Our Libraries have been ‘out of this world’ this summer since we launched the Space Chase themed Summer Reading Challenge in July. Thousands of children have been visiting libraries to borrow books and take part in over 160 free activities. More and more children are now completing the Challenge to read six library books and are being presented with their medals and certificates.  There are only three more weeks to go until we announce the winners of our prizes, including goody bags for children who really have gone the extra mile this summer. 

This year’s Wythenshawe Games started with three fabulous sunny days bringing the highest attendance figures for the Pop-Up Library since it started!  Fit-Tastic delivered physical activities including, hula hooping, parachute fun, a balance track as well as play with balloons, hoops, bean bags, scooter boards, ‘read and ride’ and many more! Children and adults alike enjoyed the sessions, a group of adults with disabilities enjoyed taking part in many of the active sessions too. Archives+ and the National Football Museum also joined us for a day. The library crafts table was the busiest it has ever been, with soft play for toddlers and a new ball pool.

ZooLab provided a captivating session as part of the Summer Reading Challenge Programme as they brought in a whole host of wriggly alien-looking creatures to entertain everyone. Giving children the opportunity to be able to hold or touch the animals really brought the stories to life!
“Children thoroughly enjoyed the Zoo Lab, it was very engaging and informative. Children were very interested in learning more about the things shown”. “My Grandchildren are amazed and loving every moment”

Library staff in Levenshulme donned Rainbow t-shirts and joined the Tonbridge Road Allotments Community Open Day celebrating both Levy Pride and National Allotments Week. Staff dug out the badge maker and got inventive with making pressed flowers from the community allotments into badges. There was an assortment of food cooked using ingredients grown at the allotment including wood fired pizza and an assortment of cakes.

Withington Library staff ran a craft stall at the Little Fest in Old Moat Park, it was a creative fun event with a broad mix of activities including music jamming, circus skills, face painting, tree dressing and crafts. Families found out about the Summer Reading Challenge and staff had the pleasure of gifting some books.

Popular as ever, Read and Feed returned this year to our libraries with lots of families joining up for a lovely free lunch for kids followed by a fun activity or craft. Newton Heath, Gorton and Fallowfield library have entertained children with activities ranging from circus skills, coding clubs to African drumming! Thanks to our partners who have delivered fabulous free sessions for us, including Manchester Adult Education Family Learning Team, Canal & Rivers Trust, The Dogs Trust, Film Club and GM Police. 

Space Chase Summer Reading Challenge was the perfect opportunity for waste disposal and recycling experts Biffa to capture children’s attention with a fun and educational game on the correct way to use our recycling services and make sure the right cartons go in the right bin! Parents had lots of questions too and we had a fascinating film and Q & A session about the best way to recycle all our rubbish. Full Marks and Gold Medals all round guys!

Company Chameleon came to the Forum Library and provided the children with a fun filled hour of dancing. The dance class was interactive, energetic and animated. Children played Space Chase as part of the Summer Reading Challenge as they imitated aliens and planets. They used all of the floor space in the large junior library and let their imaginations create their own space world!

North City has had a fantastic summer so far with great events for children and families. This year’s Space Chase Summer Reading Challenge got off to a cracking start with a side splittingly silly visit by the Magically Magical Magic Show and the Incredible Ian who dazzled us with his visual comedy before amazing us with his conjuring tricks and making the packed audience gasp with astonishment! Lots of children signed up to complete their Reading Challenge and we even got to award a few early gold medals and certificates to the keenest readers. 

Libraries & Archives+ were on the Spanish Steps of the Brookes Building, MMU for one our favourite Moss Side & Hulme annual events. Loads of fun was had with the young creatives (and some older) stretching imaginations with fantastic animations using archive photos of the local area as backdrops.  The event, created by the Manchester Metropolitan University brings together a host of local organisations. One mum had this to say “Stop motion was fantastic as was 3D printing – never would have known how much goes on within libraries!”