Oxfordshire County Library welcomes first visitors

The wait was finally over yesterday, as visitors to Oxfordshire County Library got their first taste of the new-look facilities.

Customers eager to see the transformation of the former Central Library at the Westgate centre, filed into the foyer  to witness the official opening ceremony performed by Oxfordshire County Council Chairman Zoe Patrick.

The ribbon-cutting kicked off an action-packed week of special opening events – including live music, dancing, book talks and exhibitions. Find out more here




Council Chairman Zoe Patrick performs the official opening duties.







21st Century library

Much more than a traditional library, it features a dedicated ‘Makerspace’ area for community activities including digital learning, arts and crafts and special events. With free wi-fi and 70 public computers, it will also serve as a ‘front door’ for visitors to access county council services online and get the support they may need to do this.

The new children’s library is bigger and brighter than the old one, with more space for activities, special events and school visits. The library as a whole also features better lighting, information screens, areas for quiet reading and learning new skills.


Tim Elton reads with his four-year-old son Seb in the children's library










Committed to libraries

Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Cultural Services Lorraine Lindsay-Gale said: “Unlike other parts of the country, all 43 of Oxfordshire’s branch libraries have remained open and we’re underlining our commitment to libraries by putting them right at the heart of the communities they serve, and broadening the range of services and activities on offer.

“Our new County Library exemplifies that investment, and we believe this is a classic example of what a 21st Century library should look and feel like.”

She added: “Before the old Central Library closed, it was ranked as the third busiest council-run library in the country. Opening the new library gives us a great opportunity to build on that strong support from the Oxfordshire community, and welcome more people than ever before. We’re hoping to sign up as many new members as possible and bring some Christmas cheer to our very first visitors.”


Visitors try out the new 'Makerspace'









Summary of new features:

  • Dedicated ‘Makerspace’ for community activities and workshops – including digital skills, arts and crafts
  • New-look children’s library
  • Better lighting and shelving
  • Areas for quiet reading and learning new skills
  • Free wi-fi
  • 70 public computers