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Festival of Libraries

This June, Chetham’s Library will be taking part in the Festival of Libraries. This is the Manchester City of Literature’s first Festival of Libraries, a brand-new celebration of Greater Manchester’s 133 libraries. The festival, which is supported by Arts Council England, will feature an exciting programme that demonstrates what Manchester libraries have to offer, including areas such as: wellbeing, culture and creativity, digital and information services, and, of course, reading. Over 80 online events are taking place from Wednesday 9 – Sunday 13 June 2021.

The Festival of Libraries programme will take place in historically significant institutions as well as vital community libraries from Manchester. These include but are not limited to: 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 (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan).


Above: A very topical ballad

Our contribution to the Festival will include: collaborations with artists and academics, who will bring our ballad collection to life through song, including a very topical piece on vaccinations from the 19th Century. Discover the fascinating story of a local man who became an expert in forgery and deceit. Hear the exciting adventures of a time-travelling 11-year-old, read by local children. Explore the eerie absence of readers enforced by the pandemic. This series of online events will bring the magic of the UK’s oldest public library into your home.

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