The Harris library opens temporary home in the Guild Hall

Posted on - 20th October, 2021 - 12:13pm | Author - | Posted in - City Centre, Education, Politics, Preston buildings & attractions, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston Guild Hall, Preston News, Things to Do in and around Preston, What's On in Preston
CCllr Buckley outside the library

The Harris library has opened a temporary site in the Guild Hall while renovation works begin on the museum building.


The library has moved across the road from the Grade I Harris building while work on the Harris Your Place project begins.

From Monday 18 October, residents can return books, find their favourite reads, book computer sessions and enjoy a programme of workshops and activities until The Harris building opens following the major refurbishment.

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Cllr Kelly in the library

County Councillor Peter Buckley said: “This is a temporary move for the library whilst work is being done as part of the project.


“Staff have all been working incredibly hard behind the scenes to ensure the library opens to the public in its new home from home at the Guild Hall. They have cleared shelves, moved hundreds of books and set up public computers ready for use.

“I would like to thank everyone who helped with the enormous task of moving an entire library to a new location and also to thank library users for their patience during the move.”

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The temporary Harris library

The organisers said residents should look out for their half-term activities, which are coming soon and include Harry Potter and Halloween-themed workshops in the Guild Hall foyer.

Councillor Peter Kelly added: “We are delighted that the library is now open for everyone to visit.”

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For the duration of the Harris Your Pace project, the museum and art galleries are closed, but they are planning Harris pop-ups with community partners. They said they continue to loan works out to regional and UK museums and galleries and acquire new work for the collections.

Read more: UCLan cites ‘Covid-19 health and safety restrictions’ after switching off all water fountains 

The museum said they are delighted to announce a recent successful application to the Frieze Collections Fund to purchase new works to form part of the opening displays at the museum when it re-opens in 2024.

The Harris remains busy behind the scenes with activities like the Frieze Collections Fund acquisition, collection loans and the Harris in the City pop-ups.

The Collections Fund at Frieze was awarded to the Harris Museum and Art Gallery after a competitive application process open to the Contemporary Art Society’s 70 museum members across the UK.

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The Harris collections include historic and idealised representations of family life. The curators were keen to identify artists who present a complex range of insights into family life today. The choice of works responds to themes raised by local people at the Harris Summer Fun Days.

Preston’s African Caribbean Stories at UCLan’s PR1 Gallery is the first display of several taking place around Preston whilst the museum is closed. 

The exhibition has been curated and written by members of Preston’s Caribbean community and presents stories and objects that give an insight into community life.

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Many of the stories are celebratory. They highlight the community’s contribution to the city over more than 60 years, including music, sport, food and Preston’s Caribbean Carnival.

Harris artworks are currently on loan in the region, including paintings from Preston born artist Reginald Aspinwall. The Reginald Aspinwall: a troubled landscape exhibition now on display at Lancaster City Museum. It tells his life story and his links to the cities of Preston and Lancaster.

Tate Liverpool is hosting the Lucian Freud ‘Still Life with Squid and Sea Urchin’ display. The work features in the ‘Lucian Freud: Real Lives’ exhibition and is one of the artists’ early still life compositions and a favourite with Harris visitors. 

Read more: Preston College to enforce mask-wearing as Covid-19 cases rise nationally

The library and IT services will be open Monday to Saturday, from 9am to 5pm.

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Will you be visiting the Harris library’s new home? Let us know in the comments below

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