THERE IS double delight for readers across the borough as Oldham Library is to receive a £138,000 upgrade and Bookmark Festival returns next month.
Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre has been awarded £101,724 from the Arts Council to upgrade the technical specification of the Performance Space and children’s area.
This follows an earlier grant of £37,000 from the Arts Council, which will help to deliver the live@thelibrary programme of theatre, literature and comedy.
And next month, libraries across the area will celebrate all things literary with the annual Bookmark Festival from Saturday, April 18 until Saturday 25.
The festival caters for readers of all tastes and genres, with many free events.
This year’s line-up includes a star from children’s TV, a Manchester musical legend, ‘The patron saint of poetry’ and one of country’s most successful self-published authors.
Children’s TV personality and green-fingered gardener Mr Bloom will be sharing some nursery rhymes, songs, and veggie tales on Saturday 18 April.
Mr Bloom will make an appearance in the Oldham Town Centre followed by two performances at Oldham Library & Lifelong Learning Centre.
Steve Hanley, bass player with The Fall and author of The Big Midweek: Life Inside The Fall, appears at the Festival on Saturday 18 April.
His book, voted a Guardian book of the year 2014, provides a unique insight into one of the most talked about bands of the last 30 years.
Former Oldham resident Rachel Abbott is now one of the country’s most successful self-published authors.
Her three novels have together sold more than a million copies and been number one bestsellers on Amazon’s Kindle store.
Rachel will talk about her success as a self-published author and give an insight into her creative process and writing at Oldham Library at 7pm on Tuesday, April 21.
Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, who was a Bookmark Festival speaker last year, has hailed Roger McGough as ‘The patron saint of poetry’.
A new book of poems by Roger is always an event and As Far As I Know is truly a cause for celebration.
He will be speaking about his new collection ‘As Far As I Know’ at Oldham Coliseum on Monday, April 20 at 7pm.
Councillor Jean Stretton, Cabinet Member for Town Centres, Culture and Tourism, said: “This is the third time we have held the Bookmark Festival and again we’ve been able to assemble a first rate line up that has something for everyone.
“I hope residents will join in and also be inspired to visit their own local library to discover the whole range of services, activities and information available.
“I’d also like to congratulate the library staff on their successful bids for Arts Council funding as this money will be used to enhance the enjoyment of residents and also help us to attract more outstanding performers to the library.”
For more information or a full itinerary call 0161 770 8000 or go to Oldham Council’s website.
To join Oldham Libraries visit your local branch or log onto their website.