Plans are gathering pace for Bradford’s new City Library with the arrival of a new temporary children’s library in City Park today.

The opening of the new Park and Read facility coincides with National Bookstart Week, the national initiative supported by Bradford Libraries to encourage children to get into books from an early age.

Park and Read, which will be based at City Park’s pavilion, was officially opened by Councillor Ralph Berry, Bradford Council’s executive member for children's services.

The new City Library is due to open in December following the news that repairs to the old Central Library would take too long and cost too much to stay as the main city centre library.

The children's library will have a wide range of books for babies, children and young people – from birth to 16 years – as well as a programme of story times, rhyme times, events and activities.

Youngsters and their parents from children's centres across the district descended on the park in their rain coats for Bookstart’s Ugly Duckling Splash Event.

There were stories and rhymes, an egg hunt, face painting, balloon modelling and inflatable ducks.

Coun Berry said: “This is a fantastic celebration for both the Park and Read, which will be a great child-centred library, and Bookstart Week.”

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, executive member for employment, skills and culture, said: “The new Park and Read will be a great facility for children and young people and ensures they still have access to a library service in the city centre.

“We’re really looking forward to the opening of Park and Read in City Park. It's just the right time of year for it to open. It's a great opportunity for families using the park over the summer to join in with the events in Park and Read.

“It all helps foster that love of reading in children and hopefully encourage them to read more over the summer holidays.

“The project plan for the new City Library is on track. We’ve been working with library staff to make sure that the design of the new library fulfils what our library users have told us they want to see. Our new neighbours, Impressions gallery, have also been really helpful in working with us to achieve the deadline.

“The new City Library will open in December this year at which point the children’s library from Park and Read will also move over.”

Park and Read will run from June to December 2013 (when the new City Library opens) and will be open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm.

Books for adults and computer access are available in the mobile library in City Park, open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm until the new library opens.