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Toxteth library opens after £1.3m work

500 books given by Shanghai, and a Chinese party celebrates new look

Published on February 16th 2010.

Toxteth library opens after £1.3m work
A £1.3M refurbishment of Toxteth Library has been completed and will be officially unveiled for all to see this week, with a special Chinese themed party this Wednesday.

And the Windsor Street library has become the UK’s only public library to have been chosen as part of the ‘Window of Shanghai’ programme, receiving 500 books from the Chinese city which will of course, host the World Expo and, more importantly, Liverpol, in May.

The Window of Shanghai collection launches tomorrow (Wednesday, 17 February) as part of Toxteth library’s official re-opening after a £1.3m refurbishment funded by The Big Lottery Fund.

To celebrate the re-opening, the library - which services Europe’s oldest Chinese community and has nearly a 1,000 regular Chinese customers - is hosting a special ‘Through the Eye of The Tiger’ party.

The community event, which forms part of Liverpool’s Chinese New Year celebrations, kicks off at 1.00pm with activities ranging from food tasting, planting, face painting, story telling, poetry and music both inside and outside the library until 8.00pm.

Shanghai, which has been twinned with Liverpool since 2000, launched its book programme in 2003 to promote Chinese culture and has now established connections with 150 libraries in 20 countries.

The £1.3m grant from the Big Lottery Fund enabled the restoration of many Edwardian features at Toxteth Library, such as the original sash windows and radiators, along with the creation of new study areas, meeting rooms, exhibition space, a refreshment area and performance space. It has also funded two outreach workers to work in the Toxteth community for the next three years.

The library also has new computers and Wi-Fi installed throughout. It is the 17th library in Liverpool to have been refurbished or redeveloped in the past ten years.

Helen Bullough, Big Lottery Fund Head of Region for the North West, said: “Libraries sit at the heart of our communities so are ideally placed to host a range of important local services. The Big Lottery Fund has invested over £12.9 million to improve libraries in the North West, enabling them to offer a range of services beyond their traditional role, including advice, education and training.

“It’s fantastic to see the new and improved library in Toxteth and I’m sure it will become a hub for activities in the area.”

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