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Central Library

Central Library refurbishment

Artist's impressions of the renovations at Central Library

For more than 110 years, Central Library has welcomed readers of all ages, and now we're bringing it into the 21st century.

We're planning a range of changes to the library, which will make big improvements for residents while still protecting our beautiful historic building.

We're redesigning the main ground floor library area into a children's and family library with a separate adult lending area. We want to create a welcoming space for families and young people, helping to promote a lifelong love of reading. This will also give us a fantastic space to host events and activities.

You can see some of the artist's impressions on this page. Please note, these are for illustration only - they're not the colours we'll be using.

We're also creating a new event space, IT suite, and family history study space. The Reference Library's historic features will remain unchanged, with adjoining rooms reconfigured to further improve the space for users.

We know that the current library building does not meet the needs of all our residents, so we're also making changes to improve accessibility. We're installing an accessible lift, accessible toilets, and baby changing facilities.

Central Library closed to the public on Monday 4 December 2023 so we can carry out the improvements. We expect they'll take about seven months.

The improvements are being funded by the Cultural Development Fund. More than £5m will be invested in venues across the town centre, including Central Library, MIMA, Middlesbrough railway station, and The Auxiliary. We're hoping to make Middlesbrough the most creative town in the UK!

Returning books

If you've borrowed books from Central Library, you can return them to any of our other libraries when they're due.

You can also return them to:

Middlesbrough Town Hall box office:

  • Monday - 10am to 3pm
  • Friday - 10am to 3pm

MIMA:

  • Tuesday - 10am to 4:30pm
  • Wednesday - 10am to 4:30pm
  • Thursday - 10am to 4:30pm
  • Friday - 10am to 4:30pm
  • Saturday - 10am to 4:30pm
  • Sunday - 12pm to 4pm

Reference services

If you'd like to view any of the titles located in the Reference Library, we may be able to arrange for items to be sent to one of our other venues for you to access.

To find out more, or to enquire about using a microfilm reader, please email reference_library@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

Please note, access to these services may not always be possible.

'Click and collect' at the Town Hall

From 8 January 2024, you can order items over the phone to be picked up at the Town Hall. Our staff will put together a selection of books and let you know when they are ready for collection. You can also order items by emailing us your requests or reserving books directly through the Middlesbrough libraries website.

Collection days:

  • Mondays and Fridays - 10am to 3pm

For more information, email books_on_wheels@middlesbrough.gov.uk or call 01642 249209.

Other changes to library services

We're making some changes to services in nearby Community Hubs, to support residents while Central Library is closed.

From 5 January 2024, opening hours at North Ormesby Community Hub will be extended to:

  • Monday to Friday - 9am to 5pm
  • Saturday - 9:30am to 12:30pm

From 15 January 2024, a new, small library offer will be available at Newport Community Hub. Opening hours are:

  • Monday to Thursday - 9am to 5pm
Artist's impression of the renovations at Central Library