Manchester Central Library Development Trust, the charity that supports educational, cultural and archives work in Manchester Libraries, has secured £8,000 to support a new dual language book gifting initiative being developed by Read Manchester and Manchester Libraries. The grant, from the national lottery funded Community Fund, complements a recent £1,000 grant from the Our Legacy Fund, distributed by the We Love Manchester charity, to support the project.
User feedback from the successful book gifting programme demonstrated a real need for dual language books in community languages, and characters and settings which reflect the city’s diverse communities. Thanks to this new funding, over 1,000 new dual language books for young children, will be purchased and distributed across Manchester, specifically targeting those areas where there is a high ethnically diverse population, such as Cheetham Hill, Gorton, Longsight, and Harpurhey.
Working closely with existing and new distribution partner organisations such as community groups and grocers, youth clubs, food banks, health organisations, refugee groups and homeless refuges will help to strengthen community relationships and build on all the good programme work.
Trust Chair, Brendan O’Shea said: ‘We are extremely grateful to The Community Fund and the We Love Manchester charity for these generous grants that will boost the book gifting programme. The new initiative will also provide opportunities to signpost families to public libraries where there is an enhanced offer of books in community languages and support for the whole family in terms of free access to books, computers and activities.’
Councillor John Hacking, Manchester City Council Executive Member for Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure commented, ‘Providing new dual language children’s books will enable young children and their families to strengthen their relationships within their diverse communities and it will promote the wide-ranging benefits of reading, including family bonding, improved literacy, empathy and well-being.’
To make a donation to Manchester Central Library Development Trust, or to join the Library Lovers committed giving scheme, please visit manchesterlibrarytrust.org