City's library opens a new chapter in City Park site

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The finishing touches are put to the stocking of shelves in the new library site The finishing touches are put to the stocking of shelves in the new library site

A fresh chapter will begin for Bradford when the new City Library throws open its doors next week.

Staff and builders were yesterday carrying out the final touches – and stacking books onto shelves – in preparation for Monday’s ribbon-cutting at 12.30pm to mark the opening of the new library in City Park.

And to celebrate, there will be a week of free events for people of all ages to enjoy.

The new library is housed in the former Bradford 1 Gallery and replaces the old Central Library which was deemed a fire risk by health and safety experts in October 2011.

A refurbished area of the original library will now be used by the West Yorkshire Archive Service and Bradford Libraries Local Studies library. A re-opening ribbon-cutting takes place there at 11.45am on Monday.

Sue Rollins, manager of City Library, said she could not wait for the doors to open at the new base.

She said: “I think it is just going to be totally different. It is a nice, clean, modern, 21st century library – and the location is going to be brilliant.

“I’m looking forward to serving the public of Bradford.”

The new library will hold 60,000 books, 40 computers, a range of newspapers and journals as well as study space and Wi-Fi. Library staff will be on hand to help people with their choice of books, answer information enquiries and help people gain IT skills.

The temporary children’s library called Park and Read in the City Park pavilion will also be moving into the new premises. A full range of books for loan will be available as well as an exciting programme of storytimes, rhymetimes, events and activities for children, teens and families.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s executive member for culture, said: “It’s fantastic that we have got this modern, light, airy space to house a library right in the heart of the city centre.

“It’s a great location, overlooking City Park. I know library users are going to love it.”

The ribbon-cuttings will signal the start of a week-long programme of events that will run until next Saturday.

These include daily flash mobs where members of the public can turn up for 1pm each day and ‘freeze’ with a book, magazine, newspaper or kindle when the clock chimes. While reading, their picture will be taken and then stored in the library’s archives.

People can wear fancy dress to fit in with each day’s theme. Monday is storytelling, in particular fairy stories and pantomime; Tuesday is about sky, space and aspirations; Wednesday’s theme is care and concern for the planet; Thursday is about modern technology such as tablets and social media; Friday (the 13th) is ghouls and horror; while Saturday is about celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas.

Every day of the opening week, Bradford College will be providing face painting, nail and body art.

There will also be a full series of events in the Local Studies Library, including a drop-in day for family history enthusiasts on Tuesday; a ‘Pills, Potions and Superstitions’ talk by Christine Alvin at 11am on Friday; and a talk and book signing by Gary Cavanagh, author of ‘Bradford’s Noise Of The Valleys’, at 11am on Saturday, as well as a day of the Beatles in Bradford – 50 years since the Fab Four.

Coun Hinchcliffe said: “The programme of events is designed to showcase the modern, airy facilities now on offer. It will also give visitors a taste of the wide range of activities that libraries regularly offer people of all ages and interests across the district.”

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