Access to reading has been a lifeline for so many people during lockdown and now that library buildings are open again, it’s the perfect opportunity to return all those overdue books and library materials that have been sitting on shelves for other people to enjoy.

Currently, there are approximately 90,000 items out on loan. The good news is that there are no fines for overdue items returned before 31 May!  From June people will start to be charged fines again.

People are being encouraged to return their books to their local library where possible but can return to any Manchester library. People can find their nearest library and opening times here.

The safety of our customers and staff is most important. In line with Covid guidelines, all library visitors are required to wear a face covering, unless medically exempt.  All customers are asked to sanitise their hands on entry to the library. Social distancing is required and track and trace will also continue to be in place at all sites.

We are delighted to be able to offer more services in our libraries now that lockdown is easing. The gradual reopening and access to more services are the first steps on this long road to normality and we have worked hard to ensure that all our libraries are Covid-safe for the return of staff and residents

And now that our library buildings are open, we have something to ask of residents. We need you to rummage on shelves, bedside tables, book piles and find those library books that were borrowed and bring them back to us so that other people have a chance to enjoy them. We know that people will have a lot on their minds now that life is changing once again but there’s no need to worry about fines on overdue books, we have a time-limited amnesty until the end of May. Our staff will be looking forward to being deluged with book returns.”

Neil MacInnes, OBE, Head of Libraries, Galleries and Culture