Levenshulme is getting a new library... without the books

Summer 2022 - bookmark it. Or don't. Manchester's latest library will have everything except for the paperbacks.

Need a pizza oven in a pinch? Or a drill for a day?

Well, we can't promise that your homemade, wood-fired sourdough will be quite as good as Cibus'. But at least now you can give it a go.

Levy's new Manchester Library of Things (MCRLoT) will be filled with essentials and those twice-a-year items that are useful to have, but a pain to buy.

Apart from the fact that the full collection of The Famous Five might refer to an allen key set, the Library of Things will work just like any other library.

Borrow what you need. Use it. Return it.

The new Manchester Library of Things logo

Where is the Manchester Library of Things?

Levy's new library is hoping to be based outside Levenshulme Old Library. Which is pretty poetic.

Well placed, just off the A6, Levy Old Library is easy to get to on bike and bus. There's dedicated bicycle storage outside, and I've seen stranger things on the 192 than a carpet cleaner.

Inside Levenshulme Old Library

When does it open?

MCRLoT is due to open to the public in Summer 2022.

At the moment, the team behind it are busy fundraising and making sure the library can best support the local community.

As we find out more, and get closer to its opening. We'll keep this article up-to-date so you know exactly when it opens. And if you're there on day one, you can use this article to double-check your return date, too.

The people behind MCRLoT

Maria Houlihan is the lead co-ordinator of the project, and set up her small team after coming up with the idea.

Her team includes people that helped to set up and run Levenshulme Market, as well as Levenshulme Inspire.

Maria Houlihan, lead co-ordinar of MCRLoT

"I'd been thinking about a sharing library of sorts for ages - since buying a house and doing it up and needing lots of tools we didn’t have" Maria told us.

"When I found out that 'Libraries of Things' exist across the UK I was really inspired to set one up in Levy. Not only because of the benefit to the purse but because it makes so much sense environmentally - if we can all share a really decent "thing" then there's no need for us all to go and buy a cheapo version that will end up in a landfill in a matter of year if not months!"

"The overwhelming response was that people thought it was a great idea. And can’t happen soon enough!"

We also asked Maria what she'd most like to borrow - personally - from her own library:

"Well , it would have been a pizza oven until my youngest tipped hot chocolate all over the sofa the other day."

"So now it's a steam cleaner."

Help shape the library

Maria and her team behind the library are running a number of events to find out what people might need to borrow. Keep an eye out for the next one on the Manchester Library of Things website.

They're also asking people to complete a survey.

That way, they can make sure they always have whatever you need in stock, ready to borrow at no-notice.

A new chapter

With the opening of yet another Community Interest Company (CIC), Levenshulme continues to demonstrate a strong sense of community - and one that always looks out for its neighbour.

Councillor Dzidra Noor said "Manchester Library of Things will help, not only our bank balances, but also sustainability."

"It gives the community the chance to utilise those occasional use things that we often need but cannot justify the cost of purchase and is kinder to the environment as less appliances are made and gathering dust on our shelves when not in use."

Levy Old Library already hosts life drawing, Levy Little Theatre, yoga, parent and child classes and more. And soon, you'll be able to add Manchester's Library of Things to that list.

So, what's first on your borrow-list?

Don't tell us. Tell MCRLoT.

By Lev You Lots

Posted 21 December 2021
Updated 21 December 2021
3 minute read

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