Liverpool Central Library has triumphed in a field of over 40 entries to be awarded the coveted spot which recognised success in a wide range of libraries.
The judges commented that Liverpool Central Library, which reopened in 2013 following major refurbishment, was providing an example that other libraries could look to for inspiration.
They noted that increasing visitor numbers with over 750,000 last year and averaging around 3000 per day at peak times, such as during school holidays, was a great achievement.
The Library also runs a lively events and cultural programme, including themed exhibitions relevant to major events in the city and wider community, and works with a wide range of partners. The Library has opening hours of seventy hours per week for seven days per week which impressed the judges.
Their work with entrepreneurs and local businesses in their Business and Intellectual Property Centre, as well as booksellers, publishers and high profile author visits, caught the judges’ attention. The Library has also been described by sector peers as being ‘outward looking and partnership friendly’.
The Library is working on a bigger, bolder, more advanced programme of events and exhibitions for the future, and ensuring there is always something for children and families.
The Library was named one of the world’s most beautiful libraries by BBC Culture, and it’s easy to see why with breath-taking architecture from the Victorian Picton Reading room to the modern glazed atrium.
While the Library acknowledges that it has still more work to do, it is demonstrating such ongoing progress at a pace that makes it thoroughly deserving of being named as Library of the Year.
Head of Libraries, John Keane said;
“Liverpool City Council invests in the library service as a whole, it’s great to see all of our libraries holding their own and doing so well.
We’re incredibly proud of Central Library as the flagship library for the city. Its beauty is matched by staff enthusiasm and knowledge. We love welcoming visitors to Central Library and being able to show them the very best that the City has to offer.”