Manchester’s libraries now host almost three million visitors per year - with thousands of new activities and events having been added to the annual citywide calendar in the past twelve months.
The total number of visits recorded rose to 2,917,370 in 2016/7, from 2,784,449 in 2015/6, while attendance at library-based activities and events increased by 30 per cent - with the total number of activities offered rising to more than 134,000, from less than 100,000 for the previous year.
Central Library is one of the most popular libraries in the country, with around 1.5 million visits in 2016/7. Popular features across the library’s four floors include a high-tech media lounge, performance spaces, dedicated children's and business libraries and the Archives+ family history centre. The library’s dedicated exhibition space has hosted artwork and images covering everything from the Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton to Manchester’s homegrown rock heroes Oasis.
All 22 of Manchester's libraries citywide offer free wifi and use of e-books and e-magazines more than doubled after the introduction of the new Zinio service. Zinio allows library members to read full digital versions of more than 100 different magazines on their computer, smartphone or tablet - all for free.