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Manchester City Council The Manchester College

North City and East City Libraries

The Partnership North City and East City Libraries are partnership libraries. Both are public libraries, both share their buildings with The Manchester College*, and the outcome is two very distinct offers in two very different settings. Both parties have seen significant benefits through joining forces. • A joint vision of library services; • Pooling finances has enabled a better finish and better facilities, including longer opening hours to fit both student and public timetables; • The library is operated by the City Council: the college benefits from a wider public library offer and the expertise of library staff; • The campus is now visited by a much wider range of people. Children in Key Stages 2 and 3 use the library and homework centre and become familiar with the campus and the opportunities it offers. The library also helps deliver ESOL students, older people, young parents and other potential learners. • East City Library customers can take advantage of subsidised college offers and services, and students in areas such as catering and beauty gain valuable customer-facing experience;

“The great thing about this is that it’s a vision for the future. I would expect in five years’ time to see an evolution of as yet unthought-of services that we’ll be jointly providing.”

Peter Tavernor Principal ,The Manchester College

• The link with the library helps the college to meet its PSA targets; • The library benefits from a high quality, well-established and well-resourced physical environment and a large, on-site student market; • The library is involved in an exciting and innovative range of joint projects with the college, which widen the library offer, benefit from college and student expertise and provide a valuable public showcase for all parties. *The Manchester College is the new name for our partner MANCAT (Manchester College of Arts and Technology) which merged with City College Manchester to form The Manchester College, now the largest FE college in Europe.

“Libraries are a brilliant service. Their skills, versatility, knowledge, expertise and professional commitment to partnership working made a huge contribution to the delivery of the Area Youth Strategy in East Manchester. The staff are fabulous, adaptable, accessible, empowering and community focused, meeting a wide range of need, with a ready smile, a spontaneous sense of fun, and a strong and passionate conviction.”

Sue Brookes Deputy Principal Youth Officer Manchester City Council

Harpurhey and Bradford North City Library is in Harpurhey, a ward three miles North East of the city centre. It is a district retail centre with a newlyrefurbished shopping precinct with superstore, and a new family and fitness centre. East City Library is in Bradford, two miles East of the centre. Formerly characterised by dereliction and heavy industry, Bradford underwent huge regeneration for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and is now home to Sportcity, which includes Manchester City FC’s City of Manchester Stadium and the National Cycling Centre (home to the Team GB cyclists). There is also a massive Asda superstore. Both wards are characterised by high levels of deprivation, above-average levels of unemployment, lone parent households, employment in semi and unskilled occupations and social rented terraced housing. • LSOAs in Harpurhey feature 2nd, 84th and 94th out of 32,482 LSOAs in the 2007 Index of Multiple Deprivation. • Two in Bradford feature 125th and 126th in the same list. • Populations: Harpurhey - 16,947, Bradford 12,646 - derived from the 2006 MYE

• Percentage of people with no qualifications: Harpurhey 48.8%, Bradford 52.4% (Manchester 34%) • Unemployment stands at 4.3% in Harpurhey, 6.5% in Bradford (Manchester 3.7%) - Nomis, July 2008 • Percentage of people who are long-term unemployed or who have never worked: Harpurhey 8.2%, Bradford 13.2% (Manchester 10.3%) - Nomis, July 2008 • People aged 16 to pension age who are classed as economically inactive: Harpurhey 40.6%, Bradford 42.5% (Manchester 37.8%) • Percentage of people with a limiting long-term illness Harpurhey 27.9%; Bradford 27% (Manchester 21.5%) Source (unless otherwise stated): 2001 Census

North City Library replaced two libraries in Harpurhey and nearby Moston: East City replaced Beswick Library. All three had accessibility issues; they were too small, needed extensive and costly refurbishment and could not accommodate the delivery of a twenty-first century library service.

The former library buildings

“Library staff are vital members of our partnerships with other agencies and the community. They have a positive and creative approach to problem solving and are always happy to take the lead in driving forward strategies, events and activities. Their attitude is an example to others of how we can better work together to achieve more.”

Dave Thorley Senior Regeneration Officer New East Manchester

“The Manchester College has been fantastic to work with. They really understand the vision for modern public library services and have placed great trust in Manchester City Council in allowing us to run their service. This form of co-operation offers really exciting future opportunities.”

