Thursday, March 18, 2010
Party in the library
If you've been reading this blog for a while you may have picked up on the fact that I'm kind of a library geek. I worked in libraries on and off for years (oh, I can shelve books all right), and my mom was one of those righteous activist librarians they seem to have lots of in the states and not enough of over here. So one of the first things I do on moving to a new place is check out the library. And when I visited Central Library for the first time I was not disappointed. It's pretty wonderful.
Unfortunately we're saying hasta la vista to our library for a while; it is closing to be renovated until 2013. During that time we'll have to make do with a scaled-down temporary library on Deansgate. I hope that the things I love about it don't get messed with too much in the renovation (the spectacular Great Hall, the language & lit library) and the things I don't like are going to be all sorted out (the outdated cafe, the tiny general readers library, the lack of a good space for children's books and reading activities). We shall see.
The library's getting a proper literary and musical send-off tomorrow night with Manchester Central Library: A Celebration. Sean O'Brien will read from a collection of short stories written entirely about a city library, The Silence Room, and Jane Rogers will read 'Lucky' set largely in the library. Other readers include Nicholas Royle and Mike Garry - and they're going to have a klezmer band too. It starts at 6:30 and it's free and open to all.
There's another interesting bookish event on the radar in Salford: Reading for Reading's Sake, a 4-day event aimed at exploring reading as a practice. "Unlike a regular reading group, this event aims to unfold the activity of reading, the situations in which we read, reading as a shared event, a private passion, concentration, interpretation, sound and voice, the symbolic and emotional value of the act."
It takes place Thursday April 8 - Sunday April 11 at Islington Mill, and includes a whole host of reading-related activities, workshops and evening performances. Booking required, places limited. Full details here.
(Manchester Central Library photo by Flickr user brightonsinger)