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Kempston Library

Kempston > Libraries

The first "library" was run by Mr. H. J. Hooper, the Headmaster of Kempston Senior Mixed School. He operated a voluntary library centre consisting of books in two high bookcases and a collection of boxes.

Later a paid part-time Branch Librarian was introduced and the library was moved to a shop in Bunyan Road with a lean-to of galvinised iron never completely water-tight for long. Anecdotes recall the congestion here and piles of borrowers' cycles across the narrow pavement in the "black-out", with some of the longest war-time queues in the county.
The library then moved to a larger double-fronted shop in Bedford Road followed.

The next Branch Library was adapted as a temporary provision from an ex-army Hut purchased for £95 in 1949 with a remaining economic life estimated at five years; it lasted eleven years. During the year ending 31st March 1960, 67,772 books were borrowed or consulted and there are 3,273 registered borrowers using the branch regularly.

The new Branch Library in Halsey Road was the first of a series of County Library Branches erected specifically for library purposes in Bedfordshire and not adapted from existing buildings. It was officially opened on the 22nd July 1960.

The library has had a series of refurbishments over the years, including in 1987.


Kempston Library, Kempston by Bedfordshire Libraries, 2020

Page last updated: 22nd July 2020