Central Library

Central Library is an inclusive space, appealing to families, children and young people, aspiring entrepreneurs, culture vultures and traditional library visitors.

Since re-launching in 2014, it has continued to innovate and develop new ways of providing a high quality, modern and vibrant library offer.

Central Library Success

  • Library Live – the cultural programme, partly funded by the Development Trust, continues to expand to more branch libraries as part of the Creative Spaces initiative. Family extravaganza, The Ministry of Lost Found was so popular, attracting over 2,000 ‘explorers’ in 2018, it ran again in 2019, and the core cultural offer continues to grow through author events, concerts and unique performances.
  • A popular programme of exhibitions, including There is a Light that Never Goes Out, celebrating Manchester’s rich music heritage through iconic photography, Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants, by children’s illustrator Nick Sharratt and Bobbins, a hugely popular posthumous celebration of the iconic performer, Frank Sidebottom
  • The Business and Intellectual Property Centre contributes to the city’s economy and inspires local entrepreneurs by hosting events with business champions such as Wayne Hemingway and Lawrence Jones of UK Fast, and by running a large range of sessions, workshops and events for business start-ups
  • The Archives+ interactive exhibition space, bringing the history of the city and its people to life.
  • Read Manchester – the partnership promoting reading and boosting literacy across the city, continues to grow through World Book Day, the Summer Reading Challenge, and Made in Manchester, the unique multilingual poem celebrating Manchester in 64 languages.
  • The Jewish Museum – a temporary pop-up home for the museum whilst the Cheetham Hill venue undergoes major refurbishment.
  • The new Visitor Information Centre offer.
  • The new Manchester UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service Centre.

Visitors love Central Library – on Tripadvisor it is in the top 10 of places to visit in Manchester:

“Probably the best library in Britain, one of Manchester’s greatest and most enjoyable treasures and definitely not one to be missed.” Tony K

“It’s no exaggeration: this place is so beautiful, big and great in every sense. You will find always a place to work, read or be in silent. Go to the floor where music is jammed. Or to the cafeteria, with very tasty coffee and biscuits. Or wander around, looking at the beautiful art.” Endless! Mariano S, Amsterdam.

Find out more about how the Development Trust supports wide ranging educational and cultural work with children and families


You can make a donation to support the library’s ongoing transformation by clicking the Donate buttons on this site. Online donations are securely facilitated on our behalf by CAF (Charities Aid Foundation).