This bulletin provides news from libraries in and around the city with some highlights of what’s been going on throughout the month. So much has been happening to serve our residents and visitors, and meet the needs of the people and the communities of Manchester.
Exhibition of the late Queen Elizabeth II
Central Library was key to the city’s response to the sad news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. 12 Books of Condolence were made available for signing in the library’s reading room. A photographic and video exhibition that celebrates the Queen’s life and her visits to Manchester is now on display at Central Library.
Bigbot Robots at Withington and Forum Library
As part of the South Libraries summer HAF program, Withington and the Forum Library ran two amazing robot workshops. Children worked with artist Mark Haig to create 6ft tall robot sculptures from waste electrical and electronic equipment!
The children had a great learning experience by using tools to dismantle the equipment and build the robots. Everyone contributed to the design and creation process, making it a lovely way to learn new skills and work as part of a team.
Some wonderful, proud Bigbot Robots are now standing tall and generating lots of conversation and attention in the libraries. Library staff have commented how lovely it is to see some of the children bring members of the family into the library so they can show off the robots and talk about how they created them. These robots may be the most photographed Robots ever as it seems no one can walk past without taking a picture!
South African Drumming at Brooklands Library
A brilliant hands-on African drumming session was very much enjoyed at Brooklands Library. It was just one of the many Summer Reading Challenge events held across libraries this summer. Families had fun learning about the history of the drums and how to play them, each child had a drum to play on. Everyone soon picked up the rhythm, banging out some fabulous tunes, it seems the children of Brooklands are naturals!
“Brilliant activity for my 8-year-old and my 6-year-old. Everyone got involved and all had fun. Engaging teacher!”
European Language Day
Working with the Cervantes Institute, the Dante Institute and the Alliance Francaise, library staff ran their first celebration of European Language Day in Central Library on Saturday 24th September.
The afternoon was a great success, firstly, a story was told in French, Spanish, Italian and English, and families were invited to listen to the story in each language in turn and then everyone joined together. The afternoon ended with the opportunity to join in for a crafting session, and time to say goodbye to new friends made on the day.
Each of our libraries is now a drop-off point for old devices such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and desktops. The devices get sent to the organisation that the library’s Digital Inclusion Team commissioned to refurbish devices – Community Computers – who refurbish them and sell them at low cost to Manchester residents.
Zine Club at Powerhouse Library
Powerhouse Library has a fantastic array of Saturday afternoon activities for children and young people. Once a month, local volunteer Torin visits the library to run Zine Club. It’s a great time and place for ideas and imagination to run wild. A recent example of this creativity, is the tale of a lonely coloured red dot, who eventually finds a friend in a green dot. The sequel tells the story of their blue dot child! The club had loads of children attending with equally brilliant imaginations. Powerhouse Library has a fantastic array of Saturday afternoon activities for children and young people. Once a month, local volunteer Torin visits the library to run Zine Club. It’s a great time and place for ideas and imagination to run wild. A recent example of this creativity, is the tale of a lonely coloured red dot, who eventually finds a friend in a green dot. The sequel tells the story of their blue dot child! The club had loads of children attending with equally brilliant imaginations.
Chorlton Book Festival
Chorlton book festival returned for the 18th year this September! With a selection of activities including games, history, poetry and author visits, there really was something for everybody, all ages, all tastes.
Highlights included a talk with Joanne Williams, about ‘The great Miss Lydia Becker’, the story of the extraordinary Manchester women who inspired the Pankhursts.
Author, Kristina Stephenson ran three sessions enjoyed by four local schools who all brought groups of children in.
“Kristina was AMAZING! We loved it, her variety of activities were brilliant, she was so lively and engaging”.
Colouring Club at Arcadia Library
Arcadia Library started a new Colouring Club for 2-11 year olds this summer, which takes place after school on Thursday afternoons. Children get to hang out with each other and relax as they colour in images of their favourite characters and scenes with felt tips, crayons.
The first week started with a Summer Reading Challenge Treasure Hunt. The children enjoyed spotting the gadgeteers and their companions. One parent said: “It is a very good idea for the children to use their imagination through colouring”. A child attending had this to say: “I really had a lot of fun colouring my favourite picture.”
Becoming an Entrepreneur at the Business & IP Centre
Manchester Business & IP Centre were delighted to run an inspiring talk with award-winning entrepreneur Esmail Patel (The Deaf Man) at Central Library. Esmail is the Sales Director at the successful business, Interpreting Solutions 2 UK which is based in Altrincham. Their mission is: “by enabling the D/deaf community to be included within the wider community, we hope to deliver the equality and participation, which we believe is every human’s right.”
Esmail’s talk was very interesting, he discussed how he overcame various barriers to becoming a success in business. Participants had lot’s of questions for Esmail as he also shared a variety of tips on being your own boss and finding funding.
Cheetham Cultural Festival
Library staff Fozia and Alison represented Manchester Libraries at the Cheetham ITC Open Day as part of the Cheetham Cultural Festival. Staff offered library membership for parents and children, and offered free craft packs to children under 8 years old. The Open Day was a great opportunity to share information with parents, community leaders and educators about the resources available, such as the See Myself in Books collection free to schools and the South Asian Heritage Month events held earlier in the Summer. It was great to promote the upcoming Manchester Carnival workshops from AIU Race Archive which are planned for October Half Term.
Storyteller at North City Library
Roald Dahl Day was celebrated in huge style at North City Library with a fantastic visit by storyteller Andy Copps. Andy performed his extraordinary and hilarious version of ‘Billy and the Minpins’ by Roald Dahl. Saviour Primary School and Manchester Communication Primary Academy snapped up this offer of a free activity for their Year 3 and Year 4 children and were super keen to ensure that all 120 of their children were able to attend.
North City Library staff welcomed the children with a talk about joining the library and how to borrow their favourite Roald Dahl books, including ‘Billy and the Minpins’. Teachers and children were enthralled by Andy’s captivating performance and thanked us deeply for offering them the chance to attend this engaging session and share their love of Roald Dahl’s amazing books. Andy is a very engaging actor and with his silly voices ensure it’s a really fun activity. By enlisting the help of the children to wear wings and other props, he skilfully depicted this enchanting story book and really switched the children on into the world of ‘Billy and the Minpins’.
We’re going to find the Monster!
As young people returned to school, September started with a huge ‘welcome to libraries’ plan for to pre-school children and parents. In partnership with Sure Start Children’s Centres across the city, Manchester Libraries offered a wonderful Storytime for parents and carers to bring their pre-school children.
As part of the National Literacy Trust’s Early Years literacy project Early Words Together at Two, our Library staff read a brilliant new book “We’re Going to Find the Monster!” by acclaimed author Malorie Blackman and award-winning illustrator Dapo Adeola, featuring familiar central characters of Afro-Caribbean heritage.
Parents were invited to visit their local Children’s Centre to pick up a free copy of the story book plus an activity booklet full of easy fun ideas for the family. North City Library, Newton Heath, Beswick, Abraham Moss and Avenue Libraries delivered five sessions for this activity, with library staff working closely with Sure Start centres.