Manchester Libraries are proud partners of the new Reading Agency campaign ‘Read, Talk, Share’, an initiative to combat loneliness and promote wellbeing through the proven power of reading.

Enabled by a £3.5 million award by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the campaign will expand the already successful Reading Well and Reading Friends programmes.

The two initiatives demonstrate the power of reading to support and connect isolated individuals, and the benefits of reading to mental health.

Here’s some more information about Reading Friends

Reading Friends is a UK-wide programme, which connects people by starting conversations through reading.

Reading Friends 2021 gives opportunities for people who are vulnerable, isolated and at risk of loneliness a safe way to connect with others by phone or online to share their stories, make new friends and have fun.

You can also watch this short film about the Reading Friends project.

Here’s some more information about the Reading Well campaign

Reading Well supports you to understand and manage your health and wellbeing using helpful reading.

The books are all recommended by health experts, as well as people with lived experience of the conditions and topics covered and their relatives and carers.

The collections are –

  • Reading Well for Children
  • Reading Well for Young People
  • Reading Well for Mental Health.

Thanks to the support from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport there will be sets of the three Reading Well collections available soon in for you to reserve and collect from your local Manchester library.

There will also be copies of all the books available on e-book for you to download from home.

What is happening in Manchester?

We’ll be announcing more details of some very exciting plans soon.

  • These will include a feel-good book club on our Facebook page
  • Telephone or online befriending for our customers who are housebound
  • Keeping in touch with our ‘Grand Day’s Out’ friends that cannot meet at their local library at the moment.
  • Donating a chromebook to 15 residents who want to take part in a group, but don’t have Internet access