Health and wellbeing Coronavirus

Libraries

Last updated at 2.30pm, Friday 31 July

At 9pm on Thursday 30 July, the Government announced that people from different households will not be allowed to meet each other in their homes or gardens in Greater Manchester from midnight, as a result of an increase in positive tests.

People living inside and outside of Manchester can continue to travel in and out for work and you can still go to cafes, restaurants, the gym and other public places, but only with members of your own household – even if you are going outside of the restricted area.

Visit gov.uk for the latest guidance on these restrictions.

Some libraries reopened on Saturday 4 July

Manchester City Council will began the phased process of safely welcoming residents back to their local libraries on Saturday 4 July.

Eight of the city’s libraries - including City Library, on the lower ground floor of Manchester Central Library - opened to all users on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, from 11am - 3pm.  Selected libraries will open at 10am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the first hour reserved as a special slot for residents aged over 60  - more details below.

Children aged 12 and under must be accompanied by a parent, carer or older sibling.

The eight libraries which reopened at this stage are Chorlton Library, City Library (at Central Library), Didsbury Library, Gorton Library, Longsight Library, Newton Heath Library, Withington Library and Forum Library, Wythenshawe.

Users will be allowed a window of up to 30 minutes to browse for books, or can select and reserve up to six books at a time for collection in advance by using the Libraries’ online catalogue.  

A limited number of computers will also be available for use by the public at each site.  Due to limited availability, people wishing to visit the library to use a computer are encouraged to call in advance and book their slot.

Library users can start reserving books to be picked up when their chosen library is open, using the online libraries catalogue.  Options are to Ring and Read - get help to find books which you might enjoy by calling one of the libraries that are opening - or Click and Collect, using www.manchester.gov.uk/libraries.

Books which were borrowed before libraries were forced to close because of the coronavirus pandemic have been renewed until the end of July, meaning that fines will not have been accrued during this period.

To help ensure social distancing, the numbers of users allowed inside each library at one time will be limited, so it may be necessary to queue outside the library for safety reasons at busy times.

NHS Test and Trace

When visiting the library, you will be asked to give your name and a contact number. All libraries have been asked by Government to collect the following information, to assist with the control of the Covid-19 pandemic

This information will be shared with NHS Test and Trace where requested, to identify people who may have been exposed to the virus.

Library opening times

Phone numbers are for book requests and computer bookings. 

Avenue Library (reopening Tuesday 28 July)

  • Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 11am - 3pm (Library available for use by over 60s from 10am to 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Phone: 0161 219 2393

Chorlton Library

  • Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 11am - 3pm (Library available for use by over 60s from 10am to 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Phone: 0161 227 3702

City Library/Town Hall Extension

  • Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 11am - 3pm 
  • Phone 0161 234 1983

Didsbury Library

  • Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 11 - 3 (Library available for use by over 60s from 10am to 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Phone: 0161 227 3753

Forum Library

  • Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 11am - 3pm (Library available for use by over 60s from 10am to 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Phone: 0161 227 3768

Gorton Library

  • Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 11am - 3pm (Library available for use by over 60s from 10am to 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Phone: 0161 227 3732

Longsight Library

  • Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 11am - 3pm (Library available for use by over 60s from 10am to 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Phone: 0161 227 3707

Newton Heath Library

  • Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 11am - 3pm (Library available for use by over 60s from 10am to 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Phone: 0161 234 4474

Withington Library

  • Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 11am - 3pm (Library available for use by over 60s from 10am to 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Phone: 0161 227 3720

The Books To Go service for housebound services restarted on 9 June and will continue to deliver books every 4 weeks to its customers

Renewals

All loans made before April 2020 have been extended to the end of July to ensure that no one will incur library fines during this period.

Library online events and activities

Download books, magazines and courses

You can still access many of our services online. 

Audio books and e-books

Use BorrowBox to browse, borrow and read or listen to ebooks and audio books anywhere and everywhere.

To download the app, go to the app store on your device, search for and download Borrowbox.

E-magazines and comics

Read full digital copies of magazines for free from your computer, smartphone or tablet. Over 95 magazines are currently available covering everything from food to computers, and music to art. Titles include:

  • Hello!
  • BBC Good Food
  • Amateur Photographer
  • BBC Top Gear
  • Horrible Histories
  • Cosmopolitan

Borrow an unlimited number of magazines to keep forever or delete when you want. You can also read more than 200 comics. 

You can use this service if you're a member of any Greater Manchester Library. Once registered, you will be automatically logged in to enjoy our content.

Getting started for new customers on your mobile device:

  1. Download and open the RB Digital app to your mobile phone or tablet
  2. Tap the “Register now” link on the bottom of the app’s main page
  3. Choose your country
  4. Choose your library service
  5. Enter the requested library card details, create a memorable username and password

Getting started for new customers on your computer:

  1. Go to RB Digital
  2. Create a new account, and enter your library card number
  3. Browse the selection
  4. Checkout your chosen publications to read in your browser 

Courses and tutorials

Get free courses and tutorials from our online reference library.

We also have an online learning package offering 100+ language courses.

Video transcript

Some of our libraries are reopening on Saturday 4th July, and we’re really looking forward to seeing our customers again.

The library will look different though as we’ve needed to remove some furniture to enable social distancing.

You’ll be able to browse and borrow books again, although we will have a maximum number of people in at any one time, so you may have to queue. We’ll have PC’s and a printer available, again with social distancing. 

And a click and collect service that you can call if you want us to choose books for you to collect.

We’re really looking forward to seeing you again.
[MUSIC] 
[END]

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?