Abraham Moss Library is back!

City officials, council members, officers, key stakeholders, community group users and local residents joined Abraham Moss Library and Leisure Centre to celebrate the opening of this amazing new facility. Councillor John Hacking spoke about the importance of investment in health, culture and education. Having both a vibrant library and a modern leisure centre in one location provides an enriching environment for the local community.

Various activities took place, such as heart health checks with Heart Valve Voice who also provided advice for attendees with their trained clinicians. Archives+ staff brought along some original archive material from Crumpsall Workhouse and historic photographs from the Crumpsall Memory Box. Edward Kane was a very special guest, Edward is a much appreciated and valued volunteer with Abraham Moss Library, who has been volunteering for over 20 years!

Refreshments were served in the relaxing Age-Friendly seating area, whilst activities such as Storytime and a library tour was provided for Abraham Moss Community School librarians, reading ambassadors.

Black British Book Festival

Black British Book Festival partners and The Lord Mayor of Manchester

Manchester Libraries were thrilled to be one of the UK cities to welcome the Black British Book Festival tour. In its third year the Black British Book Festival is Europe’s largest celebration of black literature, a fast-growing and a widely acclaimed event showcasing black authors and providing a platform for established and up and coming writers across the country.

Manchester Central Library opened for a special Sunday Funday for a fabulous day packed with storytelling, workshops and talks from Jackie Kay, Kehinde Andrews, Derek Owusu, Ore Agbaje-Williams, Lola Jaye, Ella Phillips, Kimberley Whittam and Jaqueline Roy. The event was supported by The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Yasmine Dar and Councillor Adele Douglas Deputy Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure. The library also hosted nearly 30 exhibitors, including many independent booksellers and charities on the day that one visitor described as ‘buzzing with excitement. It’s a real sense of community’. We can’t wait for next year!

Promoting Digital Inclusion Across Manchester

Our council’s Digital Inclusion team have made strides towards citywide inclusivity in the past year, and our updated Digital Inclusion Action Plan demonstrates our commitment to support all Manchester people to access the benefits of being online.

To help with the rollout of our new approach to Digital Inclusion, we’ve also updated our website to reflect our goals.

If you work with the residents of Manchester, then you might want to bookmark our new Digital Help and Support page, which contains a whole host of useful information to help you assist digitally excluded people. In fact, if you’d like to show someone some of the work we’ve done already, you can find blogs, stories and partner profiles on our new site too!

Finally, if you work with any community centres who are looking at integrating Digital Inclusion into their core services and offers, then please share our partners page with them, where they can book a consultation with our team.

Summer Reading Challenge and Holiday Activity Fund at North City Library

Children balancing football on their backs

North Area Libraries have had a wonderful time this summer with a packed programme for children and young people including activities for Ready, Set, Read,  and the Summer Reading Challenge. Holiday Activity Fund sessions ran twice a week for four weeks at Miles Platting and Newton Heath Library with brilliant crafts, sport and fun things to do, plus a free lunch included.

Attendees made jewellery with Jesmonite, enjoyed STEM activities with NG Bailey building structures and model cars. Activities also included reading books together and having the opportunity to hold animals such as rats, land snails, centipedes, snakes and stick insects with Zoo Lab! Football freestyling skills with Mr Silky Skills were great fun, and local artists facilitated various creative activities for attendees to make and take home.

Chorlton Book Festival

Celebrating its 18th year, Chorlton Book Festival held various events in venues across Chorlton to reach new audiences and spread the love of reading. The programme included authors of queer fantasy novels, creative writing workshops, open mic nights, biographies of Muslim Manchester United fans, debut authors and magical family fun days.

Hulme High Street Library Over 50s group visit

Visitors photographed next to some archive shelving

Following on from our successful session during local community history month, the over 50s group finally visited Central Library which was on their wish list. Members of MLFHS explained how to start off on their family history journeys. Next up was a behind the scenes tour where the group got to view our most treasured items in the strong rooms, followed by a session in the searchrooms checking out the archives collections local to Hulme.

Build a Business is Back!

Our highly successful Build a Business support program returned in September after securing a £1.4m grant from UK SPF. Operating in Libraries across the 10 Greater Manchester Authorities, Build a Business is available for people who are starting up or just thinking about it! Support includes access to a great program of workshops covering market research, Intellectual Property, getting started, and marketing. The project is supported by a network of Enterprise Officers based in each GM authority including Central Library who will be delivering workshops and providing support on a 1-2-1 basis.

Build a Business workshops began at the Business & IP Centre Manchester in September, with a three hour sessions on researching your market, and learning about intellectual property. Next month there will be workshops on the basics of getting started, and the essentials of marketing for new businesses.

It was great to see so many children completing the Summer Reading Challenge again this year as well as participating in the Book Review competition over the summer. Library staff are now in the process of selecting the winners of the Grand Prize and goody bags for each library! 

Refurbishment of Longsight Library

Baby and adult reading in the children's library

Longsight Library has reopened after a lovely refurbishment and move around! The children’s library is now a big bright colourful space where families can hang out, read together, and play. The book shelves are all on wheels which will allows staff to rearrange the space depending on the needs of various events such as LEGO & Storytime sessions. There are two new glass fronted meeting rooms, and lots of space for customers to plug in their devices for them to study or just relax and read or chat. All of the library staff love these new updates, as so do the customers!