Festival of Libraries 2024

  • DATE

    12-16 June 2024

  • TIME

    10:00 am to 9:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome








    Environment and Nature















    Manchester City of Literature

Take a front row seat anywhere in Greater Manchester for the Festival of Libraries 2024!

Sharing their love of libraries this year are authors, poets, performers, artists and historians, including Konnie Huq, LYR (Simon Armitage, Richard Walters and Patrick Pearson), Maxine Peake, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Coelho and more.  Taking part are the city region’s 133 libraries, including the internationally renowned Central Library, Chetham’s, The Portico Library and John Rylands Research Institute and Library, and everyone is invited.

Simon Armitage says, “Libraries are very close to my heart. Since I became Poet Laureate I’ve been reading in libraries around the UK every spring, from big landmark buildings like the British Library to a mobile library van on the Outer Hebrides. I want to support the under-pressure services that play a vital role in shaping the cultural, imaginative and intellectual life of this country, and often stand at the core of communities. I wanted to write about libraries in general as places of illumination, where a person’s mind can expand in every direction, and can do so for free. I think we sometimes forget that knowledge, learning and information can be very expensive, be that an internet connection, a smart phone or a course of study. Libraries are the ultimate democratic institutions – places of sharing – and having taken so much out this is an opportunity for me to give something back. Let’s say I’m balancing the books.”


The Festival of Libraries programme is full of imagination, ideas, connections and discussion with exhibitions, author talks, performances, installations, live music, workshops and international collaborations which are all free to take part in.  The festival is here as a reminder to people of the breadth of what libraries offer and the incredible contribution they make to communities as places that not only give access to books, but provide services, learning and creativity; all with an open invitation to anyone.  As a UNESCO City of Literature, Manchester believes passionately in the value of libraries and the Festival of Libraries, which is Arts Council England funded, is a reflection of this.


Luke Burton, Director Libraries, Arts Council England, says, “The Festival of Libraries showcases the fantastic range of libraries in Greater Manchester, from the Central Library and Manchester Poetry Library to the equally important local libraries which support their communities so well. I’m delighted that we are supporting this year’s festival through our National Lottery Project Grants programme and I’m sure that local people and visitors will enjoy the huge range of talks, performances and exhibitions alongside taster sessions for Lego and creative writing.”

This is the fourth Festival of Libraries.  In 2023 the festival included 111 events and involved Greater Manchester’s whole library network making it a unique celebration.

Scroll down to see the full programme of events, and click through to each one to access booking links and more information. Our official festival brochure will be available to download from this page soon. To get involved with the activity online you can use the hashtag #FestivalofLibraries and tag us in @mcrcityoflit.

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


Why should you get involved with the Festival of Libraries 2024?