Timetable set for Central Library reopening
Preparations for Oxford’s Central Library to move back into its permanent home as part of the regenerated Westgate Centre are gathering pace, with the newly named Oxfordshire County Library set to open on 18 December.
The library’s temporary base at nearby Oxford Castle will close on 17 November, as staff prepare to launch the city’s new flagship facility.
It means visitors will be without their central library for just four weeks, as stock is transferred to the Westgate and the new library is decked out with a host of impressive new facilities.
Other city libraries will be open as usual in Summertown, Headington, Cowley, Blackbird Leys, Botley and Old Marston.
Great new library features will include:
- Dedicated space for community activities and workshops – including arts and crafts
- New-look children’s library
- Better lighting
- Information screens
- Areas for quiet reading, study and learning new skills
- Free wi-fi
- Dozens of public computers
Longer opening to encourage more visitors
The new library will be open longer than ever before - from 9am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, with Sunday opening in the new year. Evening opening will also enable many new visitors to enjoy the facilities.
Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Cultural Services Lorraine Lindsay-Gale said: “I know many people, like myself, are really looking forward to the new library and seeing what it has to offer. The temporary library has been an excellent stop-gap for customers since March 2016 and we have sought to minimise as far as possible, the closure period leading up to the reopening.
She added: “Before the Central Library closed for refurbishment, we had the third-highest footfall of any library in the country – an incredible feat for a relatively small city – and the new library will enable greater use than ever before, especially with extended opening hours and new space for community activities.”
Left: Plan of first floor at new Oxfordshire County Library
Main image: Artist's impression of new library's ground floor