Big Changes Ahead for Library Services in the Borough

H&F joins new consortium and ends arrangement with K&C and Westminster

Hammersmith’s first Library of Things will have its home next to Ikea

Significant changes are due to take place to library services in the borough over the next few months.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council will be joining The Libraries Consortium (TLC) on 1 June 2022. It's a group of 21 public library authorities including Ealing, Hounslow and Brent that will give residents access to over seven million items including books, e-books and audiobooks.

You will also be able to visit any of the libraries in the consortium to borrow books and use the facilities including PCs and Wi-Fi.

At the same time the shared borrowing arrangement with Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster library services is ending. There will be a transition period of three months, from 1 March to 1 June.

Until 1 June, using your H&F library card you can:

  • access Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster libraries to borrow books in person
  • access Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster libraries to use Wi-Fi and PCs
  • request a new library card from any Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster library if you want to be able to reserve books via the online catalogue that are not H&F stock
  • request a new library card from any Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster if you want to continue using their library services after 1 June.

To help with the transition, we need you to make sure that any books belonging to Kensington and Chelsea Council or Westminster City Council are returned before the end of May 2022.

If you have a library book borrowed from any of the libraries in the three boroughs, look at the barcode label on your book to see who owns it.

If the barcode number starts 38005 then it is Hammersmith & Fulham Libraries stock and you can return it to us by the due date as normal.

If the barcode number starts with 30116 or 30117 return it to any of the council libraries in the three boroughs before the end of May 2022.

From 1 June 2022, when you are searching for items, you will find stock from all the libraries in The Libraries Consortium, giving you access to over seven million items. You will be able to reserve items as normal and ask for them to be delivered to your local branch for you to collect.

In addition to the online resources you can access at the moment, including:

  • over 100,000 ebooks, eaudiobooks, enewspapers, emagazines and digital articles through subscriptions to online databases
  • over 215 reference books through Oxford Reference and in an online reference library
  • over 1,000 newspapers through PressReader and a historical newspapers database, Times Digital Archive 1785-1985

You will also have access to nearly 60,000 digital books plus almost 5,000 magazines, comics and graphic books through OverDrive.

Ordering process, loan periods, online reference library and the number of books you can borrow will not change, but nearer the transfer date you may need to take steps such as updating your web browser bookmarks to the new catalogue address.

H&F Council says, “We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the changes but look forward to being able to offer a greatly improved library service. We are committed to helping you with any questions during this period, so if you need any assistance, please ask in branch or by email.”


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Jacob Phillips - Local Democracy Reporter

April 25, 2022