Hove library would need to have its space slashed by one third to meet forthcoming laws on disabled access. Moving it to Hove town hall could double the space available.
Under the Disability Discrimination Act, any parts of buildings open to the public must be made fully accessible to disabled people during 2004 or close.
A report to the council’s policy committee on October 22 recommends moving the library to Hove town hall and upgrading facilities.
Remaining in the old building in Church Road would mean the facility effectively being downgraded to a branch library with fewer books. A lift would have to be installed in the centre of the elegant curved staircase.
The report says it would be impossible to create lift access to parts of the building. This includes areas for computer equipment, open learning, reference, music, local history, special collections, journals, stores and staff facilities.
Deputy council leader Sue John Said: “There seem to be some considerable advantages in moving to Hove town hall. But councillors will have to discuss all the pros and cons at the meeting.
“I fully understand people being very fond of this lovely old building. But we also need to consider whether Hove currently has the best facilities it can get or whether we’re clinging to the old library for sentimental reasons.”
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Brighton & Hove City Council