Liverpool’s Central Library is like a living museum dedicated to the written word.
After a remarkable redevelopment, this place is now much more than a library – it’s a celebration of heritage and literature, and a visitor attraction in its own right.
There’s even a roof terrace for taking in some stunning views of the city.
But despite now making its mark as a city sightseeing destination, first and foremost this is still a place for Liverpool locals to go when they want to borrow books. And that’s rather fitting for the city that gave Europe its first lending library.
The neo-classical building is now home to a brilliantly reinvented space designed to inspire and allow for discovery. It’s not stuffy and it’s not silent. Instead, there’s a soft buzz about the place. Like something is happening.
Maybe it’s the cogs of many minds turning as they read and write and work. The library is both alive and welcoming because people are really using it.
The light in the modern atrium encourages you to explore while the circular wall of books in the Picton Reading Room just wants to hug you with its history and read you a story from another time.
I paid the library a flying visit on a day trip to my hometown of Liverpool. It was my #take12trips adventure for November. I wanted to visit a place I’ve walked so often past and yet have only ever entered just the once, during my school days which I hate to admit are long gone.
I knew the library had recently been revamped and reopened, but while I was aware that it had recently beaten London’s Shard to win the National Building Excellence award, I had no idea that it would be a place I’d feel excited just to stand inside.
I think my beloved Walker Art Gallery might just have competition in the fight for my affections.
I want to go back to the Central Library and soon, next time with my laptop and my notebooks. I’m eager to spend a day there, immersed in my own imagination. I need to know if that soft, exciting buzz will rub off on me.
You see, I’ve always dreamed of writing words worthy of a book, something that could one day live in a library. Now I’ve found the place that has finally made me believe I might just be able to do it. And if a library can do that, then how can it be anything less than wonderful?
Would you add the library to your Liverpool city break itinerary? Let me know in the comments. I’d love for you to tell me about your own favourite library, too.