Manchester’s Love Parks Week got off to a great start in July, with staff from Avenue Library creating natural crafts for children and families from Blackley and Charlestown – part of celebrating our brilliant wild spaces programme. The day long events were held at Avenue Library and Boggart Hole Clough, with everyone making badgers, squirrels and foxes galore.

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge blasted off at at Manchester libraries with award winning children’s author, Nick Sharratt entertaining over 500 children from local schools. Children aged 4-11 are challenged to read six library books over the summer to get a special pack, medals ad the chance to win a big prize. Last year over 38,000 books were borrowed from our libraries for the Challenge, and we’re hoping that this year will be bigger than ever! There’s also loads of fun things to do in libraries across the city – more than 160 free family craft and activity sessions are planned. Find out more about the Summer Reading Challenge plus a full list of activities on our website.

We’re proud that Manchester Central Library is Manchester Histories main hub for Peterloo Commemoration Activities. 16th August marks 200 years since the Peterloo Massacre. Exhibitions, talks and activities carry on through until the end of August. Find more information on Manchester Histories website.

In recognition of all their hard work in delivering a weekly coffee morning at Gorton Library, volunteers, Sandra and Barbara were rewarded with a certificate and flowers. The coffee morning is a real hub of the community attracting people of all ages and abilities a place where people chat and develop new friendships, tackling social isolation and sharing information.

The Salvation Army Manchester Central Corps in Ardwick was relaunched with an event in July. Library staff were on hand to promote the service and support the day. Local children were the focus and the Summer Reading Challenge was picked up on and explored in between chats with the mayor, dancing, yummy food and snake-handling!

Acclaimed author of The Edge, Alan Gibbons visited the Avenue Library in July. He gave a mesmerising performance to nearly 700 pupils from the Cooperative Academy as part of a new working relationship in North Manchester libraries. Head of English Angie O’Connor said “Thank you so much for today. Year 9 read Alan Gibbons’ The Edge and love the book. The pupils loved today’s visit as did the staff “

Newton Heath Library is enjoying a wild summer! The exciting holiday programme includes Read and Feed, our play scheme to entertain kids and combat holiday hunger. There are lots of great activities lined up including a magic show, recycling games, circus skills, bug hunts with My Wild Library and lots more!

Space Chase, this year’s Summer Reading Challenge is already very popular with our local schools near North City Library. Library staff have visitedlots of schools already, including Ashbury Meadow, St Augustines, St Wilfrids, All Saints, Christ the King, Moston Fields and Lily Lane, to promote Space Chase, and get kids ready to launch into our action-packed summer.

Brooklands Library launched the Summer Reading Challenge with a spaced themed storytime. Children enjoyed listening to Five Little Men in a Flying Saucer plus games and rhymes. Everyone got very artistic in the space craft sessions and ended the event by joining the Summer Reading Challenge.

Didsbury Arts Festival is a nine day multi-arts festival packed full of events celebrating creative culture. Didsbury library took an active role in this year’s festival – the opening event took place in the library gardens with lots of curious and enticing stalls, an amazing performance from a local choir and the wonderful steel band from Ladybarn School. The library team ran craft sessions plus writing and poetry workshops.

In Wythenshawe library visitors enjoyed a lovely Meet Your Neighbours Afternoon Tea at the Forum Library plus crafts and conversation. The idea for the event was to get the community talking, we wanted to bring people who have always lived in Wythenshawe and people that are new to the area or indeed country to come together over common ground – Art and Cake, and start a bigger conversation. This was the first of our events aimed to reach out to our community to help us become a Library of Sanctuary.

In July, Central Library’s Business & Intellectual Property Centre team spent the day at Manchester Youth Market on King Street. It was a great opportunity to chat about what we offer to both the general public out and about shopping and the other stallholders who were all start up businesses from Manchester City Council’s Youth Market programme. The BIPC has been a supporter of the market since it began, delivering workshops and one to one advice to the young traders who have benefited from the resources and expertise available. Several of the traders have been case studies in the BIPC, with display cubes showcasing their products and entrepreneurial journey to library users.