CHRISTMAS carols, pop-up opera and children's storytelling are just some of the events planned to celebrate the re-opening of the county library at Oxford's Westgate centre.

The newly-named Oxfordshire County Library will re-open next Monday, with music, classes for parents and babies, talks from authors, carols and much more.

Since November 18, staff at Oxford Central Library have been moving its entire catalogue of books from their temporary home in Oxford Castle Quarter to its new home – in its old spot – at the Westgate centre.

And the council today released a sneak peek video from inside the new library, showing off some of its features. 

The council has urged people to make the most of the new library – the third busiest council-run library in the country before its closure – in the run up to Christmas.

The county council's cabinet member for cultural services, Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, said: "We are really looking forward to welcoming people to our new County Library and I would urge everyone to pay us a visit in the run-up to Christmas and check out our excellent opening events.

"From pop-up opera, dancing and Christmas carols to children’s storytelling and craft sessions, there should be something for all ages and tastes."

The celebrations will get underway on December 18 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a tour of a new area designed to give people access to digital technology, such as 3D printers.

The county music service's string quartet will perform at lunchtime before more technological demonstrations and then a recital from the city council and county council staff choir.

In the afternoon Robin Stevens – author of the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries for children – will give a talk at 1.30pm, with the actors from Oxford Playhouse's Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime bringing a taste of fairytale fun until 5pm.

Events will continue throughout the week with the Blackbird Leys Community Choir singing carols and other songs on Tuesday night.

It is hoped the new library, at the heart of the £440m shopping centre, will attract more people than it did previously at the old Westgate.

Mrs Lindsay-Gale said: "Before the old Central Library closed, it was ranked as the third busiest council-run library in the country.

"We now want to build on that strong support from the Oxfordshire community, and welcome more people than ever before.

"We’re hoping to sign up as many new members as possible and bring some Christmas cheer to our very first visitors later this month."

For a full list of events and performances go to