Libraries and archives

Central Library

Central Library is a beautifully re-modelled building with free wifi and 130 computers. It's the home of our business centre, a dedicated family space and the Liverpool Record Office and Archives. It also houses the historic grade II listed Picton Reading Room and Hornby Library along with 15,000 rare books. Find out more about all the services we offer.

Central Library

Central Library

Open Today

Find us

William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EW

Contact us

We are closed bank holidays

Main library opening hours

Opening hours


Service opening hours

Explore our archives, records and rare books

Our collections date from 13th century onwards. Explore original documents, photographs, maps and newspapers which record the lives of Liverpudlians across the centuries.

Free reference sites

Access a rich variety of reference sites online via our digital reading platform

More to do at Central Library

Visit the Business and IP Centre, or hire a meeting room.

Discover library - for children and families

A fully accessible family area with a child friendly environment hosting a wealth of books and free computers to use for young people up to 14. Find out more about children's library resources.

Additional services and facilities

Study spaces

  • Four floors of seating
  • 130 library computers - some available to pre-book and some walk up computers for members
  • A quiet study space in the Picton Reading Room, first floor


  • Free wifi
  • Multi-functional devices that print, scan and copy
  • Toilets and baby change facilities


  • Automatic entrance doors
  • Accessible lift
  • Accessible toilets
  • Changing Places toilet

Events at Central Library

Events will be promoted here in the run-up to the event. 

You can also view our main library events page, where you will find out about our regular events and what's happening in our community libraries.

  • Life Rooms Drama for Wellbeing

    Central Library

    Merseycare Life Rooms Education Service drama for wellbeing workshops for adults over 18. Mondays and Tuesdays 9am to 3pm in the fourth floor meeting rooms. 

    Free. Needs to be pre-booked with Life Rooms pathway team on Tuesdays between 10am and 4pm at the first floor Enquire desk.


  • Life Rooms Pathways

    Central Library

    Monday and Tuesday 9am to 3pm in the first floor Enquire area. Help with practical and social issues that may be affecting you, from mental or physical wellbeing to social interactions, employment and training.

    Drop in.


  • Social prescribing drop-in

    Central Library

    Wednesdays 2.30pm to 4.30pm. Central Liverpool Primary Care Network and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau offer social prescribing and welfare advice.

    • 23rd August - 'Be Active'
    • 30th August - mental health
    • 6th September - health and wellbeing
    • 13th September - suicide prevention
    • 20th September - social prescription
    • 27th September - student health

    Central Library Main Atrium. Just drop - no appointment needed.

  • Learn My Way basic digital skills course

    Central Library

    Each Wednesday 2.30pm-4.30pm in the first floor Enquire area.

    Free - just drop in, no appointment needed.

  • Sole Survivor CIC - PTSD support group

    Central Library

    This group supports PTSD survivors and meets weekly to focus on sharing coping strategies, experiences and pathways to wellness. You do not need to have a formal diagnosis. To join and find out more visit the Sole Survivor website call 07903 544585 or email

    Each Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm in the fourth floor meeting rooms.

  • Smoking cessation service

    Central Library

    Free help and support to stop smoking, each Monday 2.30pm-4.30pm in the Central Library Game Room.

    Drop in no appointment needed.

  • Digital support and National Databank collection point

    Central Library

    Each Tuesday from 9.30am-11.30am, the Life Rooms IT team lead a digital and basic IT support session, and give free SIM cards to people who are eligible to combat data poverty.

    Drop in - just come to the first floor Enquire area.

  • Liverpool in Work employment advice helpdesk

    Central Library

    Each Thursday 10am-2.30pm in the Atrium Café.

    Drop in - no appointment needed.

  • Rethink Mental Illness Peer Support Group

    Central Library

    Each Thursday from 4pm-6pm and Friday from 10.30am-12pm in the first floor Enquire area.

    Drop in - no appointment needed.

  • Councillor's Surgery

    Central Library

    A chance to chat with your councillor if you have a problem or need advice. First Saturday of the month 12pm — 1pm.

    Drop in.


  • National Careers Service drop in CV and employability skills

    Central Library

    One-to-one help each Thursday 10am-3pm in the ground floor games room.

    Free - no appointment needed.

  • Robert Burns Exhibition

    Central Library

    Celebrating Scotland’s nation Bard, Robert Burns. Often known as Rabbie Burns, and known for such works as Auld Lang Syne and Tam O’Shanter, this small exhibition uses items from the Library’s Archives and Special Collections to celebrate his work.

    Free - based in the Picton Reading Room.

  • Eadweard Muybridge and Animal Locomotion

    Central Library

    When a horse gallops, is there a point in which all hooves are off the ground? In the late 1800’s photographer Eadweard Muybridge was hired to answer this question. His resulting ideas and inventions would go on to lay the foundations of moving pictures.

    Come and see some of our collection of original prints from his ‘Animal Locomotion’ series from 1887.

    On display in The Hornby Library, 1st floor. 


  • Shared Reading PLUS sessions

    Central Library

    Aimed at people living with dementia, their carers, family members and friends. Just drop in, grab a cuppa and enjoy listening to a poem or story - no pressure to talk or read. Wednesdays at 1pm. 

    Drop in. For more information contact

  • Meet Eliza Morton

    Central Library

    Join us on 4th October at 6pm at Liverpool Central Library to meet Eliza Morton, author of five titles including The Orphans from Liverpool Lane, who will be talking about the inspiration behind her writing and her personal journey to becoming a published author. Tickets are free but numbers are limited.

    Go to Eventbrite to book your ticket now