17/08/2015 - Manchester Central Library – Transformation Success

Manchester Central Library reopened to the public after a £50m refurbishment that saw an amazing transformation of both the building and the services being offered.

This fantastic Grade II* listed building has restored heritage features, such as the reading room, alongside new technology and digital features in a Media Lounge with over 200 computers including a new suite of Macs and the latest gaming consoles.

Central Library also has Wi-Fi enabled so you can bring your own device and get connected at various places around the building.

The Children's Library, themed on the Secret Garden book by local author Frances Hodgson Burnett, includes digital interactive screens and interactive floor projections.

As a forward thinking library service, Manchester had previously implemented self-service facilities within many of its libraries including Central and realised the benefits this offered to its public customers and indeed the staff. 

The Central Library building looks almost the same from the outside but inside the transformation is amazing and opens up a whole new exciting library world to its visitors.

Central Library External

"In the old library, 70% of the building was not accessible to the public. We've reversed that so now 70% is open," said Neil MacInnes, Head of Libraries at Manchester City Council.

The Wolfson Reading Room has been magnificently restored for public use as shown below:

Wolfson Reading Room

The great new open public spaces: 

Central Library Public Space

Insight Media a major supplier of PC Bookings, Print Management and Public Wireless solutions to libraries were pleased to offer assistance in providing its iCAM PC Management Solution to control and support the suite of Apple Macs in the new Media Lounge.  These devices which are different to standard Windows type PCs required specialist software and the iCAM developed solution allows the public to easily reserve in advance or gain quick self-service access to these devices.

The Media Lounge and Apple Macs

Andrew Jackson, Manchester ICT (formerly based at the Central Library) was involved in many of the IT elements for the new library transformation project. He stated ‘The Apple Macs are very popular with members of the public and are widely used.  Allowing easy public access to the Macs with session control were key requirements and Insight Media came up with the right solution that allowed us to continue with our efficient self-service objectives.

The library has always offered an excellent range of reading material and this continues alongside the creative and innovative flow of technology in its public spaces. 

Within its famous landmark shell lies an amazing mix of the original central library features sensitively restored and preserved yet complimented with an inspirational next generation futuristic library transformation.   

Anyone who walks through the library door will find the surroundings inviting and interesting and is sure to be amazed and impressed by what’s been achieved.  It’s like going back in time but also with a quantum leap into the future. 

This is indeed a success story on how to transform a library! 

 Insight Media believes this clearly demonstrates the effective good use of self-service technology and Manchester Libraries certainly looks to provide a wide range of services in a relaxed yet exciting and vibrant environment that makes life easier for both public and staff users.  

If you would like more information on our self-service PC Management of Apple Mac solutions or any other products or services then please contact us on:

Tel: 0844 335 6350

Email: info@insight-media.co.uk