This month Manchester Libraries gained Libraries of Sanctuary Status. The award, presented by Manchester City of Sanctuary, demonstrates the warm welcome that asylum seekers and refugees will receive when using any of our libraries. We are one of the library services in the country to have received this status.
Manchester’s libraries are the beating hearts of their communities, vibrant places. being used by the cross section of the population. As well as providing a warm welcome to asylum seekers and refugees, libraries also commit to celebrating diversity and spreading understanding of the lives of sanctuary seekers. Libraries staff have received training on sanctuary seekers to increase their understanding. Several asylum seekers have volunteered within libraries, particularly to help with events, such as International Mother Language Day and Refugee Week. This year’s refugee week takes place between 14 to 20 June, with a Refugee Voices event taking place on Tue 15 Jun 2021 at 7pm.
The award was presented by Manchester City of Sanctuary to the Lord Mayor Councillor Tommy Judge, by Liz Hibberd from Manchester City of Sanctuary during the Festival of Libraries at Central Library on Sunday 13 June.
Liz Hibberd from Manchester City of Sanctuary says, ‘It was fantastic to be able to present the Sanctuary Award for Manchester Libraries. Across the city, library staff have worked hard to learn, embed and share understanding and best practice to ensure that those seeking sanctuary are welcomed, understood and supported.’