Thursday, 31 July 2014

Learn at the library! How to run a community newsroom

Get your voice heard and share your passions!

Join this great project and you'll learn how to produce a radio programme with FCUM Radio. The free twelve week course covers all aspects of radio production - you'll learn how to write scripts, interview, present, record, produce, and edit. The course is also designed to develop personal employability through building confidence, self awareness, motivation, and social skills.

On completion learners achieve a Level 1 Award in Radio Production and a PEARL Employability Skills Award.

The courses run at the following libraries:

Fallowfield Library - Tuesdays - 19th August - 28th October
North City Library - Wednesdays - 27th August - 12th November
Longsight Library - Thursdays - 28th August - 13th November
Central Library - Fridays - 15th August - 31st October

All the courses run from 10am to 3pm with a break for lunch. You'll learn how to produce a radio programme for FC United Radio. You'll learn about radio production and interviewing techniques plus editing, interviewing, social media and production skills. You'll even get hands on experience using Audacity and Soundcloud. You don't need any previous experience or IT skills to sign up - you'll learn them throughout the course!

Interested? Contact FC United Radio to book your place on 0161 273 8950 or email Ben Hughes.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Join the Get Dads Reading Storytime @ Central Library this Thursday

Calling all dads! Come to a special storytime at Central Library on Thursday 15 May at 11am to support the Get Dads Reading campaign.

Did you know only one in eight dads takes the lead with reading to their children? The UK's leading reading charity Booktrust has launched the 'Get Dads Reading' campaign and challenges dads to match mums in reading with their children.

UK dads trail far behind their partners when it comes to reading to their children. A new poll, carried out for Booktrust by Opinium, reveals that just 13% are the main reader with their child, with a quarter of fathers saying that the demand for them to work late means that they do not have time to read together more often.

These findings are a major concern as a father's involvement in their child's early reading is proven to boost academic success, leading to improved social and emotional wellbeing. To fight this crisis Booktrust is launching a major campaign to raise awareness of the importance of dads as reading role models for their children.

Find out more about Get Dads Reading at the Booktrust website.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Central Library - free creativity course for the unemployed starts this Tuesday!

Come to Central Library and join an exciting pre-employment Creativity Course aimed at those wishing to progress into a career in Textiles or Industrial Sewing.

Run by FC United in association with The Manchester College you'll develop skills leading to genuine career opportunities in Textiles and Machine Sewing where there is currently a skills shortage. The course covers mobile phone camera photography with your images used to produce a simple textile banner. It's fun and informative and because phone cameras are used you've no need to buy special camera equipment to access the course.

The course also has accredited units built in leading to a Level 1 award in Progression and a PEARL assessment award to enhance your employability skills and increase your prospects of getting into paid employment. All units, taken together, will lead you to developing a valuable Portfolio of Achievement. Successful completion of this Creativity Course may then link you into a more substantial six week Industrial Sewing Machinery course at The Manchester College. This course, therefore, may provide a route directly into further textile based training and eventual paid employment.

Starting on Tuesday 13 May the course runs for five weeks, two days a week, six hours a day, with some flexibility for those with childcare commitments. To sign up email Robin at or telephone 0161-273 8950 for more details.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Don't Miss James Christy - Live @ the Library!

Kicking off our series of Live @ the Library events is singer/songwriter James Christy.


Catch James live and loud in Central Library performing in the Henry Watson Music Library from 12.00 on Friday 2 May. 

James is currently a student at BIMM Manchester, the new music college in the city and you can find more about James on the following sites

Look out for more performances in the Live @ the Library series of events over the next few weeks...

And did you know the Henry Watson Music Library is now bigger and better than ever before?

You can:
  • borrow from our vast collection of printed music and books on music
  • consult our fantastic range of music periodicals with historical back runs and the collected editions 
  • compose your own music using our computers
  • DJ on our mixing desk
  • use our collection of instruments to learn to play the piano or the drums, strum a tune on the guitar or jam with your friends - all for free!
  • consult our world-renowned research collection of manuscripts and early printed music
  • see our unique archive manuscripts on display for the first time ever
  • attend one of our music workshops and performances 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Get start up advice in Manchester Libraries

Weekly business start up drop in sessions now run at Central Library plus Saturday Enterprise Clubs at the Forum Library, North City Library, Central Library and Burnage Community Hub.

Find out what you need to be your own boss or get help developing your idea with business advisors from Blue Orchid.

