Festival Of Libraries in various venues

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Simon Armitage. Photo Paul Wolfgang Webster

Festival of Libraries at Manchester Central Library, Manchester 13 — 16 June 2024 Entrance is free — Visit now

The fourth Festival Of Libraries is a five-day multi-venue celebration of Greater Manchester’s libraries happening 13 to 16 June.

Taking place in and organised by the UNESCO Manchester City Of Literature, the Festival Of Libraries is “a joyful celebration of the role that Greater Manchester’s 133 libraries play in wellbeing, culture, creativity and more”.

Featuring a vibrant programme of poetry commissions, a writing trail, library exchanges, live music, dance and theatre, and plenty of family-friendly activities, it’s all free and – we’re assured – all fun. This is a festival for everyone and spans internationally renowned institutions such as Central Library, Chetham’s Library, The Portico Library and John Rylands Research Institute and Library, the recently opened Manchester Poetry Library and the network of local libraries across the city region.

There are writing workshops with novelists, scriptwriters, poets and performers. The Inspired By Libraries thread welcomes a number of speakers across Greater Manchester, including, in 2023, the Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, sharing his love of writing, reading and libraries with audiences. And don’t forget to Look For A Book…

He says: “My experience of reading and writing began in the village library where I grew up, then in the nearby town library, then in libraries at various places of study and teaching. For many people they are an invaluable aspect of everyday life, giving access not just to books but to services, learning, conversation and creative thinking. I look forward to celebrating libraries as one of the great and necessary institutions as part of Manchester’s very own city-wide Festival of Libraries in the UNESCO City of Literature.”

See our guide to Libraries in Manchester here.

Festival of Libraries at Manchester Central Library, Manchester 13 — 16 June 2024 Entrance is free Visit now

Accessibility

  • Dementia-friendly
  • Parent and Baby

Where to go near Festival Of Libraries in various venues

St Peters Square Manchester
City Centre
St Peter’s Square

St Peter’s Square is a public space in Manchester – home to the city’s iconic library, town hall, Pankhurst statue, art gallery and famous Midland Hotel.

Manchester Art Gallery. Photo by Andrew Brooks
City Centre
Gallery
Manchester Art Gallery

The Charles Barry-designed, Grade I-listed Manchester Art Gallery is one of the city’s leading galleries and is back open for visitors once more.

Chinatown
Hotel
The Alan

This high-end city-centre restaurant has an excellent afternoon tea option that more than matches up to the superb main menu.

Salut Wines
Chinatown
Bar or Pub
Salut Wines

Salut wines pride themselves in offering “wider horizons beyond the safe choices.” With 42 wines by the glass and a regularly changing selection of bottles in their Enomatic wine preservation machines (or  “wine jukebox,” as they’re colloquially known), this is one of be best bars in Manchester for exploring new vintages.

Manchester
Restaurant
Friska

Latest branch of Friska, the independent healthy fast food chain.

Manchester
Restaurant
Don Giovanni

Traditional Italian restaurant, serving everything from pizza to steak. All this in a large modern venue with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Chinatown
Restaurant
Manchester Art Gallery Cafe

Summery bakes, seasonal salads and fresh light meals at Manchester Art Gallery’s in-house café, courtesy of highly-regarded Head Chef Matthew Taylor.

City Centre
Tourist Attraction
Manchester Town Hall

Re-opening in 2024, Manchester Town Hall is a monument to Victorian Manchester’s ambition, and one of the city’s most-loved landmarks.

City Centre
Tourist Attraction
Albert Square

A public square in the heart of Manchester which plays hosts to festivals and major events. Home to the Albert Memorial and statues of Bishop James Fraser, John Bright, Oliver Heywood and William Ewart Gladstone.

Contemporary Six, art gallery in Manchester
City Centre
Gallery
Contemporary Six

Contemporary Six is an independent commercial art gallery in Manchester city centre, set up by Alex Reuben in 2010.

What's on: Literature

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