Nottingham Central Library opened on 28 November, welcoming 6,000 visitors through its doors in the first seven days.
The opening was originally scheduled for 2021 but was delayed by the pandemic and financial pressure on the council.
The city centre has been without a library since 2020 when the previous facility on Angel Road was closed.
Costs for the new library building, relocated to the Broadmarsh area of the city, are believed to be around £10 million. The library boasts over 180,000 books for public use across its three floors, along with computer access, meeting rooms and an ‘Imagination Room’ – a fully interactive cinema experience.
Library services include:
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free access to desktops and laptops
- Printing facilities
- Performance space
- Specialist and rare collections room
- Local study books pertaining to Nottinghamshire
- Learning spaces for school visits
- Meeting rooms
- Private booths
- Exhibition area displaying historic artefacts and maps
- Statues and sculptures
As well as providing facilities for learning, much of the city council’s efforts have been focused on creating a place where performance can flourish.
Georgina Wilding, Events Manager at the library, has created a monthly music and performance arm for live acts to perform.
“This should be the place you come to find your community”
Georgina Wilding on Nottingham Central Library
Ms Wilding hopes that the new building will become a “central hub” for the city centre.
“There’s so much to do in a library other than curling up with a good novel – as much as I enjoy that!
“Libraries are, of course, an information hub, but on top of that they provide a third space for people: you’ve got your home and you’ve got your work, but this should be the place you come to find your community.
“The return of the library seems like something so small, but it’s not at all – it’s such a special part of the city.”
The library is situated in Broadmarsh, an area targeted for major redevelopment by Nottingham City Council. In a public statement, the authority has described their intention to drastically improve the city centre by turning Broadmarsh into an “open, vibrant, welcoming space in the city”.
Robert Scoffing is an Information Assistant at Nottingham Tourism Centre, and believes that once the redevelopment is complete, Broadmarsh will become a “focal point for the southern end of the city”.
Whilst the council plans to continue redevelopment, it is unclear how the Section 114 Report issued on 29 November concerning a likely shortfall in finances will affect investment in both the library and the surrounding area.
Nottingham City Council were approached for further details but declined to comment.