The Proud Place Library


At the heart of The Proud Place, Manchester’s LGBT+ community centre, is a cosy LGBT+ library, featuring LGBT+ books, a zine library and heritage materials. The library has an extensive collection of books featuring LGBT+ stories by LGBT+ authors for all ages. The library also features archive and heritage material spanning more than three decades including photos, maps and newspaper clippings.

The LGBT+ Centre library was formalised in 2013, when the building was renamed to The Joyce Layland LGBT Centre. This library was created in partnership with 42nd Street’s Young Women’s Health Project, initially named ‘Between the Lines’, and sat across both the 42nd Street building and The Joyce Layland LGBT Centre. Later in 2013, the library was dedicated to centre supporter and Manchester activist, Jaye Bloomfield, in memory of her life. The space was renamed to The Jaye Bloomfield Resource Library. The library was often used as a one-to-one space and a quiet space, sitting inside the entrance of the building before it was rebuilt, where the current stairwell sits.

In 2014, the Manchester LGBT+ Zine Library was founded in the building, by members of staff. It took up residence in The Jaye Bloomfield Resource library, run by dedicated staff members and volunteers. Initially, the collection started with 20 zines and was grown to over 250 zines by 2017.

As a well-used space in the old building, the library was carried through in the plans for the new building that opened in May 2022. When designing the layout of The Proud Place, the library was positioned to be on the ground floor, as it used to be, however centralised in the layout of the new building, surrounded by yellow brick walls as a nod to features of the old building.

The library remains a popular space at The Proud Place, being used for quiet reflection, conversations and reading – it has truly become the heart of the building.

Aside from being the home to Manchester’s only LGBT+ library, The Proud Place has a fascinating place in Manchester’s LGBT+ History, as its current location was home to the original 1988 building, which was Europe’s first purpose built ‘Gay Centre’. Find out more about the history of The Proud Place here.