Northenden’s nurturing nook: a community that embraces reading in Manchester

In Northenden, the community library stands as a beacon of knowledge and a testament to the town’s commitment to reading.

Northenden’s residents are turning the page back to traditional reading habits, fostering a culture that cherishes the written word.

The Northenden Community Library, now housed in St. Wilfrid’s Church Hall, is more than just a repository of books – it’s a hub of activity and learning. With its doors open 15 hours a week, the library invites patrons to dive into Manchester Libraries’ vast lending collection.

Reading: taking a community’s pulse

Northenden Library. Photo credit: Osaro Ojo

The library’s relocation hasn’t dampened spirits but has instead rekindled a love for reading.

Weekly story times captivate the young, while a monthly book club stirs the intellectual curiosity of adults. This blend of activities caters to all ages, nurturing a reading culture that thrives on diversity and inclusivity.

Gail Mallett, service development specialist, explained that the Northenden like other libraries in Manchester is contributing to literacy motivation.

Gail said “Every Friday in term time, and out of term time, we tend to do a craft activity or something for school aged children. And quite often our staff visit schools and in the summer we run something called the summer reading challenge.”

Schools: the cradle of literacy

Northenden’s schools play a pivotal role in cultivating readers. The national curriculum for reading is brought to life through guided sessions and a colour-banded reading scheme, laying a strong foundation for literacy from an early age.

This structured approach ensures that children progress confidently, fostering a lifelong love for reading.

Chris Leigh, at Northenden community library said: “There are book clubs for both adults and children. These are like community gathering where people get to meet and discusses among the locals.”

Chris confirmed that children as young as six months old can have a library card and their parents can borrow books for them.

“During children’s visits, the libraries organise story times for under fives,” Gail added.