Manchester Central Library

2010 sees the closure of Manchester Central Library for restoration and refurbishment. The project will restore this beautiful building and create an adjoining, ultra-modern city centre community library. A temporary library will open on Deansgate for the duration of the closure.

Central Library has to be completely emptied before the work can begin: this is a massive undertaking, with more than 22 miles of shelving to pack up, as well as archive materials and treasures which need expert handling and storage. The library will close in phases, so that work can go on while parts of the library can remain open.

Library services have seen enormous change over the years. Central Library staff have had to rearrange space to accommodate more and more services, all very different from those envisaged when the building first opened in 1934. Ryder Architects have been commissioned to rethink how the building is used, making it more accessible for all, with more stock on display and more room for new services and attractions. The building itself is in need of specialist renovation: its piecemeal maintenance is both difficult and expensive. This short-term closure will ensure its long-term survival. What comes next will be the latest chapter in the story of Manchester’s main library collection: its fifth incarnation in its fourth home.

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