Nicky Parker Head of Library & Information Services Manchester City Council

North City Library North City Library, which shares its home with North Manchester Sixth Form College, is a landmark in North Manchester, opened in January 2006. Designed by Manchester’s award-winning Walker Simpson Architects, the building is one that community and student populations take pride in. It sits in a prime location on a main arterial route, a short distance from the shopping and leisure centres. The first floor lending library has comfortable seats, listening posts, self-issue terminals, drinks vending machines and an Access Point for council services. There are bright and welcoming children and teen areas, baby changing facilities and areas for parents to relax with small children. The library feels spacious with low-level, flexible shelving, glass exterior walls to make the most of natural daylight, and a large, south-facing feature window, which gives spectacular views over Central Manchester. The second floor focus is on learning. There’s an after-school homework club for children aged 8-16, student resources, quiet areas, reference materials, computers, two community meeting rooms and a Macmillan cancer information and support area. There are adapted computers with magnification and speech software, making library stock available to visually impaired or print disabled people. The library operates a weekly drop-in for visually impaired people, offering advice, training and support from expert staff. All walkways and doorways are wide to facilitate access. Workstations are height-adjustable and all floors have accessible toilets. The south-facing exterior wall is clad with photovoltaic tiles, which convert light into power on even the greyest of days. Since the library opened, it has generated enough power to light a three-bedroom house for 153 years. Rooftop solar panels heat water and a rainwater harvesting system supplies the flushing cisterns. Exposed interior concrete floors and columns allow heat to be absorbed into the structure for heating and ventilation. Hot water tubes encased under the floor provide heating – and make the floor warm to sit on and lights are automatically controlled. Over 2,000 people came to the library launch party in January 2006, and the building won both RIBA and Roses Design Awards for architecture and design. The library has become a real focal point, with various agencies recognising the benefits of partnership. Recent examples include Shimmer and Shine, a lifestyle and beauty-themed diversionary project with teenage girls; a songwriting and music-making project with young people, a Macmillan cancer information and support service and yoga classes for older people. The library has also provided a high quality North Manchester venue for city-centre based cultural initiatives, including the world-famous In The City music convention, the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, the Hallé and Manchester Art Gallery. The library team’s own events have included open mic nights, falconry displays and Northstock, a world music festival celebrating North Manchester’s cultural diversity. The library is a cornerstone of the community, whether for get-togethers, learning, consultation or simply having fun.

Members Issues Computer Use Visits

2004-2005 Harpurhey & Moston Libraries combined 3,350 66,953 10,026 73,190

2007-2008 North City Library


Percentage increase

6,325 97,376 99,396 182,634

2,795 30,423 89,370 109,444

89 45 891 150

North City’s Partnerships The Manchester College North Manchester Regeneration Partnership Cultural Regeneration Officers Neighbourhood Wardens Housing Benefits Service Manchester Working / Bramall’s /The Lord Group Northwards Housing Manchester Housing 100 Days Campaign Team Manchester Youth Service Manchester Leisure North Manchester High School for Boys Sure Start Greater Manchester Music Action Zone Valuing Older People Group Zest Healthy Living Partnership Macmillan Cancer Support In the City (music convention) Manchester Food and Drink Festival Manchester Art Gallery Hallé Education Asda Borders

In Autumn 2007, we asked local people to record their impressions of the library. Digital cameras were available to borrow, and photography workshops were run. Over 700 pictures were submitted, the best of which were hosted on flickr, the photo sharing website at The selection was further narrowed down to create large-format canvases for the library.

East City Library East City Library is on Ashton Old Road, an arterial route into the city centre, well served by buses, with ample free on-site parking. It is housed in Whitworth House, the main social hub of The Manchester College’s flagship Openshaw campus. The City Council operates the library for both students and the public under an innovative management arrangement. The college directorate was keen to open the campus up to the public and raise awareness of its student offer. Public library customers now have access to the college’s gym (through individual memberships or GP referrals) and cafes, enjoy cut-price hair and beauty treatments in the college salon and eat in the subsidised training restaurant. Students gain practical customer experience and enjoy a much wider library offer. The library is situated in a large, airy, modern foyer and social space, under a circular wooden canopy. It is clearly zoned with a well-defined children’s area and an enclosed homework centre, sited within an adjacent former classroom. The outer circular perimeter of the library features outward-facing teen-interest stock, so it can be seen by anyone passing by. There is specialist, course and career-related stock for students and a quiet study area for both student and community use in the neighbouring Media Hall, also part of the library. The student through-traffic is capitalised upon, with a steady ebb and flow of visits according to timetables. The library has been designed not only for longer-stays, but also to gain issues from flying visits, with self-issue and return facilities and quick-pick displays. The space is fully flexible to allow us to refresh the design, enabling continuous improvement of the layout and offer. Installation costs were shared between the City Council and the college and included building adaptations, new shelving, equipment, tables and soft seating. A Service Level Agreement covers all operational arrangements including cleaning, maintenance, repair, opening hours and access arrangements. The financial benefits of working in partnership have allowed opening hours to double. The library has profited enormously from being on campus, and it has brought large numbers of people of all ages into the library and wider campus. The library contributes to the college’s End of Year Shows and Health Awareness Days, while graphic design students have created spectacular shelf-end panels for the library. The College’s New Media team has helped the library service create short films and is currently working on a joint project for the National Year of Reading. Other recent projects have included the Discus team using the library to work with young offenders, disability awareness workshops for local primary school children, ESOL reading groups and work with teenage mothers. East-side outreach and youth work opportunities have been, and continue to be, exciting and varied.

