Chris, Rob & Juan from The Old Library project team at Smith’s talked us through some of the previous heritage restoration jobs they’ve worked on across the north of the country, including Gorton Monastery, Norton Priory and Quarry Bank Mill. With some really amazing projects under their belt, we’re thrilled to have them working on The Old Library and know we’re in safe hands. We’ll be working closely with the team to provide a number of community open days throughout the project for people to come and see the progress of the build, as well as numerous training opportunities for local people such as bursary placements, apprenticeships, technical training days and school & university visits.
We also heard from some of our fabulous research volunteers about what they’ve discovered whilst looking into the history of The Old Library and Liverpool’s public library movement. Here’s an extract from Kate’s talk about how sometimes things in the libraries could get a bit out of hand…
One bit of archive I came across encapsulated the excitement experienced in the community with the opening of a Branch Library. The Libraries Annual Report ,1903 describes the hubbub and general mayhem when Toxteth Library first opened its doors. Boys played leapfrog in the Reading Rooms and women chattered boisterously and things got so out of hand, that in the end the local constable had to be called for! Though we are told in the same report that the community soon settled down into, “excellent and steady readers” so we can see that from its inception the library would have been central to the community.
Olivia also ran through some of the exciting events & activities to look forward to over the next 6 months including:
- Read & Relax shared reading group, every Wednesday from 2pm – 4pm at The Ale House on Prescot Road
- Community Business Open Day on Saturday 18th May
- The Big Dig archaeological investigation on Saturday 15th June
- Lister Steps Summer Fair on Saturday 10th August
- Heritage Open Days tours of The Old Library on Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th September
Keep an eye on our ‘Events & Activities’ page for more details or email email@example.com to get involved.
As always, thanks to everyone for your continued support for The Old Library project – it’s going to be a very exciting year!