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Sedum Roof. Photo: Edmund Sumner for Kier North West

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Teaching room. Photo: Edmund Sumner for Kier North West

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Reference Library. Photo: Edmund Sumner for Kier North West

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Reception area: Photo: Edmund Sumner for Kier North West

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Exterior. Photo: Edmund Sumner for Kier North West



Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre brings together children's, adult and reference libraries, a performance space, IT provision and teaching rooms under one roof.

The building shares an entrance with the adjoining Gallery Oldham and is the second phase of the new cultural quarter in Oldham.

Services and facilities are provided over two floors:

Ground floor:

General lending stock - fiction, non-fiction, community languages, large print, talking books, CDs, DVDs and computer games

Public access PCs

Formal and Informal seating and tables

Teaching rooms

Photocopying facilities

Meeting and interview rooms

Library and Lifelong Learning information points Creche and childcare facilities Staff accommodation and administration rooms Public toilets with baby changing facilities Prayer room Home Library Service information point Performance Space - 80 seater multi-purpose, fully enclosed space Express Library - self-return and issue

First Floor:

Children's Library - books and computer facilities, storytelling area with a commissioned jungle-themed curtain by artist David Burns.

Teenage Library - incorporating a dedicated Homework Centre and young people's space.

Reference and Information Services - magazines, newspapers, books, encyclopaedias, maps, directories, guides, business information and online databases with accommodation for 150 people.

Teaching rooms for Lifelong Learning courses.

Specialist craft rooms and a dedicated dark room.

Environmental features:

Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre received a BREEAM BRE Environmental Assessment Method rating of "Very Good".

Rainwater is collected from a sedum roof, treated and stored. This is then pumped to flush the toilets throughout the building and reduce mains water usage.

The building relies predominantly on natural ventilation and light to minimise energy consumption.


Winner Public Project of the Year at 2006 Builder and Engineer Awards, , Shortlisted for Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award 2007, , Shortlisted for British Construction Industry Awards 2007, , Shortlisted for LABC Built In Quality Awards 2006

The Building

The Building

Type of library

Central/Main library/LRC


6300 m2




Pringle Richards Sharratt

Building contractor

Kier North West

The Space

The Space

Features and services

Special services

Audiovisual/Multimedia areas, Baby changing facilities, Cafe/refreshment areas, Hosting of other agencies, Meeting rooms, Public address system, Specialist subject collections, Teaching rooms

External features

Art works, Shared site, Shared building, Building shape, Landscaping

Internal features

Design features, Structural

Energy efficiency

Energy conservation, Materials used, Structural factors, Water use

Accessibility provision

Access between floors, Access to building, Access within building, Assistive technology, Critical distances, Furniture height, Parking

Interior designer


Furniture suppliers

Demco Interiors

Services and facilities suppliers


IT provision

General, Internet access, Laptop points, Public access terminals, Self service circulation, WiFi, Number of public computer terminals: 88

Seats/study places