In today’s world of shrinking budgets, public libraries are forced to develop more creative funding sources. Sales of used books and items emblazoned with library logos are relatively common, but England’s Liverpool Central Library has a new proposal to help make ends meet: weddings.
An October 3 report from the BBC states weddings are one of several suggestions to revitalize library services and raise needed funds. This proposal was mentioned in a September 2017 Mayoral Report published by the Liverpool Library Advisory Task Group. The fifty-page document recommends “paid tours, weddings and other income generating activities” as part of a “commercial strategy to generate income for the Library Service.” According to the BBC, there is the potential for the library to collaborate on weddings with the historic Liverpool venue St. George’s Hall.
As novel as it may sound, Liverpool’s wedding idea is not entirely new; various U.S. libraries are already offering weddings. Popular wedding website The Knot, prominently featured the wedding of NFL defensive end Devon Still and his wife Asha, held at the famous Stephen A. Schwarzman building of the New York Public Library, as its “Dream Wedding” of 2016. This high-profile ceremony inspired a list of seven other libraries-turned-wedding-venues. A couple of the notable entries on the list include the Boston Public Library and Johns Hopkins’ George Peabody Library.
With many libraries already renting meeting room space, serving as wedding venues should not come as a great surprise. At the end of the day, weddings are events in the same way that meetings of community groups or local businesses are. The appeal to couples is certainly there as well: with costs rising, perhaps it is more palatable to know that the fees help the library with its fundraising efforts.
Would you consider hosting weddings at your library? Could this be another source of much-needed revenue? Share your thoughts in the comments!
 “Wedding proposal for future of Liverpool’s libraries.” BBC News. October 3, 2017. Accessed October 24, 2017. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-merseyside-41482242.
 Liverpool Library Advisory Task Group. “Mayoral Report.” September 2017. Accessed October 24, 2017. http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/documents/s215110/LATG%20Report%20September%202017%20031017.pdf.
 Cooper, Kristen Maxwell. “NFL Player Devon Still & Asha Joyce Are Married!” The Knot. Accessed October 24, 2017. https://www.theknot.com/content/the-knot-dream-wedding-2016-photos.
 Anton, Carrie. “7 Stunning Libraries Where You Can Get Married.” The Knot. Accessed October 24, 2017. https://www.theknot.com/content/library-wedding-venues.