We bring world-class speakers, emerging voices and inspirational debate to public libraries and the people who use them. We livestream compelling cultural events with libraries across the UK, so you can get a front-row seat for free no matter where you live. Explore the website to watch our previous events and discover what we have coming up.
More information about the Living Knowledge Network and the British Library can be found here
Wednesday 09th Feb 2022
Tuesday 15th Feb 2022
Watch again now This event took place on Wednesday 8th December 2021 (19:30 - 20:45) Join the British Library for an evening of readings, stories and conversation celebrating the life and work of the Jamaican poet, writer, broadcaster and activist, Andrew Salkey (1928–1995). Andrew Salkey was a co-founder of the Caribbean Artists Movement, a writer, a poet, and a teacher. He embodied the Black Radical Tradition in his writing, his politics, and in his support for other creative individuals. This event reflects on the depth and breadth of Salkey’s work and his myriad of interests with contributions and reflections from his son Jason Salkey, the poet Linton Kwesi Johnson and the writer, Gwen Strauss, who both regarded Salkey as a friend and mentor. The poet, Raymond Antrobus, talks about Salkey’s poetry and how it influenced his own work and Eric Huntley, an early publisher of Salkey’s works, looks back at their friendship.
Watch again now This event took place on Monday 22nd November 2021 (19:00 - 20:30) Join Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum an award-winning educational leader, a noted expert on the psychology of racism and best-selling author of Why Are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? for a transatlantic conversation about race. Dr. Tatum will be joined on stage by leading UCL Academics and others to discuss and debate the issue of race and racism, why it persists, how we address it through education and how we can talk about it. The event will be streamed live from the Bloomsbury Theatre at UCL and will include a keynote from Dr. Tatum and an armchair discussion followed by an audience Q&A.
Watch again now This event took place on Friday 5th November 2021 (12:00 - 12:30) Vital Discussions On Demand is a series of conversations created by the Royal Society for Literature. Join Deborah Levy and Merve Emre as they discuss what Virginia Woolf means to them and the enduring influence of her work on their own writing.This event is presented in partnership with LitHub. This wide-ranging conversation will feature an exploration of Woolf’s strength and fragility, how reading writers of the past shapes the authors of today, and what we still have to learn from Woolf and her work. You can discover upcoming events from the RSL on their website here. You can also become a member of the RSL, offering the benefits and joys of a literary festival and book club, rolled into one, all year round. Purchase an RSL Digital Events Pass to access all RSL events for just £25 for a year.
Watch again now This event took place on Friday 22nd October 2021 We are working with Libraries Connected to stream the Grand Finale of the Novels that Shaped Our World project. We are delighted to bring this day-long event to all library staff who have contributed to the project and celebrate the amazing contributions you have made to make the project a success. Libraries Connected are delighted to invite you to a day of celebration of libraries and books, reflecting on an extraordinary 18 months where reading has been a lifeline to many and showcasing the BBC Novels That Shaped Our World Libraries Programme. In the morning we’ll be hosting a reading round table with speakers including Monique Roffey; Arts Council England; The Reading Agency; and RNIB, exploring the role of reading during Covid-19 and personal reflections on how to connect more people to the power of reading. The second session will be a joyous and moving showcase by libraries of some of the many reading and cultural projects inspired by the Novels that Shaped Our World. 11.30am - 1pm: Reading Round Table 1pm - 2pm: BREAK 2pm - 4pm: Celebratory showcase of libraries' work
Watch again now This event took place on Monday 6th December 2021 (18:00 - 19:00) Vital Discussions On Demand is a series of conversations created by the Royal Society for Literature. Forensic psychotherapist Gwen Adshead and ‘the Queen of Crime’ Val McDermid have spent their careers exploring our interior worlds and the edges of society. Their conversation will span human cruelty, compassion, change and recovery, and how we find the words to describe the unspeakable parts of existence. You can discover upcoming events from the RSL on their website here. You can also become a member of the RSL, offering the benefits and joys of a literary festival and book club, rolled into one, all year round. Purchase an RSL Digital Events Pass to access all RSL events for just £25 for a year.
Watch again now This event took place on Thursday 11 November (19:30 - 20:30) Join historian Dominic Selwood for a vivid exploration of how treasures from the British Library’s collection reveal the changing identities of Britain. In this colourful talk — based on his new book Anatomy of a Nation: A History of British Identity in 50 Documents — Dominic Selwood delves into a kaleidoscope of documents from the British Library’s unique collection to assemble the story of how Britain evolved through the classical and medieval worlds to the modern day. Some documents are familiar, like the mesmerizing musical rhythms of Beowulf, the jewel of Anglo-Saxon poetry that survives in just one slightly burned copy. Others are less so, including the irate bull of Pope Innocent III excommunicating anyone who obeyed Magna Carta for the sin of rising against an anointed king. Some are more personal and subtle, like the first Valentine’s letter, sent in 1477 by an amorous Norfolk woman anxious at her modest dowry. While others speak to the nation, like Vaughan Williams’s 1921 score of The Lark Ascending, a visceral reaction to his experiences in the trenches of World War One, and now a forlorn reminder of the carnage later generations have inflicted on the countryside’s once musical and colourful biodiversity. Weaving these evocative documents together, Dominic uncovers a Britain we have never seen before. People are at the heart of the story: a female charioteer queen from Wetwang, a plague surviving graffiti artist, a drunken Bible translator, outlandish Restoration rakehells, canting criminals, the eccentric fathers of modern typography and the bankers who caused the finance crisis.
Watch again now This event took place on Tuesday 5th October 2021 Vital Discussions On Demand is a series of conversations created by the Royal Society for Literature. Ruth Padel is joined by Lisa Appignanesi for a timely discussion about loss and memory, parents and children, the fragility of life, and the Holocaust on Crete. In reflections on art, music and archaeology, two RSL Fellow writers explore eras of instability and how culture helps us to understand them. You can discover upcoming events from the RSL on their website here. You can also become a member of the RSL, offering the benefits and joys of a literary festival and book club, rolled into one, all year round. Purchase an RSL Digital Events Pass to access all RSL events for just £25 for a year.