Festival Of Libraries in various venues

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Michael Rosen. Photo by M Kavanagh
Michael Rosen. Photo by M Kavanagh.

Festival of Libraries at Manchester Central Library, Manchester, 9–13 June 2021, free entry - Visit now

The new Festival Of Libraries is a five-day multi-venue celebration of Greater Manchester’s libraries happening 9 to 13 June. Taking place in and organised by the UNESCO Manchester City Of Literature, and supported by Arts Council England, the first-ever Festival Of Libraries will feature a vibrant programme of digital art commissions, artist residencies, dance, performance, panel talks, workshops and walking tours – with guests including children’s author Michael Rosen, journalist Gary Younge, and local heroes Mike Garry and Shirley May as part of the Inspired By Libraries thread.

Scriptwriter, poet and performer Anjum Malik will be resident at Bolton Libraries while poet Ella Otomewo will be collaborating with Fatima Women’s Organisation and Oldham Libraries. Poet Andrew McMillan will be sharing his top reads, award-winning author and poet Rosie Garland will be giving tours of John Rylands Library, where she was writer-in-residence, and the Poetry Health Service, courtesy of Hafsah Aneela Bashir, will be in residency at Manchester Poetry Library. Stephen Holland, the new UK Comics Laureate, will be appearing, and there will be a special showcase of three writers, Lara Williams, Oliver Harris and Keith Hutson.

The first-ever Festival Of Libraries will feature a vibrant programme of digital art commissions, artist residencies, dance, performance, panel talks, workshops and walking tours – with guests including children’s author Michael Rosen, journalist Gary Younge, and local heroes Mike Garry and Shirley May as part of the Inspired By Libraries thread.

The inaugural county-wide celebration of libraries has a few main aims, including to highlight the library network’s full offer across wellbeing, culture and creativity, digital and information, and, of course, reading, and also to celebrate people: the librarians who run the spaces, the users who make use of the services and the extraordinary stories that emerge from the everyday use of libraries. It is hoped the festival will grow into an annual celebration and become a major event of local engagement and international profile.

The Festival Of Libraries programme will take place in internationally renowned institutions from Manchester’s rich tapestry of heritage libraries, including Central Library, with its impressive status as the busiest public library in the country, in addition to Chetham’s Library, The Portico Library, and the John Rylands Research Institute and Library. Also featured will be Greater Manchester’s equally important and vital local libraries that deliver much needed support and services to their communities, in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan. Other Festival Of Libraries partners include: Archives+, Manchester Poetry Library, NHS Libraries, Working Class Movement Library, the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Festival of Libraries at Manchester Central Library, Manchester

9–13 June 2021
Free entry

Accessibility

  • Dementia Friendly
  • Parent And Baby

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