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Dalston CLR James Library and Hackney Archives combines the functions of two separate facilities; it is the largest library to open in Hackney for over a decade and one of the largest to open in the UK in 2012. Spread over four storeys the building includes a cafe, children's library, adult library, teen zone, study room, meeting rooms, a public archive area and an archival repository in the basement that meets the strict requirements of BS5454.
Over 40,000 books are available as well as 10,000 CDs/DVDs and 15,000 historic photographs, maps and paintings of Hackney. There are 57 computer workstations and wireless internet available throughout. Over 1,200 people visited on the opening day on 28th February 2012 and over 400 members joined the library within the first week of opening. The library now has more than two and a half times more members than the library it replaces.
The library was opened by Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe, renowned author Nick Hornby and local performance poet John Hegley.
Earle Architects were appointed for the fit-out following success in a competitive bid and we developed initial designs by MUF Architecture/Art, taking proposals from RIBA Stage D to completion. The project is part of a flagship regeneration project that includes 553 new residential units, a major new public square and new London Overground station, Dalston Junction.