Manchester UNESCO City of Literature’s inaugural Festival of Libraries, a brand-new county-wide celebration of Greater Manchester’s 133 libraries, will take place from Wednesday 9 June to Sunday 13 June 2021. 

The Festival of Libraries, which is supported by Arts Council England, will feature a vibrant programme that highlights the library network’s full offer, across wellbeing, culture and creativity, digital and information, and, of course, reading. 

The festival will celebrate Manchester’s commitment to its libraries, with a showcase of digital art commissions, artist residencies, dance, performance, panel talks and walking tours, as part of the festival that will become an annual event in Greater Manchester’s cultural calendar.  

Libraries have been proven a lifeline during the pandemic, to those in need of internet access, accurate information, human contact, personal and professional development and much more. In the last year there have been over 180,000 loans of eBooks and eAudiobooks via a free online initiative from Manchester libraries, in addition to the 120,000 books loaned from the libraries through the incredible Books to Go housebound service during the same period. 

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, The Portico, and John Ryland’s. Also featured will be Greater Manchester’s equally important and vital local libraries that deliver much needed support and services to their communities. 

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. 

You can find out more on the Festival of Libraries on Manchester City of Literature website.