Drop in sessions - no need to book - run at Central Library in the Business and Intellectual Property Centre, on the second floor of Central Library on Wednesdays from 2pm until 5pm starting on Wednesday 23 April. You can also visit Blue Orchid advisors in the Customer Contact Centre in the Town Hall Extension on Fridays from 9.30 am to 12.30 am.

If you're looking to network with other entrepreneurs and listen to an inspirational speaker then get along to the brand new Saturday Enterprise Clubs running from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on the following dates:

North City Library - Harpurhey - Saturday 3 May
Forum Library - Wythenshaw - Saturday 10 May
Business and Intellectual Property Centre - Central Library - Saturday 17 May
Burnage Library Activity and Information Hub - Burnage - Saturday 24 May

North City Library - Harpurhey - Saturday 7 June
Forum Library - Wythenshaw - Saturday 14 June
Business and Intellectual Property Centre - Central Library - Saturday 21 June
Burnage Library Activity and Information Hub - Burnage - Saturday 28 June

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Creative writing workshop for young people at Central Library

Writers from Young Enigma will lead two creative writing workshops for young people at Central Library. The first session is Saturday 5th April and then Saturday 26th April, 2-4pm. The sessions are free and there's no need to book - just turn up!

The two sessions take place in the Performance Space in the ground floor of the brand new Manchester Central Library. They are open to all aged between 13-25 but are aimed at young members of the LGBT community who want to improve their creative writing skills. Completed pieces can be submitted to the inaugural Young LGBT+ Voice for Manchester Allan Horsfall Prize sponsored by Archives+.

For more information about the prize and how to enter visit

The Allan Horsfall Prize-winner will also be supported in undertaking a writing residency at Archives+ at Manchester Central Library plus you'll receive one-to-one mentoring sessions in Manchester, continued editorial support, free books, and performance and publication opportunities. Young Enigma will support winners in covering out of region travel costs and in pursuing commissioning and funding opportunities. The Allan Horsfall Prize is sponsored by Archives+ to celebrate emerging talent from Greater Manchester aged 13-25.

Entrants must identify as LGBT+. We leave entrants to self-define the meaning of LGBT+ and do not require you to use a ‘label’.

Friday, 21 March 2014

The wait is over as Manchester Central Library is reborn

The transformed Central Library, the second largest public library in the UK will be a major cultural destination and aims to attract two million visitors a year - twice the previous number.
It is intended to be an inclusive space, appealing to families, children and young people, and even aspiring entrepreneurs as much as more traditional library audiences.

The transformed Central Library is an exciting yet harmonious blend of old and new - with the Grade II*-listed building's many heritage features, such as the famous Reading Room, lovingly restored while new features fit for the digital age have been created.

These include:

A new Media Lounge, equipped with Apple Mac computers including creative software for would-be filmmakers, designers and gamers. Central Library offers superfast broadband throughout and has almost 200 computers for public use.

The Archives+ Centre, a destination of national and international significance for anyone interested in local or family history, bringing together an array of archives under one roof. Interactive interpretations and viewing stations for film archives will bring history alive.

This includes the North West’s first BFI Mediatheque where visitors can enjoy a wealth of film and TV for free, including a special collection devoted to Manchester and the region on film. BFI Mediatheques offer a window on the collections of the BFI National Archive, the most significant collection of film and television in the world, allowing unprecedented access to our moving image heritage. Most of the titles are not available on DVD or online. Visitors can watch as much or as little as they like: sit back and enjoy an entire feature film, take a look at fondly-remembered television shows, use the database to search for favourite subjects or discover unexpected delights among the 2,500+ available titles.

The Children's Library, is a 'Secret Garden' waiting to be discovered. Themed on the classic book by local author Frances Hodgson Burnett, it has been transformed to create an exciting hive of activity for children to enjoy. Digital interactive screens and interactive floor projections are some of the new technologies being used to entice an inquisitive younger audience into the library - with bees, the Manchester emblem, among the insects that little ones will be able to spot in the 'undergrowth' projected onto the digital wall.

The Business Library, one of only six Business and Intellectual Property Centres in England and a place where would-be inventors and entrepreneurs can access a wealth of information and one-to-one support from business advisers and even patent attorneys.
City Library, a new lending library on the lower ground floor providing an extra 2,000 sq metres of library space.

Opening up Central Library has been another major theme of the transformation. Previously only 30 per cent of the building was open to the public and 70 per cent behind the scenes. But an imaginative redesign, in consultation with English Heritage, has opened up the library and reversed these ratios.
The building is easier to get around too, with three new lifts and five new entrances including overground and underground links to the Town Hall Extension.

Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, said: "The reborn Central Library is nothing short of spectacular. Anyone who liked this Manchester gem before is going to love it now. But anyone who thought Central Library wasn't for them should come and have a look too - because it is no exaggeration to say that there's something for everyone under its iconic dome.
"This transformed library is truly inspiring. It combines respect for heritage with a commitment to inspiring modern services and balances impressive and imposing areas with cosy and welcoming spaces.

"This year marks the 80th anniversary of this building's original opening. The work which has been carried out since 2010 will ensure Central Library remains a fantastic asset for the city for many decades to come."

Central Library is open Monday to Thursday 9am – 8pm, Friday and Saturday 9am – 5pm.

Monday, 17 March 2014

See Inside Manchester Central Library - Ready to Open its Doors….

The countdown is on - the beautifully refurbished and extended Central Library will open on Saturday 22 March at 9am and we can't wait!

It's business as usual on Saturday, with an opening ceremony planned for later in the year. The historic features have been sensitively restored and transformed, bringing the building up to twenty-first century standards. Find out more about what's in store on the library website at and scroll down for a list of all that's new in Central Library. 

Access regional and national collections of documents, photographs and films at Archives+ in Central Library

A slice of the historic stack has been retained to visitors can see how the building used to look.

New stairs and lifts make it easier to move around the library

Roller racking on the fourth floor houses the library's reference collection

Images by Mark Waugh.

This is what you can do at your new library… 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Free Internet Radio Production workshops at Central, Fallowfield and Longsight Libraries

Sign up for a free twelve week internet radio production course at Manchester Central Library starting Monday 31 March. The course runs every Monday from 10am - 3pm (with a break for lunch!) in the brand new Media Lounge in the Town Hall Extension, part of the Central Library complex. The course is also running at Fallowfield Library starting on March 11th, again from 10am - 3pm and at Longsight Library from March 19, again 10am - 3pm.

You'll learn how to produce a radio programme for FC United Radio, the largest volunteer run radio station in the UK. The free course leads to a qualification from The Manchester College and covers all the required aspects for producing a programme for broadcast online.

You'll learn about radio production and interviewing techniques plus you'll learn editing, interviewing, social media and production skills. You'll even get hands on experience using Audacity and Soundcloud. You don't need any previous experience or IT skills to sign up - you'll learn them throughout the course!

Interested? Contact FC United Radio to book your place on 0161 273 8950 or email Ben at FCUM Radio.

Photo credit: Bernhard Benke via photopin cc

Your Stories Poetry Workshops

Help us celebrate the reopening of Manchester’s iconic Central Library by sharing your personal stories with local writer and poet Adam Lowe, who will lead these free workshops.

Tell us why you love your library, about your favourite book, or stories about your family and where you live. During the sessions, Adam will lead themed discussions and offer advice and tips on how to turn your ideas into poems or short stories.Work from these events will then form part of an exhibition at Central Library to celebrate its reopening.

Places are free but limited: book your place direct with the library.

Saturday 8 March Didsbury Library, 11am–2pm Telephone: 0161 227 3755

Saturday 15 March Longsight Library, 1–4pm Telephone: 0161 227 3706

Monday 17 March North City Library Over-55 Group, 2–4pm Telephone: 0161 219 6442

Monday 24 March North City Library Over-55 Group (video session), 2–4pm Telephone: 0161 219 6442

Photo credit: sunside via photopin cc

Monday, 17 February 2014

Digital Apprenticeship Opportunities with HyperIsland

This is a fantastic opportunity for 18-24 year olds looking to develop a career within the digital world.

The ideal candidate is not expected to have previous professional experience, be fully fledged designers or be fluent in coding however, they will have a genuine interest in designing and developing user interfaces for interactive media products.

People that have used Git Hub, have code academy badges or have an interest in this subject in their free time are welcome to find out more. Please note applicants need a minimum GCSE grade C (or equivalent) in English and Maths to apply and must not have a degree or equivalent qualification.

Hyper Island are particularly interested in young people not in education or employment right now, as the jobs start in May.

Potential apprentice employers include Code Computerlove,, MCC and CDNify.
The employer suite will be hosting an information day for customers to find out more about these exciting apprenticeships on Thursday 20 February. Please ring the Employer Suite to find out more on 0161 234 5351. Visit the HyperIsland website for more information.

Photo credit: qthomasbower via photopin cc