1. Programs
  2. History
  3. Bus and Parking
  4. Meeting Space
  5. At the Library


2 men playing chess at the Central library

An intense game of chess. Chess tables and pieces are always available and games are played throughout the day.

All Programs  

Drop In  

Wolf Performance Hall

Book Clubs

Computer and Technology


ESL and Languages

Health and Wellness


Just for Fun


Mind and Psychology

Movies and films

Shows and Concerts

Talks and Lectures

Workshops, Classes, and Lectures



Teens or Tweens







Note: The programs listed are only the ones offered at Central (which is open to all).  We have a variety of programs offered at each of our 16 locations which are also open to everyone.



Central library

This facility includes Central Adult and the Spriet Family Children's Library, the Teen Annex, Administration, Technical Support Services, Maintenance Services, Community Outreach and Development and Communications. Visiting Library Service is managed from this location.

The LPL systems's periodicals, government publications and microform collections are held here. As well, Central Library has large videocassette and fiction collections.

Central Library serves as a resource for branch libraries. Community Outreach provides extensive programs to support continuing education and leisure interests

Historical Facts about Central Library

May 6, 1895 The last meeting of the London Mechanics' Institute takes place. Minutes of the institute from 1841 to 1861 and 1879 to 1895 are located in the London Room at the Central Library.

Summer 1913 The Children’s Room opens in the west end of the ground floor of the Central Library, formerly used as a ladies’ reading room.

November 18, 1913 Rev. Dr. James Ross, a member of the London Public Library Board, is struck and killed by an automobile while in New York seeking an Andrew Carnegie library grant of $125,000 for building and furnishing a new central library. The library never receives a Carnegie grant.

1934 Elsie Perrin Williams, the only child of Daniel S. Perrin of the Perrin Biscuit Company, dies, leaving a large bequest to the city, a portion of which was used to build the new Central Library.

November 17, 1939 The cornerstone for the new central library at 305 Queens Avenue is laid by Mayor Allan J. Johnston.

September 20, 1940 The Central Library at the southwest corner of Queens Avenue and Wellington Street, closes.

October 4, 1940 The Elsie Perrin Williams Memorial Building housing the art gallery, central library and historical museum, is opened by the Hon. Duncan McArthur, Minister of Education at 305 Queens Avenue on the site of the former Princess Rink and Winter Gardens. It had room for 48,000 volumes, a second-floor art gallery, and an auditorium and children's library in the basement.

December 7, 1940 The Active Service Club, a recreational centre for soldiers, opens its doors in the former Central Library building which was bought by the YMCA after the Second World War ended.

March 31, 1942 The world premier showing of Canada's first feature-length film in colour, Here Will I Nest, is held in the auditorium of the Central Library.

1952 Three new galleries are added to the second floor of the Central Library.

February 1954 The old Central Library building at Queens Avenue and Wellington Street is demolished to make way for an addition to the YM-YWCA.

April 26, 1968 The new million-dollar addition to the Central Library was formally opened by Ontario Premier John P. Robarts, providing a new children’s wing, more book space and more gallery space and increasing overall floor space from 39,600 square feet to 97,480 square feet.

1981 Major renovations were made to the Central Library when the art gallery's former space of 12,940 square feet was renovated and a new staircase provided easier access to the newly expanded second floor. The London Room moved to the second floor.

July 1, 1987 The Children’s Library rejoins the Central Library after almost twelve years in Branch services.

February 8, 2000 It is announced that the Central Library would be relocating to the former Hudson’s Bay Department Store at 251 Dundas Street - in effect returning to its roots with the former Mechanics Institute building still standing next door at 231 Dundas Street.

February 5, 2001 The exterior facade, foyer and central hall of the former Central Library at 205 Queens Avenue is designated a heritage building by the City of London.

August 25, 2002 The new Central Library opens at 251 Dundas Street.

June 5, 2003 A 20-week long project officially begins for the construction of the Rotary Reading Garden on a former parking lot just east of the new Central Library.

October 5, 2005 Betsy Reilly and Father William B. "Bill" Thompson become London's first inductees into the Teachers' Wall of Fame at the new Central Library.

January 2009 The Library Settlement Project is started at four locations: Beacock, Central, Jalna and Sherwood. The project is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada in partnerships with the Centre for Lifelong Learning, the London Cross Cultural Centre, LUSO Community Services and the South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre.

July 7, 2012 Employment Resource Centres close at Central, Crouch and Jalna branches.


Click HERE for a complete chronological history of London Public Library.

Central Branch Profile (PDF)



Parking is available in the underground Citi Plaza London parking lot. You may enter the parking lot via Wellington, York, Clarence or King Street.

To validate your parking during library hours, for up to 2 hours, please present your parking stub and London Public Library Card to staff at the Welcome Desk or the Lending Services Desk.

If you need to pay for parking, make sure you pay at the machine on P11 before returning to your car.



Bus Route

You can get to us by London Transit Commission (LTC).  

Go to LTC Routes to select a route, direction and stop and you will be given the next three arrival times and destination for that stop based on live data. Each stop location in the drop-down list is followed by its corresponding bus stop ID number.

Meeting Space

View all Library Spaces at London Public Library:  Meeting Rooms, Study and Music Practice Rooms and Wolf Performance Hall.

For more information and to rent or reserve a meeting room, contact Meetings and Events Services staff at (519)-661-5120 or

At the Library

Central Library Collection

Adult / General



Note: The materials linked in this section are those materials currently located at Central location.  We are happy to deliver materials from any London Public Library location to your requested library location.  This service is free and quite efficient.

Please also see the following sections for our collections from across the library system: New Items, Life, Research, Staff Picks, Kids, and Teens.

Each location has a materials return chute that is open when the library is closed except Cherryhill and Sherwood (chutes available during mall hours).

Library Services

In addition to lending, reference, reader's advisory and community referral services, we offer computer workstations with access to the Internet as well as software and electronic resources.

Find out more about:

The Ivey Family London Room

The Ivey Family London Room is a research facility for genealogy and local history located at the Central Library. It contains a wealth of secondary source materials on the city of London and the counties of Elgin, Middlesex, Norfolk and Oxford as well as original materials on the city of London and Middlesex County, such as:

  • books
  • diaries & manuscripts
  • minutes
  • maps
  • photographs and other memorabilia
  • selected municipal documents

The London Room collection does not circulate. 
The London Room is open when the Central Library is open.

Click HERE for Local history and genealogy research service

Click HERE for more details on the London Room.