Manchester councils’ libraries will operate online catalogue system allowing access to 2.8 million books

Manchester Central Library Credit: PA

Manchester library users will soon be able to borrow books from other libraries across the region, thanks to a new initiative launching on National Libraries Day.

From Saturday 6 February, Manchester and six other Greater Manchester councils’ libraries networks will operate a shared online catalogue system - giving access to 2.8 million books and other items held within the participating library services.

People in Manchester will be able to search for books in any of the participating councils’ collections, reserving items using their existing Manchester Libraries card.

Manchester Central Library Credit: PA

Manchester, Bolton, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport and Trafford councils are all included in the shared Library Management System (LMS) scheme, as are Blackburn with Darwen Council - with Tameside joining later this year.The Library Management System will make it easier for customers to find information and books, creating a single library catalogue for all the different areas.

Manchester Libraries cardholders will be able to reserve stock belonging to other participating library services - then collect and return the items, using a convenient branch of the other region's library network.

Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Rosa Battle, said:

Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner and interim Mayor Tony Lloyd said:

Arts Council England has provided £30,000 of funding to support the project.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England said: