Festival of Libraries

Manchester City of Literature project
Manchester City of Literature’s Festival of Libraries returns for 2024. This county-wide celebration of Greater Manchester’s 133 libraries takes place annually across the city.

The festival, which is supported by Arts Council England, features 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 of Libraries programme takes place in (and out of!) 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 Library, The Portico Library, Manchester Poetry Library and the John Rylands Research Institute and Library. Also featured will be Greater Manchester’s equally important and vital local libraries that deliver much needed support and services to their communities.

This festival allows citizens to celebrate the key role that libraries play in civic life. It encourages children, young people, migrant communities and vulnerable groups to use the diverse library service offer creatively. Partner libraries around the city host performances, exhibitions, concerts, art, film, writing classes, and public debates. Writers, illustrators and musicians are commissioned to respond to the vital role libraries play to the people of Manchester.

Library partners include: Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Trust, 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), Z Arts Children’s Library and more.




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