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

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday

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 readliverpool.co.uk.

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

Facilities

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

Accessibility

  • 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.

  • Great Botanicals

    Central Library

    Visit our new exhibition 'Great Botanicals' on the first floor of Central Library. The exhibition includes a selection of botanical books from our collection.

    Runs from 8th June to 31st August 2024 during library opening hours.

  • Free Butterfly Ball

    Central Library

    We're hosting a free Butterfly Ball, in partnership with Liverpool City College, to celebrate the opening our new exhibition - Botanicals, inspired by the poem by politician and ecologist William Roscoe.

    • See 'William Roscoe' in costume discussing Liverpool in 1700s.
    • Enjoy a butterfly-themed shadow puppetry workshop, eco-instruments music workshops, storytelling and the chance to make your own wings or headband.  
    • Visit an exhibition of sustainable fashion made by students at City of Liverpool College.

    We are inviting adults and children to dress up as their favourite flower, plant or insect so ‘BEE’ creative.

    • Saturday
    • 29/06/2024
    • 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
    • William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EW
  • Liverpool MakeFest

    Central Library

    MakeFest, the UK's biggest free 'Maker' event, is a one day hybrid technology, arts and craft festival - where Makers from across the UK get together to share their projects to the public to encourage future Makers.

    Find out more about this event and book your FREE ticket!

    View a full list of this year's Makers.

    • Saturday
    • 06/07/2024
    • 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    • William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EW
  • Echoes From The Islands

    Central Library

    Three UK Reggae icons share their music careers and their Caribbean Heritage in a new and unique multimedia exhibition touring three Liverpool libraries this summer. The exhibition shares many fascinating stories, from how Macka B performed to Nelson Mandela, to Tippa Irie's legendary performance on Top of The Pops and Sandra Cross' No 1 Reggae hits.

    • Toxteth Library: 24th June - 6th July
    • Spellow Library: 8th July - 20th July 
    • Central Library: 22nd July - 3rd September

    For further information please visit whisperedtales.org or email info@whisperedtales.org.

    • Monday
    • 22/07/2024 - 03/09/2024
    • 12:00 AM
    • William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EW
  • Story Time

    Central Library

    Join us for story time for young children between 12pm and 12.30pm each Tuesday during term time.

    Drop in — free of charge

  • 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 faminetrail@liverpoolirishfestival.com or  artgroupie@outlook.com

    Image credit: Our Home - Ella Rose and Thomas Jones

  • 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 alison.cassidy@liverpool.gov.uk for more information.

    Every Monday from 2pm-3.30pm.

  • Social prescribing drop-in

    Central Library

    Wednesdays 2.30pm to 4pm. Central Liverpool Primary Care Network social prescribing and welfare advice sessions. Access to the computer suite and help with IT skills and applying on Property Pool.

    • 3rd July - Addiction services
    • 10th July - Health Information Week
    • 17th July - Mindfulness and meditation
    • 24th July - Pride, LGBTQ+
    • 31st July - Marie Curie hospice information desk

    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 info@ptsdsupport.co.uk.

    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 alison.cassidy@liverpool.gov.uk.