Yesterday Councillor John Hacking Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure,  Councillor Adele Douglas Deputy Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure, and I took a report on libraries to the Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee.

Read the report here:

The report describes how the library service are at the heart of our communities and continue to have a positive impact on people’s lives as people recover from the pandemic. The report also includes a Vision for Manchester Libraries that shows the priorities for future years.

Read the vision here:

This report shows the quality of the library service and the huge amount they do that improves the lives of our residents. Also shows how they are integral element of how the Council delivers its services to residents in local neighbourhoods.

There were over 2.2 million visits in 2022, showing how popular our libraries are.

During the winter all our libraries have acted as warm spaces, supporting people with cost of living. Libraries have been giving out free hot drinks.

The Council continues to invest heavily in our libraries, with improvements to several. And 2 new libraries have opened in 2022 – one in the magnificent Gorton Hub and Z-Arts Children’s library in Hulme. We have also seen makeovers at Didsbury and Newton Heath Libraries, and have exciting plans to transform Chorlton Library, reconfigure Longsight Library and will see a new Library and Leisure Centre opening in Crumpsall, as the Abraham Moss Library and Leisure Centre in the summer.

The vision document, linked here describes how important libraries are and sets out our priorities for the next few years – under the themes:

  • Our Manchester, Our People
  • Literacy and Reading
  • Digital Inclusion
  • Culture and Creativity
  • Health and Wellbeing

With this vision we will help to make our great library service even better, and continue to improve the lives of our residents.

Neil MacInnes OBE
Head of Libraries, Galleries, Culture and Youth Services ​