Manchester libraries are counting down the days to Monday, 19 July when they can finally return to offering a pre-pandemic service to all their customers.
From 19 July all libraries will be open again, including Northenden Community Library, the only one which has remained closed since March 2020, with library opening hours close to what they were 18 months ago.
Customers will once again be able to sit, study and relax in libraries with most of the furniture being put back in place. The number of computers available to use will also increase from the previous restricted levels.
Newspapers and magazines are soon to be reintroduced and regular events and activities, beginning with the popular Summer Reading Challenge activities for children and families as well as the popular story time for Under 5s, will return. All the library events are on the website https://loadstodo.co.uk.
Hand sanitiser will continue to be provided at each library and library users will be encouraged to wear a face covering during their visit.
Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, executive member for Neighbourhoods said: “After the last 18 months that we have all had, the reopening of all our libraries next week, including Northenden is such welcome news.
“Our library journey throughout the pandemic has been an arduous one but it was truly satisfying to know that when we were able to open last year, limited as it was, we were able to carry on operating and serving customers and helping people at an exceedingly challenging time providing people with a constant in a very uncertain world.
“Libraries are a lifeline to so many people who do not have alternative ways of using the Internet, with everything that brings – from connecting to friends and family, doing online shopping, applying for jobs, and accessing public services online.
“I am thrilled that we can now get back to offering a wide and varied range of services that people expect from us as we did before lockdown”
Libraries were closed as part of the lockdown in March 2020. In July 2020, when the government allowed libraries to reopen, Manchester opened seven of its 22 libraries opened on that first day. This number steadily increased and there are currently 21 libraries open.
Since then, in the last 12 months, libraries have stayed open giving people access to the Internet and books to borrow. During this time, there have been over two hundred thousand visits, with a quarter of those attending our libraries to use the Internet.
For more information on any of our libraries visit www.manchester.gov.uk/libraries