Withington Library is to receive a major refurbishment, with the aim of producing a new and improved interior for the benefit of the local community.
The revamp will see the creation of two new meeting rooms and extended areas for children and teenagers, plus new furniture, computers and books.
During the refurb, work to repair the building’s roof will be carried out, alongside a full redecoration, plus the installation of new and better lighting and shelving.
The building, which is one of Manchester’s Carnegie libraries, first opened its doors in 1927 and is beginning to show its age. The 90 year-old library is now in need of work to ensure that it can continue to serve future generations of Withington residents.
The existing meeting room is very well used by the community and so two extra rooms are to be provided – with all three being free to hire for local community groups.
As part of the refurb, new PCs and Wi-Fi printers will be provided, while the library’s book stock will be refreshed, with new titles added for children and adults.
The library’s children’s area – a welcoming space for children which offers free activities – will be extended during the refurb, with a new teenage area added, providing local young people with a comfortable space for studying.
The library building will temporarily close at 5pm on Saturday 13 January 2018 to allow the work to be carried out and will reopen in spring 2018.
During the temporary closure, opening hours at Didsbury Library and Fallowfield Community Library are being extended, while nearby Withington Methodist Church will host a selection of books and allow library members to collect reservations, or return their borrowed items.
Regular activities held in Withington Library – including LEGO Club, age-friendly coffee afternoons and the weekly Tiny Tots and Toddler sessions for under-fives during school term-time – will take place at the Methodist Church during the refurbishment.
Until Withington Library reopens to the public, Didsbury Library will open on Wednesdays (9am – 8pm) and Fallowfield Community Library will open on Tuesdays (10am – 1pm / 2pm – 5pm), Wednesday mornings (10am – 1pm) and Friday afternoons (2 – 5pm).
Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: “We are investing in the future of Withington Library and making significant improvements for the long-term benefit of this much-loved institution, which plays a vital role at the heart of the community.
“We are taking steps to increase provision at other libraries and community venues during the building’s temporary closure and hope that library users will bear with us, while we create a refurbished library fit to serve Withington for many years to come.”