Elder Park library reopens after restoration

A historic library in Glasgow has reopened following a £4m restoration.

The library in Govan, now known as the Elder Park Library and Community Hub, started its refurbishment in July 2022.

The planning application said the interior of the building was a "fantastic example of architecture of this heritage".

However it had poor accessibility, lighting and ventilation as well as “significant levels” of asbestos and wear and tear throughout the building.

Glasgow Life, which runs cultural and leisure facilities for the council, said the A-listed building was now more accessible and sustainable.

The upgrades include a full interior and exterior refurbishment, which provides improved library and community spaces, a new community kitchen and more bookable areas for people to use.

The revamped Elder Park Library and Community Hub has also improved the building’s energy performance, temperature and ventilation management, as well as its fire safety and security systems.

Elder Park Library was gifted to Govan by Isabella Elder, who donated £10,000 to meet the cost of the building in the early 1900s.

Her work as a philanthropist advocating for the people of Govan led to her becoming a legend in Glasgow's history books and being named one of the "greatest" Glaswegians.

She was the wife of Govan industrialist John Elder who inspired the name of the nearby Elder Park.

The building was first opened by Scottish-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1903 and is protected by Historic Environment Scotland because of its architectural and historic interest.

'First-class community hub'

Andrew Olney, director of libraries, sport and communities at Glasgow Life, said: “Glasgow’s libraries are highly valued by the people who use them, and this project ensures there is a modern, fit-for-purpose hub at the heart of the Elder Park community.

"The new-look facility offers visitors a welcoming space with free access to books, digital resources, information, and support.”

The work was carried out in partnership with Elderpark Housing Association.

Gary Dalziel, chief executive of Elderpark Housing Association, said: “Elderpark Housing Association is thrilled to see Elder Park Library and Community Hub opening after its extensive renovations.

"It will provide a stunning facility located in the heart of the community which, as well as re-invigorating the use of the refurbished library, will also create a first-class new community hub, all located within a historic and much-loved building in the area.”