About the Library

Opening Times

Mondays 1pm to 5pm
Tuesdays 10am to 7pm
(please note we are now open across the lunch period)
Thursdays 9.30am to 7pm (please note we are now open across the lunch period)
Saturdays 9am to 5pm.

Although our telephone number is normally 020 8670 2551, due to a technical problem we have a temporary telephone number which is 020-7926 1063.

This Library was 115 years old on 4th July – happy birthday to us!

Photos of our 110th anniversary celebrations in 2010
Saturday 3rd
Sunday 4th July
 Click each of the dates above to see both galleries of pictures.

Upper Norwood Joint Library – unique amongst Britain’s public libraries!

The Upper Norwood Joint Library is the only remaining independent, joint-funded public library in the country. It serves the residents of Crystal Palace, a district where as many as five boroughs converge. 2008 marked the 110th anniversary of the signing of the first Joint Library Agreement between the forerunners of the Croydon and Lambeth Councils of today, in 1898.

Belonging to and funded by the two local authorities, it has its own joint committee and operates independently of the library services of the two parent boroughs. It also has its own leafy car park available (by purchasable permit) to library visitors.

The library provides a range of services that make it an important and valued local amenity in the Upper Norwood community. The thriving Children’s Library has links with many local schools and stages a popular weekly programme of activities.

Visitors often comment on the wide selection of adult lending books available. The large Basement Reserve is full of classic titles, interesting older fiction and non fiction and local history material, beyond what one would normally expect to find in anything other than a central library.

Located close to the site of the iconic Crystal Palace, the library holds an important collection on this world famous building, which burnt down in 1936. There are also collections on Upper Norwood and, to a lesser extent, neighbouring districts, and a special collection on Gerald Massey, a Victorian poet, Chartist, Spiritualist and Egyptologist (see www.gerald-massey.org.uk). Local History postcards of the area are for sale at the enquiry desk on the ground floor.

Interesting historical facts about the library