By Alan Vincent
MANCHESTER Central Library will close for three years on April 1 for restoration and refurbishment.
The move, approved by Manchester’s spokesman for culture and leisure, Councillor Mike Amesbury, will deprive readers of more than 22 miles of shelving and one million books for the three year period.
Most services will close on April 1, except the ground floor General Readers' Library, the Library Theatre, and Box Office which are to shut by July 4.
Library staff said:"It's sad but necessary. It'll give us a chance to restore it to its former glory.”
A temporary library focusing on key services will open on June 28, in Elliot house on Deansgate, for the duration of the closure.
Neil MacInnes, Head of Manchester Library Services said: “I recognise that it does mean there will be some inconvenience with the temporary closure, but we are doing all we can to ensure that disruption is minimised.”
There will be no access to non-digitised maps or newspapers that don’t specifically cover the City of Manchester area.
Writers, poets and musicians joined together last Friday to say goodbye to the library.
Mancunian poet, Mike Garry, said: "This place was my education. I read five books a day here."
Opened in 1934 by King George V, the library is one of the city’s best loved landmarks and was designed by E.Vincent Harris who won a competition to design an extension to the Town Hall.
It is one of Britain's biggest libraries and is visited by more than one million people a year.
When the central library reopens in 2013, it will house a new archive centre, a larger lending library and a more impressive electronic catalogue.