Brixton: Tate Library
Brixton Oval, London, SW2 Tel: 020 7926 1056.
Open: Mon 1pm - 8pm
Tues 10am - 8pm
Wed 10am - 6pm
Thurs 10am - 8pm
Fri 10am - 6pm
Sat 9am - 5pm
Sun 12noon - 5pm
Brixton Library is slap bang in the centre of Brixton, right next to the Ritzy Cinema and was built in 1892 by sugar magnate (and sugar cube inventor!) Sir Henry Tate - who also gave us the Tate Gallery and the Tate Library, Streatham. (See Library: then and now pictures)
Tate's widow (who had once lived on Brixton Hill) donated the public space outside the library. It's officially known as the 'Tate Library Garden' although it's predominantly covered in concrete.
The 'garden' features a large bust of ol'Henry, a large plane tree (illuminated at night), a modern fountain and several benches which have proved very popular with local alcoholics.
(View of the refurbished first floor reading room)
In recent years, the library has been extensively refurbished and now provides a large selection of books, newspapers, magazines, DVDs and music CDs.
The place now positively hums with technology, with a suite of swanky flat screen computers available, free of charge, for surfing the web, writing email and word-processing. There's also a computer training centre.
A first floor Reference Library offers a large collection of encyclopedias, directories, maps, newspapers and magazines, CD Roms and government publications. Desks are available for private study.
We reckon the library is a vital local resource; so use it - or lose it!
Other local libraries:
63 Streatham High Rd, London, SW16 5TG
020 7926 6768
Streatham Vale Library
162 Eardley Rd, London, SW16 5TG
52 Knatchbull Road, SE5
020 7926 6076
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