An Adlington removals firm will be handling some of the world’s rarest and most valuable books when it moves the collection of Liverpool Central Library to its newly-refurbished premises later this year.

The complex move will take staff from Andrew Porter Ltd several months before the library re-opens in spring 2013.

The Huyton Road-based firm has been appointed by Liverpool City Council to provide specialist relocation services for the vast collection, which is being held at five storage sites during the £50m upgrade to the Grade II listed building on William Brown Street.More than 40,000 linear metres of books will be moved during the four-month project, which is due to begin in late November. Around 20 crew members per day will be packing up to 20,000 crates to move the collection.

Rare and valuable items, including the £5m Audubon’s Birds of America that will have its own dedicated room in the new library, will be kept under close guard in secure transportation. “This is a large and complex project that will take a great deal of careful planning,” said managing director of Andrew Porter Limited, Tim Aspey.

“Before the move begins we will be consolidating, re-packing and re-labelling the collection so that the books can easily be placed back on the shelves and in the repository in the correct order.

“We will also be taking special care to protect the historic fabric of the library building itself during the removal process.”

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member responsible for libraries, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “This project will signal the final stages of the restoration which will see this city centre gem returned to its former glory as well as creating a 21st century facility for all library users.”