June 2021

Festival of Libraries

What
Festival of Libraries
When
8th June 2021 – 13th June 2021
Where
Manchester Central Library

The Festival of Libraries will be a five day celebration of Greater Manchester’s libraries taking place between 9 and 13 June 2021. This new, multi-venue festival will feature a vibrant programme of digital art commissions, artist residencies, dance, performance, panel talks and walking tours.

The inaugural Libraries Festival has a few main aims, including 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. We hope the festival will grow into an annual celebration and to become a major event of local engagement and international profile.

Library partners include: Archives+, Central Library, Chetham’s Library, John Rylands Library, Manchester Poetry Library, NHS Libraries, The Portico, Working Class Movement Library, the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and Greater Manchester libraries (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan).

Commissions supported by the successful Arts Council England award that will be part of Libraries Festival: Future Library The Writing Squad and innovation lab Future Everything will pair early career writers and creative technologists to create immersive, digitally delivered narratives about libraries of the future (installations in three libraries and online) Artist Residencies Five community panels will select five artist residencies: three writers, an illustrator selected in partnership with Children’s Books North and a songwriter selected in partnership with Brighter Sound. The artists will lead community responses on libraries and locality. Their work will be shared at the Festival of Libraries, and printed anthologies or films created. Caring Words The Poetry Library and Kirsten Jack, Professor of Nursing Education at MMU, will run poetry and wellbeing projects for health and care professionals. Hafsah Aneela Bashir will be resident at the Poetry Library taking the Poetry Health Service to new audiences. Getting from A to B Hawk Dance will re-stage their acclaimed early years site-specific dance performance for libraries, in five Greater Manchester libraries. Inspired by Libraries Talks with local creatives and artists sharing how libraries inspired them. Community Celebrations Five micro-grants for community groups to deliver activity in their local library. Walking Tours A newly commissioned tour from the oldest public library in the English-speaking world, Chetham’s, to one of the newest, Manchester Poetry Library, visiting others en route will be commissioned. A self-guided audio tour will be available year round. Half/full day itineraries will be created linking towns and libraries in Greater Manchester. Meet the Librarian Training will be provided to enable the professionals who run libraries to share their story and experiences (at least one in every Greater Manchester borough) Human Library Training will be provided to library staff, volunteers and selected residents to deliver human library sessions: a safe dialogue between readers and ‘books’, people with interesting and unusual life stories (at least one in every Greater Manchester borough) International writer residencies Two published writers from other UNESCO Cities of Literature will have a virtual residency during the Festival at Central Library, John Rylands, Chetham’s or The Portico (tbc).

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