It’s just another ordinary Thursday morning in Burnage – RNCM student combo Dolce String Quartet are playing a live free concert to a diverse group people who’ve come together in the local Library. Chairs are rapidly arranged, kettles are boiled, toddlers toddle and sit, move and dance, folk settle down with a cup of tea and a custard cream, bows flash, faces concentrate, and its amazing to be so close to a live performance. as a set ranging from Greig and Elgar to Gershwin and Clean Bandit rolls over the bookshelves. As the sweet strains of the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love” swell into the space, school children in high viz jackets practise their fledgling cycling skills outside on Burnage Lane, the drizzle falls, and the 169 trundles past advertising Billy Elliot: The Musical at the Palace Theatre. Afterwards, people linger and chat, talk to the musicians, admire the babies, offer to volunteer, and maybe even borrow a book. Billy Elliot found a place to discover what he loved. He probably had a library in his community too.
Anyone who’s thinking of closing a Library – don’t. This is Burnage Library in December 2016, where every day magic can happen. People deserve a place to share and discover what they love, whichever postcode they live in – lets hope this can be every community’s future too.