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Manchester libraries offer thousands of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and papers online – for free


Government advice to stay at home means most of us have got more time on our hands. And if you’re looking for something new to read, without having to spend any cash, you’re in luck.

Manchester City Council’s libraries are offering 24/7 free access to thousands of ebooks, magazines and audiobooks, plus all UK daily newspapers online.

And now, even people who don’t have a Manchester library card can sign up online at Borrowbox to take advantage of this service. To download the app, go to the app store on your device, search for and download Borrowbox.

The list of ebooks and audiobooks includes everything from the latest bestsellers to those literary classics that we’ve always meant to read but never quite found the time.

Manchester Libraries members can also read full digital copies of magazines for free from any computer, smartphone or tablet. Around 100 magazines are currently available, covering everything from food to computers and music to art.

Titles include Hello!, BBC Good Food, Amateur Photographer, BBC Top Gear, Radio Times and Cosmopolitan. Members can borrow an unlimited number of magazines, to keep for as long as you need.

And all national UK newspapers are included in the service, including the Independent, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, so you can keep up to date with all the current headlines.

If you fancy picking up a new skill, there’s also a free online language learning package, which offers 90 different foreign language courses, plus a range of courses for English learners, delivered in their own first language. 

The easy-to-use courses, delivered by nature speakers, are chiefly aimed at beginner to intermediate level, up to A-level standard.

“We want to make sure people know that, even as we are going through these unprecedented times, our library service is still there for them,” said Councillor Luthfur Rahman.

“All of our members have the opportunity to benefit from our free digital offer, whether they want to read for pleasure, get the latest in-depth news, or even take a language course, without having to leave their own home. 

“And the Borrowbox service can now be accessed for free even if you don’t have a library card, making e-books and audiobooks available to all, for free.”



Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

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