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“A botched makeover”

Manchester Central Library
Ranked #10 of 188 things to do in Manchester
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children
Reviewed April 28, 2014

The 2-year palaver redoing Manchester's main library has, alas, not been a success. The old building's best feature - the elegant round reading room - has been lost. Instead, we have a mishmash of facilities, including an inadequate range of periodicals located 3 floors apart. Many of the books are disorganised, with travel books , for example, spread about an entrance lobby in no particular order. The reservation system is no better than before, with many interesting books listed which for unknown reasons one cannot reserve. A cheesey cafe offers wasted space and a very limited range of food. A huge amount of money spent for a large step backwards, but then that is Britain's public sector today.

6  Thank RossManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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637 - 641 of 854 reviews

Reviewed April 24, 2014 via mobile

You will not regret coming here. The £48m refurbishment has done wonders. Preserving the old (e.g. Reading Room on 1st Floor) and future proofing the new (media lounge includes apple Macs). It took my break away on my first visit since the refurb, I'm so relieved there are more lifts, and the old general readers floor has expanded. Take the lift to the top floor and browse the reference books. It's a unique system of browsing shelves that's for sure.
I was compelled to bring my English students here on a trip. They were suitably impressed.

1  Thank NinjaS84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2014 via mobile

I was excited to visit here after it being closed for so long, it looks fantastic after being refurbished. There are lots of little booths for meetings and some interactive screens and displays with Manchester history information. There's also a little cafe inside.

Thank JessManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2014

The newly reopened and refurbished Central Library in Manchester is well worth a visit. The original 1930s architecture has been sensitively restored, providing a stunning background to the ultramodern library facilities. It's easy to spend a couple of hours in there, exploring right up to the fifth floor, walking the circular galleries, and having a break in the new cafe. There are fascinating displays on all subjects - the music section even has instruments to try. And, all those books.....!
My only quibble (a small one) is the paper cups in the cafe - china would have been nice.

Thank Mary W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2014

You will have to at least a couple of hours to get around this amazing place. We only had an hour+ to spare so when around the ground floor. History, computers, interactive screens. Found out the address my family who used to live around Great Western Street. Their names came up as well as the number/road address. Happy days of when I was very young. We also sent an email to a friend with a postcard picture of a subject/building in Manchester from years ago(ie The Old original Shambles) Brill.

Thank jennyclayton1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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