Get Hands On and Creative with Festival of Libraries 2023

1 June 2023 - News
This year’s events for Festival of Libraries gravitate around particular themes; International, Wellbeing, Belonging and identity, Families, Create, Reading and Stories, Environment and Music. These events take on various forms, from talks to treasure hunts, singing to support, there’s something for everyone.

There is an array of incredible sounding ways to get hands on and creative with the festival this year! Look below to find ways that you and your children can actively participate in these free or pay-what-you-can creative and crafty workshops across the Greater Manchester boroughs.


Emulsion Lift with Lydia Hounat – At 2pm Friday 9th June at The Portico Library, there is a three-hour interdisciplinary workshop exploring identity and heritage through photography and writing, to make miniature ‘self-collages’. Part of this will be learning the polaroid emulsion lift process.

Introduction to Lino Printing – This workshop is being run by artist Caroline Coates. All materials are provided and Caroline will take you step by step through the lino printing process to develop your own artworks. This is a two hour workshop from 11am-1pm on Thursday 8 June at Urmston Library.

Manga Workshops – After the success of these free workshops during October half-term, it was clear young people in Manchester have a real passion for manga, so we’ve got the two incredible professional manga artists back up to show us again. This time Chie and Inko will cover 3 different Greater Manchester boroughs.

Reading Rocks! – is a fun session where people decorate pebbles with book themed paintings and leave them outside for others to find. ‘Reading Rocks!’ is running at various Rochdale borough libraries Norden Library during its opening hours from 5th-10th June, Middleton Library 4-5pm Thursday 8th, Langley Library 3.30-4.30pm Friday 9th, then Spotland Library 11am-12pm and Rochdale Central Library 11am-1pm Saturday 10th.



Crochet, Knit & Craft – at various Stockport Libraries, this is a friendly place for any experience level:

  • Monday 5th June
    • 1pm at Great Moor Library, SK2 7QF
    • 1pm at Heald Green Library, SK8 3JB
    • 2pm at Hazel Grove Library, SK7 4QP
  • Tuesday 6th June
    • 11am at Stockport Central Library, SK1 3RS
    • 3pm at High Lane Library, SK6 8DX
  • Wednesday 7th June
    • 2pm at Edgeley Library, SK3 9NB
  • Friday 9th June
    • 11am at Heatons Library, SK4 3LD

Puppet Craft StoryTime – Let your children get crafty and create puppet characters they’ll tell stories with. Come to Rochdale – Langley Library 3.30-4.30pm on Thursday 8th June.

Rainbow Bookmarks – Create rainbow bookmarks with these Rochdale borough libraries and either take them home, give them as a gift or place in books in the library for others to find! ‘Rainbow Bookmarks’ is at Heywood Library 1.30-2.30pm Thursday 8th and 3.30-4.30pm Friday 9th June Littleborough Library



The RoundView – This tabletop game is available in both Manchester Central Library and Urmston Library from 29th May – 30th June for people to come and play any time they’re open. It’s a visually striking game that gets us talking about our connections to the environment, but from the perspective of what we CAN do, rather than the usual narrative of what we shouldn’t do.

Festival Lego Club – Come along with your little ones to build a super fairy tale structure together. There is even duplo for the even smaller little ones you may have.



Beatmaking and Lyricism Workshops with Yussuf Maleem – These workshops are free and allow young people of various experience to either learn or build their music production skills under the guidance of musician and facilitator, Yussuf Maleem.


Of course there’s also lots of writing workshops happening in every borough too. Check out our round up of writing workshops during the Festival of Libraries if you’re interested. Let us know what you get hands on with and show off your creative endeavours with the festival using the hashtag: #FestivalofLibraries so we can share your artwork!