Work has started on a £1.2m library face-lift leaving book lovers to contend with a much smaller temporary library for the next two years.

The new seven-storey development was initially met with objections from some residents due to the building’s height but, after approval from Merton Council in March, the building project is now underway.

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An artists' impression of the new library

A temporary facility about a quarter of the size of Donald Hope library in Colliers Wood will be available with a range of services for library users.

The library will sit on three levels of the new building. 

Library to get a seven storey face lift if plans approved

An open day on Saturday at the temporary library in Merton Vision, Clarendon Road, Colliers Wood, will introduce the service to people.

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An artists' impression of the new library

There will be a musical story time, food and refreshments prepared by volunteers, with delicious dishes including Jerk chicken, curries and cakes on the menu at the event from 11.30am.

"I’m really excited for the open day," said Maggie Nightingale, manager of the Donald Hope library.

"The volunteers are really amazing and have worked really hard."

She said she is also excited about the plans for the new building: "I think it’s great. Broadly, everyone is excited. "We have lots of support from volunteers at the library and the Friends of the Library.

"I had one person talk to me about disappointment about the height but, because it means more space for community areas and quiet spaces, on the whole most people are positive."

Merton Council Leader, Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: "The new library for Colliers Wood is excellent news for our residents. Our libraries are going from strength to strength and we are finding ways of providing new facilities that are sustainable and provide good value.

"We have an award-winning library service which Merton should be proud of and I look forward to seeing this great new library being built over the next couple of years."

The new building will expand Donald Hope’s book collection, and will also have space for a coffee shop, community meeting rooms, special activity zones and a larger children’s area. It will be built from Portland stone to reflect the similar materials used for the Charles Holden Colliers Wood tube station.

The open day will be held from 9.30am to 5pm at Merton Vision.

Building work is expected to last until 2017.