Liverpool Central Library is about to reopen its doors

May 13th, 2013


Liverpool Central Library located in the heart of Liverpool's cultural quarter on William Brown Street will reopen its doors on May 17t.



Under the £50m redevelopment scheme, the Grade II listed parts of the building which date back to 1850, including the façade and famous Picton, Hornby and Oak Reading Rooms, will be restored to their former glory.

The sections behind the façade which were built in the 1950s and 1970s following World War Two bomb damage have been demolished and rebuilt to make the most of the available space.

 The new library will give the public access to enhanced facilities in a landmark building.

The project also includes a new home for the Liverpool Record Office which will house some of the city's most historic treasures from the last 800 years – such as the original 1207 charter – in purpose built secure, climate controlled storage.

There will also be state-of-the-art IT facilities which will allow young people to download music and games onto MP3 and MP4 players, with wi-fi and access to computers.





Included in the new look library there will also be:

  • Access to extensive collections of books, journals and periodicals for lending and reference.
  • New entrance to main library, including front and rear access.
  • Re-opening of historic internal entrances to the Picton Reading Room.
  • Five new floors with capacity for 20 years of new archive space.
  • New conservation studio for repairs to the city's masterpieces.
  • Dedicated room to John James Audubon's Birds of America.
  • New rooftop terrace overlooking St. John's Gardens.
  • Better access including escalators, lifts, toilets, meeting rooms and café.
  • The re-opening of the International Library which will become a children's zone.
  • Doubling the number of public computers.

The Central Library building will be lit up with an interactive digital display to celebrate its re-opening.  Giant books will be projected onto the facade and whenever a book is chosen from a carousel below, it will appear on the walls with its own animation.

The display takes place on 16 and 17 May and the library, which was shut for two years, opens on 17 May. A month-long literary festival is also being held in celebration.

The In Other Words festival, which starts with a World Book Night event on 23 April, will include shows from broadcaster Lord Bragg and journalist Janet Street-Porter.

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