Fulham Library Celebrates its Centenary

Library first opened on October 21, 1909

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Staff at Fulham Library will be bringing out bunting and balloons as the building reaches its 100th birthday this month.

The Fulham Road library was designed by famous architect Henry T Hare and first opened its doors on October 21, 1909. 

Fulham Library has enjoyed a colourful history and has been an integral part of the Fulham landscape since it was built.

The building cost £15,000 to build and was paid for by the Scottish philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. 

The Fulham local history collection was housed at the library until 1992, when it was moved to the present Archives and Local History Centre.

In early 1944 the library had a narrow escape when an incendiary bomb crashed through the glass roof of the reference library.

Fortunately, the chief librarian and a member of his staff were on duty as fire guards, and managed to put the fire out with a stirrup pump.

To mark its centenary, there will be a day of activities on October 21, place exactly 100 years to the day since the building was opened. Library staff will be wearing traditional Edwardian clothes, customers will be invited to take part in a special quiz and enjoy a lace making demonstration. There will also be face painting and children will be given going home presents.

The library now has over 26,000 registered members and received almost 250,000 visits to last year. About 350 new members join the library every month and a lift was installed to improve access in 2003.

Cllr Bristow, cabinet member for residents' services, said: " The centenary of Fulham Library really is an occasion to celebrate. Libraries have changed immensely over the last 100 years and it wonderful to think that this branch has been open for so long."

October 14, 2009