Summer Sites: Tooting Library


Tooting Library

The closest public library to SGUL is Tooting Library, which is located on Mitcham Road. The library is operated by GLL, a social enterprise. Membership to Wandsworth Libraries will allow you use of Greenwich Borough Libraries as well.

Tooting Library

The library is housed in an Edwardian era building which was originally built in 1902 as a single storey.  The library was recently refurbished in 2010; the new interior is bright and spacious and has some spectacular installations, such as the full building height stained glass window.

The library has most of the features you would expect to find in a modern library. On the ground floor is the adult lending library – which has a good selection of fiction and non fiction books. The library also features a large collection of Asian language books including: Urdu, Gujarati and Hindi fiction and non fiction titles.

The library Computer Suite and study area is located on the first floor; library computers must be booked before use. There is also free Wi-Fi throughout the library and a small dedicated study space in the computer room if you’re taking your own device. You don’t need to be a member of the library to use the Wi-Fi, but you will need to register before accessing the network. Printing and photocopying facilities are also available.

Stained glass window in Tooting Library
Stained glass window in Tooting Library

Some of the more interesting resources for library members are the online resources. Ebooks and Audio Books can be downloaded to a PC or mobile device using the OverDrive app. You can also download and stream music for free using the Freegal music service. Membership also provides access to many online reference tools – including Ancestry and Access to Research. There are also links to Theory Test Pro, the Encyclopaedia Britannica and many of the Oxford Online reference tools.

Membership to the library is free; to join you will need to complete a registration form or register online. Some form of identification is also required to complete the registration process, such as a utility bill, drivers licence or council tax bill.

Near Tooting Library

As the library is situated in Tooting town centre there is not much in the way of open recreational spaces close by, although there are buildings of interest nearby. The old Granada Cinema (currently the Gala Bingo hall), which is opposite the library, is a fine example of Art Deco architecture, and the building is worth visiting for the spectacular Gothic style interior. The building was built in 1931 and is a Grade 1 listed building. It was primarily a cinema and music hall up until the mid seventies, with Frank Sinatra and the Beatles being amongst the many music stars to have played there. Further afield you can find green spaces at Tooting Bec Common. The common has football pitches, tennis courts and a café. One of the most popular features on the common is the Tooting Bec Lido an open-air fresh water swimming pool, which is the second largest in the UK.

Tooting Bec Lido
Tooting Bec Lido

A cup of coffee and a sandwich?

Tooting has never really been a coffee and sandwich kind of town, it’s food reputation has been based on the number of quality Indian and Pakistani restaurants along Tooting High Street, but other offerings have recently sprung up. The Coffee Co. of Tooting is a new independent coffee shop, located at 4 Tooting High Street, selling quality coffees and pastries. Other options can be found in the nearby and ever changing Tooting markets. In Broadway Market you can find the Pedal Back Café, where you can grab a coffee and get your bike repaired. For a non coffee option, you could try Get Juiced for fresh slow pressed juices and salads, which is located in the Tooting Market.

Tooting Library
5 Mitcham Road, London
SW17 9PD
Tel: 020 8767 0543

Don’t forget– if you cannot make it in to St George’s Library over the summer, there are still many resources that you can access from a computer with internet access (logins may be required). See more information about our online resources.