Visitors to Bolton Central Library will soon be able to browse the shelves once more as around 25,000 books are returned to the premises following major restoration work.
Scaffolding was erected to the Le Mans Crescent building last September and a large section of the library floor was sectioned off to enable essential work to the roof of the Library and Museum building.
Library users were still able to access the facility while the work was being carried out, and borrow books online. When the books are returned from Tuesday, March 27, visitors will notice a fresh layout which will enable the space in the centre of the library to be also used for activities.
The glass roof restoration formed part of the council’s £3.8m new Egyptology gallery project which is due for completion later this year.
Contractor Willmott Dixon is due to remove all the scaffolding and hoardings on the library floor by Friday, March 16.
In order to reinstall the shelves and restock the books, the library will be closed to visitors on Saturday, March 24, Sunday, March 25 and Monday, March 26. It will reopen on Tuesday, March 27.
Staff will be working flat out over the weekend to transport and organise the books – mostly non-fiction – which have been stored in other central council buildings for the duration of the work. Also 200 bays of shelving will need to be installed.
The short closure will enable staff to have everything back to normal ahead of their programme of Easter events.
Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member of Culture, Youth and Sport, Cllr John Byrne, said: “It is fantastic news that the roof to the building is now complete. Willmott Dixon has installed a new glass external roof - replacing 120 glass panels – which will enable natural light to flood into the building through internal glazing. This was done as part of our wider refurbishment to the building to create a £3.8 m Egyptology gallery.
“Throughout the works we have avoided any major closure periods, always offering alternative exhibitions and attractions to our visitors. We are on the home straight now and just ask for the public to be patient over the few days from March 24 to 26 while we give a final push to get the library back to looking its best. People can still visit their local branch library and borrow books online throughout the weekend.”
“This is an exciting time for the Library and Museum and we can’t wait to share it with everyone. Work on the Egyptology gallery is also going well and still on track to be finished by autumn 2018.”
The library’s History Centre, which is situated on the ground floor of the building, has also benefited from refurbishment.
To keep up to date with what’s happening at Bolton Library and Museum Services, follow them on Twitter @BoltonLMS or like their Facebook page.