Manchester’s Festival of Libraries events announced

Manchester’s libraries are firmly back in business with a five-day festival as the pandemic eases.

The festival will take place from the 9th – 13th June and will honour Greater Manchester’s renowned network of 133 libraries with a free programme of over 80 events.

The activities range from music, dance, poetry, outdoor trails and activism, as well as stories, reading and writing.

Caroline Kelly, Festival of Libraries’ creative producer, said: “You can go and get business advice, you can go and connect with a group, and even go to a cookery class.”

The festival is supported by Arts Council England via the National Lottery funded Project Grants programme.

Libraries have been proven to act as a lifeline during the pandemic to those in need of internet access and human development.

There have been over 180,000 loans of eBooks and audiobooks from Manchester libraries in the past year as well as 120,000 books loaned through the Books to Go service.

Fifty artists are taking part in the festival and will be delivering a wide range of creative workshops.

Hawk Dance Theatre are to perform ‘Getting from A to B’, which is an immersive adventure taking place in five libraries across Manchester.

Artists with residencies at the festival include Ella Otomewo, a poet who writes for both spoken word and poetry.

She said: “I believe that libraries play a vital role in whatever community they are based in. Free public buildings to learn, escape, attend a workshop, write, watch a performance, meet, play music, and, of course, read; what could be better?”

There are many events that are family friendly including both online and in person activities including self-guided family walking tours and quizzes.

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

For the full event schedule and more information visit

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