Members Issues Computer Use Visits

2004-2005 Beswick Library 1,012 17,297 4,077 14,846

2007-2008 East City Library 2,918 33,729 16,911 158,478

Difference 1,906 16,432 12,834 143,632

Percentage increase 188 95 315 967

East City’s Partnerships The Manchester College New East Manchester Ltd Neighbourhood Wardens East serve - East Manchester online Manchester Youth Service Connexions Youth Intervention Officer Hideaway Youth Project Discus Team (NACRO) Sure Start Valuing Older People Group Self Help Services (Beating the Blues) Zest Healthy Living Partnership Olivia Lodge (teenage mothers) Museum of Science and Industry Manchester Art Gallery Manchester Museum 4CT (community charity) Penguin Books Borders Bookstores W H Smith Starbucks Boots

Nick Hornby Best-selling author Nick Hornby paid a visit to East City Library in October 2007 to talk about this new book, Slam. Skate MCR and Projekts MCR, the city’s skate collectives, offered skateboard coaching workshops and demonstrations, accompanied by teenage DJs. Young people from across East Manchester were delighted to meet a major writer in their library.

The Libraries at a Glance North City Library

East City Library

Rochdale Road, 
M9 4AF 0161 219 6442

Whitworth House, The Manchester College Openshaw Campus,
 Ashton Old Road, Manchester 
M11 2WH Telephone: 0161 234 5501

1,105 (plus ground floor access)

550 (plus Media Hall which houses computers, journals and student stock)



Walker Simpson Architects, Manchester


Demco Interiors/Walker Simpson Architects

Demco Interiors

Furniture supplier

Demco Interiors

Demco Interiors

Construction cost





64 hours per week Monday-Thursday 9-8 Friday-Saturday 9-5 Sunday 12-4 (Moston Library: 36 hours: Harpurhey: 19)

58 hours per week Monday-Thursday – 8.30-7 Friday 8.30-5 Saturday 9-4.30 (Beswick Library: 29 hours per week)



Weekly benefits surgery Monthly coffee break Weekly councillors’ surgery Monthly reading group Weekly Tiny Tots and Toddler Time

Weekly councillors’ surgeries Weekly Tiny Tots and Toddler Time Monthly reading group ESOL reading groups Beating the Blues (cognitive therapy)

Access Point – access to Council services online or via freephone Books and talking books for loan Books for loan in Vietnamese Business Information Zone CDs, DVDs and Playstation games for loan Computers for public use (38) Computer trainer Exhibition space Health Information Point Homework Club Local Studies Collection Macmillan Cancer Information Meeting Rooms Newspapers and magazines Photocopying (colour and B&W) Self issue terminals Visually Impaired Peoples’ Unit

Access Point – access to Council services online or via freephone Books and talking books for loan CDs, DVDs and Playstation games for loan Chaplaincy resources Computers for public use (9) Computer trainer E-books and online resources ESOL collection Exhibition space Health Information Point Homework Club Local studies collection Newspapers, magazines and journals Parent and Carer Information Point Photocopying Self issue and out-of-hours return facilities Story bags and Toy Library


Size of library (sq m) Year of completion Architect Interior Designer

Fit-out cost Opening hours

Study places Regular events


For further information, please contact Neil MacInnes, Head of Service Improvement, Manchester Library & Information Service, Central Library, St Peter’s Square, Manchester M2 5PD 0161 234 1392 :

Promotional library brochure  

Created to raise awareness of partnership libraries in Manchester. 2009, written by Linsey Parkinson

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