, preserving the library’s heritage and traditional features.
The council listened to hundreds of residents who expressed how important the building is to the local community and the history of the area.
Chair of the Community Leadership & Libraries Committee, Cllr Sara Conway said:
"Hendon Library is a public space cherished by so many people and is an important part of our shared heritage as a Borough. We have listened to hundreds of residents who urged the council not to go ahead with plans to move it from its historic home and are delighted to announce that we will now be retaining Hendon library within the listed building.”
Chair of the Housing & Growth Committee, Cllr Ross Houston said:
“Our plans will mean a newly refurbished and revitalised Library, with access to the archives through a Local Studies Service which will open-up a new window into Barnet’s history and heritage for Library users and visitors.
“Local residents have made it clear that they want us to work with them on the development of the Hendon Hub. I know from the North Finchley regeneration in my own ward just how important it is to engage local people in the regeneration of an area, and the partnership board model is the right way to do this.
“We have listened and will be establishing a Partnership Board to ensure local people are engaged with us on this project and can input and help steer its direction so that we work towards an acceptable regeneration in Hendon.”
The refurbished library will continue to hold its Local Studies Service, a unique collection of local historical documents, photographs and rate books dating from 1600 to the present day.
The refurbishment includes preserving the library’s heritage features such as the iconic central staircase and the glazed ceilings of the upper reading rooms.
Built in 1929, Hendon Library occupies an important place in the history of the development of public libraries, with pioneering librarian Eileen Colwell establishing a blueprint for children’s librarianship that is still relevant today.
The council is establishing a Hendon Partnership Board. The forum will provide an opportunity for members of the local community to meet with representatives of the council and work collaboratively to address local issues relating to the development of the Hendon Hub and make a difference on the ground.
The Partnership Board will bring together local people who are passionate about Hendon, would like to represent the views of the wider community and advise on how to best support Hendon’s growth.