Chorlton Library set for makeover

Chorlton Library in 1984
Chorlton Library in 1984

Chorlton Library is to receive a suite of new computers and a new children’s library section, as part of a major refurbishment.

The interior of the much-loved local library is to be enhanced with comfy new sofas, chairs, display units and shelving – plus a dedicated space for tots to explore.

The library, one of three historic Carnegie libraries in the city, will close from Monday, February 29, to Wednesday, March 16, to allow the transformation to take place, re-opening on March 17.

The Grade II listed library, which celebrated its centenary in 2014, is the second busiest lending library in Manchester, after Central Library.

A range of books will be available when the library reopens, including many new bestsellers, storybooks and top children’s fiction, to promote the joy of reading for pleasure for all ages.

During the short closure period, a book return box will be available and customers’ books will be automatically renewed, to ensure that no fines are accrued by borrowers.

Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, said: “Chorlton Library is a much-loved building, with more than one hundred years of wonderful heritage.

“This refurbishment programme involves a short closure, but the resulting upgrade of the facilities inside will help it to flourish for many years to come.

“Residents will benefit from a new, inviting children’s library space, improved access to new PCs, self-service printing and a refreshed, more comfortable space to spend time in.”

Chorlton Library was designed by the City Architect, Henry Price – who also designed Didsbury Library and Victoria Baths – and was funded by a £5,000 donation from the steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

In 1912, Price’s original plans for the building were sent to Carnegie for approval – on the doomed Titanic. After the ship tragically sank, duplicate copies had to be sent to replace the drawings which were lost in the disaster.

Manchester library members can access any of the city’s public libraries, with the nearest alternative branch library to Chorlton being on Hulme High Street. Every library in Manchester provides free access to computers and the internet, as well as the citywide collection of books for children and adults, DVDs, CD, language courses and audiobooks.

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