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The Harris library opens in the Guild Hall

The Harris library and IT services has now opened in its new temporary ‘home from home’ in the Guild Hall.

The library has ‘’upped sticks’ and moved across the road from the Grade I Harris building for work on the Harris Your Place project to begin. From Monday 18th October you can return books, find your favourite reads, book computer sessions and enjoy a programme of workshops and activities until The Harris building reopens following major refurbishment.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Cabinet member for community and cultural services at Lancashire County Council, said:

“This is a temporary move for the library whilst work is being done as part of the  Harris Your Place 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.”

Councillor Peter Kelly, Cabinet member for culture and arts at Preston City Council, added:

“We are delighted that the library is now open for everyone to visit.

Look out for half term activities coming soon including Harry Potter and Halloween themed workshops taking place in the Guild Hall foyer.

For the duration of the  Harris Your Place  project the museum and art galleries are closed but we have exciting plans for Harris ‘pop ups’ working with community partners, and will continue to loan works out to regional and UK museums and galleries and acquire new work for our collections.

We are also 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 2025″

The Harris will remain very 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. The Harris collections are rich in historic and idealised representations of family life and curators were keen to identify artists who present a more complex range of insights into family life today. The choice of works is in response to themes raised by local people at our Harris Summer Fun Days.

Harris in the City

Preston’s African Caribbean Stories at UCLan’s PR1 Gallery is the first display of a number that will take place around Preston whilst the museum is closed for major refurbishment and re-display. 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. Many of the stories are celebratory and highlight the huge contribution that the community has made to the city for more than 60 years, including music, sport, food and Preston’s vibrant Caribbean Carnival.

Harris collections currently on loan

Harris artworks currently on loan in the region including paintings from Preston born artist REGINALD ASPINWALL: A troubled landscape exhibition now on display at Lancaster City Museum. The exhibition tells his fascinating life story and his links to the cities of Preston and Lancaster. If you’re heading to Tate Liverpool anytime soon, you’ll see our Lucian Freud ‘Still Life with Squid and Sea Urchin’ on display. This work features in the ‘Lucian Freud: Real Lives’ exhibition. It’s one of a handful of the artists’ early still life compositions and a favourite with Harris visitors.

Look out for more Harris updates on social media and on our website.

The library and IT services will be open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm and will be available for all

Preston’s African Caribbean Stories is on until 27 October 2021

REGINALD ASPINWALL: A troubled landscape is on until 7 November 2021

The Harris Library Home from Home in the Guild Hall arcade will join other businesses located in the Guild Hall including Carol May’s Academy and The Dancers Wardrobe