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.

  • Journey into silence through music, dance and meditation

    Central Library

    Sahaja Yoga is a unique method of meditation based on the experience of self-realisation through Kundalini Awakening. It establishes a deep state of inner silence and joy, where one experiences the deepest self, free from unhelpful thoughts, anxieties and worries. For information about Sahaja Yoga visit

    Weds 8th May 2024 at 6pm - free, no need to book

  • Help us create artworks for Liverpool Irish Famine trail sites

    Central Library

    Calling all art and history lovers! We need you to get creative with Central Library and Liverpool Irish Festival and volunteer with local artist, @TadhgDevlin, to create artworks for Liverpool Irish Famine Trail sites based on the idea of family surnames with an Irish connection.

    You will meet interesting and creative people, learn lots about your city and contribute to an internationally important project. We also would love to see family photographs and hear stories about your family.

    For more details contact John Maguire at or

    Image credit: Our Home - Ella Rose and Thomas Jones

  • Things We Said Today: The Beatles’ Lyrical Poetry

    Central Library

    A series of free talks and discussions that explore the lyrics of the Beatles songs and the meanings behind them. These classes aim to analyse the lyrics, compare them to thematically similar traditional poetry, and the work of contemporary British and American musicians. 

    • 6-8pm - Friday 15th March 2024
    • 6-8pm - Wednesday 20th and 27th March 2024
    • 6-8pm - Wednesday 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th April 2024

    Book your free tickets now

    • Friday
    • 15/03/2024 - 24/04/2024
    • 12:00 AM
    • William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EW
  • Try shared reading

    Central Library

    Shared reading groups bring people together to talk, laugh and share.

    Drop in, grab a cuppa and enjoy listening to a story or poem. No pressure to read or talk! Email for more information.

    Every Monday from 2pm-3.30pm.

  • Little Lamb Tales

    Central Library

    Join storyteller Jude Lennon and her storytelling mascots Lamby and Flossie for tales to enjoy. Perfect for ages 3 to 9 years.

    Thursday 11th April with sessions at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm

  • Lost at Sea! Raffles and the wildlife of Southeast Asia

    Central Library

    Why was Raffles collecting animals and plants in Southeast Asia, and how did some birds collected for Raffles end up in Liverpool? Find out in our free exhibition of animals, books and drawings and models in partnership with Liverpool World Museum. Situated in the Hornby Library in Liverpool Central Library.

    1st February to 30th April 2024 - and open free of charge during normal opening hours.

  • Social prescribing drop-in

    Central Library

    Wednesdays 2.30pm to 4pm. Central Liverpool Primary Care Network and a range of local agencies offering social prescribing and welfare advice.

    • 10th April - Healthy Food Choices

    Liverpool Public Health Good Food Campaign will be visiting and providing a free workshop about healthy eating at 3pm.

    Wednesday 10th April-the theme is Healthy Food Choices, Liverpool Public Health Good Food Campaign will be visiting and providing a free workshop about healthy eating at 3pm

    Central Library Main Atrium. Drop in - 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.

  • 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 with your CV and cover letters, interview skills, finding courses and training, as well as career advice and skills assessments. Appointments held in the ground floor games room each Thursday between 9am-5pm.

    Free. Call 0800 100 900 to book an appointment with an adviser.

  • 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