After a series of delays Nottingham’ Central Library will open in November.
Featuring striped book shelves in a nod to designer Paul Smith and an interactive cinema room that can take children on a journey below the waves, it is hoped the facility will become a “central hub” for communities across the city.
Councillor Pavlos Kotsonis (Lab), who is leading the opening of the new building, says a central library is ‘key’ for any city.
Yet Nottingham has been without one since the old library on Angel Row permanently closed its doors amid the Covid pandemic in March 2020.
Despite the setbacks, Nottingham City Council has been able to meet a local election manifesto pledge with the announcement of an opening date of November 28.
“We are really trying to be a central hub for as much of the Nottingham creative scene as we can,” said Georgina Wilding, who is the events lead for the city’s libraries service.
“So we are looking at poetry evenings, looking at live bands, author readings, hopefully improv-shows, plays, we are really trying to open the doors to as many people as possible.”
@westbridgfordwirenews Featuring striped book shelves in a nod to designer Paul Smith and an interactive cinema room that can take children on a journey below the waves, it is hoped the facility will become a “central hub” for communities across the city. . More woth pics too at linkinbio . #nottingham #fyp #foryoupage #notts #nottinghamshire #nottinghamnews #notts #library #nottinghamcentrallibrary #paulsmith ♬ original sound West Bridgford Wire News
The new library spans a ground floor, first floor and second floor in a section of the wider Broadmarsh Car Park and Bus Station building.
While the views out of a series of large glass windows are tainted by the half-demolished Broadmarsh Centre, they allow natural light to flood into the building.
The resulting bright, white-washed walls are interrupted by bursts of colour from quirky furnishings and pin-striped bookshelves, which pay tribute to the signature styling of one of Nottingham’s most famous sons; Paul Smith.
There are dozens of private booths, conference rooms and a ‘quick print’ area for those in need of a printer.
Also on the ground floor is an interactive ‘imagination room’ featuring three large screens on each wall.
Upon entering the dimly-lit room an immersive scene plays out as if the people inside are under water alongside a pod of whales.
People are able to interact with the screen by touching icons, which present questions and other information.
Move up a floor and visitors can find exhibition space and a display of rare books and maps, as well as lounging areas with views of Carrington Street.
Laura Iremonger, partnerships team leader who looks after the books, says if all the volumes available were lined up spine-to-spine they would span a distance of 2km (1.25 miles)
“The location of this building is fantastic,” she said.
“We are just over the road from Nottingham College, we’ve got NTU just up the road, so we really are ideally-sited for young people to come and use the library.
“We will have lots of activities and events as well as the stock as well as lots of places to sit and study that we hope young people will come and enjoy.”
Cllr Kotsonis added: “I’m a big believer of public libraries.
“The campaign to save the libraries was a big one and we did take the decision to protect them.
“There was a lot of work done to achieve that so I am really proud of that outcome.
“Now we have very good news to deliver today. We have got a new Central Library right here opening on November 28.”