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22 March 2014: Central Library Re-opens

We can't wait, we can't wait, we can't wait - but why will it be closed on Sunday?

Written by . Published on January 22nd 2014.

22 March 2014: Central Library Re-opens

MANCHESTER Central Library will re-open its doors to the public on Saturday 22 March 2014, nearly four years after it closed for refurbishment.

The long wait is nearly over to unveil a world-class library fit for the 21st century to our residents, partners and visitors

The library has been refurbished sensitively to enhance and improve its myriad original features, while also introducing the most up-to-date technology, as befits one of the country’s leading libraries.

The library will host exhibitions and events, a new performance space and a media lounge equipped with Apple Mac computers.  Specialist business, music and children's libraries will all be based at Central Library, plus the Archives+ Centre, a destination of national and international significance for anyone interested in local or family history.

Clock's ticking downClock's ticking down in the Reading Room

The only question is why is the Library not open like Manchester Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry and the National Football Museum, seven days. Sunday would be a biggy. 

Both the refurbished libraries of Liverpool and Birmingham are open seven days.

Apparently the reason is cuts.

Executive Member for Finance and Human Resources, Councillor Jeff Smith, said: "Central Library will reopen to the public on Saturday 22 March, six days a week, with the same opening hours and times as it had before it closed - Monday to Thursday 9- 8pm and Friday to Saturday 9 - 5pm.  This means that the Library will be open for 60 hours and for four evenings every week.

"Since the Library closed, we have faced unprecedented budget pressures, due to cuts in Government funding.  As a consequence, we have had to reduce opening hours at our libraries and none are able to open seven days a week."

 Maybe sometimes it's about priorities, obviously Liverpool and Birmingham have assessed theirs in a different way.

Enough of that. Here's the cute bit about the opening.

To celebrate Manchester Libraries are calling on children and young people from 4–18 to get creative for a commemorative postcard competition with the theme 'Central Library, past, present and future'.

 The winning postcards will be printed and sent to all Manchester schoolchildren as a memento of the opening, mirroring the idea from 1934, when Central Library first opened and every schoolchild received a commemorative handkerchief.

Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, said: “The long wait is nearly over to unveil a world-class library fit for the 21st century to our residents, partners and visitors.

 “We want to attract more young people, children and families to this truly magnificent library, which has so much more to offer young people in the digital age.  The competition is a great way to get children involved in a historic project in the run up to the re-opening."

Library staff want to encourage children to look at all art mediums, not just traditional drawing or painting, paving the way for Lego enthusiasts, plasticine specialists and ceramic creators or photography students to get creative. 

The only stipulation is that all entries must be received in 2D by the closing date, which is Friday 4 April 2014.

Further details can be found here.

Manchester Central Library will reopen Monday-Saturday, from Saturday 22 March 2014.

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Melissa ConnellyJanuary 23rd 2014.

I bet lots of volunteers would be happy to help run it, especially on a Sunday.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Library LadyJanuary 27th 2014.

Volunteers might want to run it, but that doesn't necessarily mean they can. Running a huge city library like Manchester takes a vast skill set. I'm sick and tired of people thinking that volunteers can run public libraries without being trained and experienced - all of which takes time and money, something cash strapped councils don't have!

Carolyn O'hanlonFebruary 25th 2014.

Maybe volunteers can't run the whole library on a sunday but maybe they could run a section of it for family friendly events or some of the simpler services?

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2014.

Central library was not open on a Sunday prior to it's closure for refurb in 2010 so you can't really call it a cut. 60 hours per week is more than nfm (48), mcr Mus (49) and Mosi (49). Perhaps it should close a couple of evenings to allow it to open on a Sunday at no extra cost?

Charlie BJanuary 24th 2014.

But Anon, effectively this is a new library so why not start anew? Liverpool and Birmingham libraries are full every day Manchester will be the same, shame to limit the hours in comparison to the other libraries.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2014.

Maybe a campaign for Cllr's Peel and Davies to bring up with Cllr Battle?

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2014.

I really can't wait for the library to re-open! Given its more cultural and social role, it does seem bizarre that it won't be open to families with events etc on a Sunday. Perhaps it would make more sense to keep the library closed on a Monday or Tuesday if MCC really can only afford six days. Perhaps the issue with Sunday is about security and facilities costs in the wider Town Hall Extension complex. So much time and money has been spent on this wonderful library, it's a crying shame that we can't afford seven days.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2014.

I agree Sunday opening would be popular and would be very happy to support the idea. Could it happen? Probably. In the future. But it's less likely just now. Spending cuts forced on Manchester by the ConDem coalition have already had an impact on other Manchester libraries, and there's more cuts on the way.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 25th 2014.

Above from Joan Davies with anonymity from ManCon.

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