What is the Upper Norwood Joint Library?
Answer: The country's only independent, jointly funded public library.
The Upper Norwood Joint Library (UNJL) serves a well-defined and diverse local community; a catchment area that encompasses elements of no fewer than 5 local authorities. It is a unique 'bespoke' service, managed by its own Joint Committee, which is comprised of four councillors from each of the two boroughs (Croydon and Lambeth) that financially support the library, together with two community representatives. However, uncertainties of funding and governance have persistently plagued the library over many years.
The UNJL is effectively a library authority in its own right, setting and implementing its own locally orientated policies, priorities and procedures as an autonomous and cost effective body. It has operated on this basis since 1898, providing a full range of library services (other than a mobile library) for the Crystal Palace district, on an exclusively self-sufficient, de-centralised and 'stand-alone' basis.
A unique service
With Crystal Palace being some distance from both the larger central libraries of Croydon, Bromley and Lambeth, and their local branch or district operations, the UNJL provides a substantial library service that is specific to this sizeable community.
But it is not just a library. The highly valued UNJL provides important outreach work to local schools, playgroups and other organisations. Reading development initiatives, regular activities for parents and children and 'special event' programmes attract large numbers of visitors; helping to support business in the area. Local groups are able to use library facilities such as the meeting and advice rooms. Additionally, the UNJL is a repository for local and community history, relating to this world-famous part of South London.
A 110-year-old success story
The Library has been successfully serving the cross-borough community of Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood for 110 years. This anniversary was recently celebrated with a 2-day event with the high level of public attendance demonstrating the popularity of this well-respected and well-used facility.
Despite previous assurances from Croydon's Leader, Cllr Mike Fisher, guaranteeing the long-term future of the Library, recent radical reforms put forward by him could bring down the curtain on this invaluable local resource. Should he be successful in his ambitions then this fine library service will be lost forever to the people of Crystal Palace and Norwood.
CPCA legal challenge over Park housing Posted - February 2012
The Crystal Palace Community Association is challenging the decision of the Secretary of State to approve sale of protected public parkland for construction of luxury apartments, under London Development Agency Masterplan proposal for Crystal Palace Park.>> Full story here
CPCA responds to Bromley's 'Core Strategy' consultation Posted - December 2011
The London Borough of Bromley has begun the process of producing their 'Core Strategy' document for the Borough. This document will help determine the long-term planning strategy for the Borough and its conclusions will be incorporated into their Local Development Framework (LDF) - a replacement for the current Unitary Development Plan (UDP).>> Full story here
Upper Norwood Library faces closure and sale after Croydon withdraw funding Posted - November 2011
The unilateral decision by Croydon Council to 'terminate' the Upper Norwood Library Joint Agreement was, according to Croydon, the direct consequence of '...fundamental breach of the agreement by Lambeth Council'. Such breach, according to Croydon, was the refusal by Lambeth Council 'to attend the last Annual General Meeting and failing to co-operate at the 2010 meeting.'>> Full story here
Re-run AGM farce as Croydon refuses to honour Joint Library Agreement Posted - September 2011
Croydon Council's continuing failure to meet the terms of their partnership agreement with Lambeth Council, caused yet another meeting of The Upper Norwood Joint Library Committee to be abandoned last Thursday, the 15 September, when more than seventy people attended the Library Annual General Meeting, where the future of the 111-year old Library was to be considered.>> Full story here
CPCA to challenge Secretary of State's approval for 180 luxury flats in Crystal Palace Park Posted - January 2011
Following the Secretary of State's Formal Decision to grant planning permission to the LDA Masterplan application for Crystal Palace Park, the CPCA have been advised that there are powerful legal grounds to challenge this in the High Court. It is currently preparing evidence and other material to tight deadlines and urgently considering the matter of costs.>> Full story here
Please see our Archive pages
Latest News and Events
CPCA Chair John Payne has undergone successful corrective chest surgery. John is at home recovering well and I am sure we would all like to wish him a speedy recovery.
- Audrey Hammond, President
- Events CPTT Fairtrade Fortnight
- Events ‘Hot Flashes and Mood Swings: The Ups and Downs of Menopause’
- Events Comedy nights
- News CPCA legal challenge over Park housing
- News CPCA responds to Bromley's 'Core Strategy' consultation
- News Upper Norwood Library Faces Closure and Sale
- News Re-run AGM farce as Croydon refuses to honour Joint Library Agreement
- Older news can be seen on our Archive page
Upper Norwood Joint Library
The only independent, jointly funded library in the UK
Upper Norwood Library Campaign (UNLC)
Working to protect our unique library
Our CP based web design and eMarketing specialists
Rotary Club of Crystal Palace and Norwood
Founded in 1924
A weekly FREE 5km timed event in Crystal Palace Park
The Bigger Picture
Local CP artists transforming vacant shops to display art
The Goodliffe Hall
Supporting church and community life in Gipsy Hill
The Crystal Palace Community Development Trust
A CP community-based enterprise since 2004
The Crystal Palace Foundation
Dedicated to preserving the history of the Crystal Palace
Picture Palace Campaign
Campaigning to support a cinema in Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace Park
The LDA's website dedicated to Crystal Palace Park
Offers unwanted items for free to keep them out of landfill sites
Crystal Palace Band
Good guys and great concerts
West Beckenham Residents' Association
Founded in 1945 and still going strong
Warehouse Theatre Croydon
New writing, comedy and entertainment
The South London Theatre
Non-professional theatre based in West Norwood
Stop private housing on Crystal Palace Park
Sign this online petition to oppose private development
Design assistance with our new logo (and a new website too)