A two part pictorial special on plans to bring the almost derelict Lister Drive library building back to life.
I’ve spent a good deal of time this past year writing about, thinking about and talking about public libraries and austerity politics. Trying to work out how we hold on to as many as possible while we weather this particular political storm. And on this blog I’ve visited several of those that have been under some degree of threat in Liverpool and on the Wirral.
Well as well as the libraries I’ve featured there are several buildings in Liverpool that used to be libraries but disappeared from our lists long before the current round of attacks on them began. In Everton and Lodge Lane for example, plus the one where we’re going today and in the next post. To have a look into its possible future.
It’s not time to meet our guides yet, so let’s have a walk round first. Along Lister Drive into Newsham Park.
The library is in the top centre of the picture. Next along there was a school. And then a public swimming baths. Before passing the obvious and strangely sited power station on the edge of the park. The library, the school and the baths were all designed by one of the great heroes of municipal Liverpool, and certainly a central figure in today’s story, architect Thomas Shelmerdine.
Currently planning its own new lease of life.
Yes, by any standards, surreal. By my own reckoning the place has been an aquarium for over 20 years now. I remember buying goldfish here with my own daughter when she was a child.
As we’ll be finding out once more when we get to Part Two of our Lister Drive visit.
It’s popular and is used by over 100 local families. But the local community think the local children deserve better. And they’re clearly right.
So come back for Part Two, when we’ll get inside the long closed Lister Drive Library and hear what the local community are planning for its future.