Single library card tri-borough scheme launched

Three London boroughs are launching a new scheme today (3rd October) which will allow residents to access libraries across the different authorities with a single card.

Westminster City Council, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham Council are all taking part in the scheme, which will allow library users to access books and all other facilities from across the three boroughs with their current library cards.

The three councils made the decision to create the One Library Card policy last year, in a move to save money and protect frontline services. It is part of their tri-borough agreement, which also sees them share management between children's services, adult social care and pensions, and aims to save £40 million a year across the three authorities by 2016.

At the 21 libraries across the three boroughs, users can now access one million books, use the 470 available PCs, attend all events and access specialist collections, including Westminster Reference Library and the fashion collection at Chelsea Library.

To celebrate the move, Hammersmith-based artist Gianandrea Traina has created a sculpture at Victoria Library, spelling out “1,000,000” with books.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Leader, Sir Merrick Cockell, said: “Through tri-borough we will continue to offer excellent library services with a strong focus on innovation and development to meet the current and future needs of our local communities. By combining senior management and working closely with our neighbours we are ensuring that our libraries will continue to thrive at a time when library services in other parts of the capital are under pressure.”