Scheme gives Hammersmith & Fulham residents access to over one million library books


The One Library Card programme was launched on Wednesday.


By Cyrus Engineer

A new scheme, which provides Hammersmith & Fulham residents with access to over one million books across three London boroughs, was launched this week.

The One Library Card programme, launched on Wednesday, allows residents, workers and students in H&F, Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea to access any of the 21 public libraries across the three boroughs.

The councils agreed the plan last year in a bid to save money and at the same time boost library usage.

H&F Council Leader Cllr Nicholas Botterill said: “This ‘library passport’ means that West London residents can now access more free books than they could ever have dreamt of.”

Indeed the One Library Card means that a one-year-old born in H&F who lived to 81, the average life span, would need to read at least 26 books every day of his life to get through the million-strong collection.

The scheme also ensures greater access to some 470 computers, as well as the use of study rooms and the ability to attend reading groups and special library events.

Library opening hours are also set to improve, with nine already opening on Sundays. This is partly due to the savings that the three councils anticipate, with £40m in annual savings expected by 2015/2016.

“Libraries are a gateway to a world of knowledge, excitement and inspiration,” Mr Botterill added.

“In an age where many local authorities are lazily closing their branches, we are proving that by thinking innovatively, it is possible to save millions of pounds of taxpayer’s money and actually enhance the services are residents receive.”

The announcement of the scheme has met with approval from library users.

Arissa Schmidt, a 24-year-old accounting student, said: “It’s a really good idea.

“I have moved a couple of times and each time you move I had to register with a new library. Now I don’t have to worry.”

Annette Thompson, who had been using the H&F library on Shepherds Bush Road whilst her computer was broken, said she felt the scheme was an excellent idea.

To mark the launch of the new system, Hammersmith artist Gianandrea Traina has built a sculpture of the number 1,000,000, made entirely out of books.

The sculpture is reflection of the number of books now available to residents and is located in Victoria Library, Westminster.

For further information on the Library One Card or to find your nearest library, visit

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