Welcome to the Friends Of Westbourne Library Website.

The “Friends” were started as a campaigning group when Westbourne Library was under threat of closure. This website was set up to provide information so that interested parties could be informed of progress. The history page contains various past articles with more recent information on this and the new page.

Today the “Friends” are still working hard to provide improvements to facilities and the provision of outreach projects.

If you would like to help please get it touch, our email address can be found on the contacts page, alternatively drop your name and phone number into Westbourne Library for the attention of the “Friends” and we will respond as soon as possible. If you have any skill or experience you are able to offer please let us know.


Westbourne Library enjoys an extremely pleasant setting on the edge of Broomhill Park, a semi-natural woodland park between Sherrington Road and Valley Road. Broomhill Pool & Westbourne Library are not only valuable community assets in the Broomhill area of Ipswich, the buildings are in fact, “modern style” twins, built by the county-borough engineer E. McLauchlan in 1938 & 1942.

There can be few neighbouring buildings of this age, design and type so well preserved and still in practical use. To have them still standing side by side in a park setting is totally unique. Westbourne Library was designed as a decontamination centre to protect the Ipswich public from Nazi chemical warfare - with a post-war transfer of usage to a public library in 1948. It is an extremely popular and well used public library and community hub. With 77,000 visits p.a, it is the 11th busiest of Suffolk’s 44 libraries; and is the only library in north Ipswich.

It is ideally situated to serve Broomhill, Whitton, Whitehouse, Crofts plus many satellite villages. It serves two large high schools, plus 10 primary and junior schools. It has excellent access from all directions, bus routes and cycle paths and its large car park is an enormous advantage.

10 January 2015


Over 200 library users responded to the poll on the proposed name change.

77.3% voted to change the name of our library to BROOMHILL LIBRARY.

Key consultation themes in favour of Broomhill Library:

  • “More people will now know we are here!”
  • “Part of the Broomhill family with park and pool”
  •  “I have used the library since the 1970s and never knew why it was called Westbourne”
  • “I always thought it WAS Broomhill Library”
  • “Most people call the library “Broomhill””
  •  “Logical. Broomhill is where it is !”
  • “Makes sense ! Broomhill is a more appropriate name to the area”
  • “Very nice staff”
  • "Good idea ! Power to the people !”

...and from our younger members:

  • “Definitely
  • “Sounds cooler :D”
  • "Sick!” (…which is youth talk for cool or awesomeJ )

Key consultation themes in favour of Westbourne Library:

  • “Its nice to keep things the same otherwise people can get confused."
  •   “..its known as Westbourne in memory of the stream that ran through the area until it was diverted for domestic water use in the 1920s…”
  • “Why waste admin costs?”
  • “Since this library does such a marvellous job, does it really matter?”

…and from our younger members:

  • “I like it cause it’s a friendly place and a good name."
  • “I think the library is very good because of all the lovely books”.
  • “The library is not on Broom Hill”