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
Watch again now. Kazuo Ishiguro is one of the world’s most treasured and celebrated contemporary fiction authors, whose award-winning novels include Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day. He appears in conversation with no. 1 bestselling author Kate Mosse to discuss Klara and the Sun, his first book since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, in this special event presented by The Reading Agency and the British Library. The event also marks the 10th anniversary of World Book Night, The Reading Agency’s national celebration of books and reading. Klara and the Sun is an intensely moving and beautiful exploration of human connection and creativity in the face of loneliness and advanced technologies. Ishiguro looks at our changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love? He talks to Kate Mosse about the inspiration for the novel, and the power of books and reading to bring people together and change lives. World Book Night is run by The Reading Agency and celebrated each year on 23 April, the UNESCO International Day of the Book. World Book Night brings people from all backgrounds together for one reason – to inspire others to read more. Since 2011, organisations and individuals have held events up and down the country to celebrate the difference that reading makes to their lives. Organisations can volunteer to hand out books from our annual list to people who don’t read for pleasure or own books. 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of World Book Night and is in partnership with Specsavers. Find out more at www.worldbooknight.org
This event will be available to watch again soon. The British Library and Faber Social present a celebration of Bessie Smith, pioneering blues singer and one of the biggest stars of the 1920s and 30s. As a young black girl growing up in Glasgow, writer and poet Jackie Kay found in Bessie someone with whom she could identify and who she could idolise. Kay talks to award winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo about her new book on Bessie's life, which mixes enthralling biography with fiction, poetry and prose. Plus a selection of Bessie Smith’s songs performed by special guest singer Nona Hendryx, most famously of the group Labelle. Bessie’s life was as tempestuous as it was extraordinary. Born in Tennessee in 1894 and orphaned by the age of nine, Smith sang on street corners before becoming a big name in travelling shows alongside the likes of Ma Rainey. In 1923 she made her first recording for a new start-up called Columbia Records. It sold 780,000 copies. Smith’s life was notoriously difficult: she drank pints of ‘bathtub gin’, got into violent fist fights, spent huge sums of money and had passionate love affairs with men and women. She once single-handedly fought off a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. Her gorgeous and powerful voice, unapologetic songs and bold personality have been an inspiration to many ever since. <b>Purchase your copy of Jackie Kay's <i>Bessie Smith</i> <a href="https://pagesofhackney.co.uk/webshop/product/bessie-smith-jackie-kay/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a></b>
Watch again now. This event took place on: 8 February 2021. Join writers and co-founders of @OnThisDayShe, Jo Bell, Tania Hershman and Ailsa Holland as they celebrate the release of their new book and some incredible women from history. @OnThisDayShe was launched on Twitter in January 2018 with one aim: to put women back into history, one day at a time. Women from across the world, across all time periods, from arts and sciences to politics, war, journalism, crime and invention. Featuring a different woman every day, not necessarily on her birthday or the day she died but on a day that was important to her. The day she qualified as the first doctor in her country, say, or she patented her first invention. Now with over 27,000 followers, Jo, Tania and Ailsa release their accompanying book, exploring intriguing topics and issues from wearing trousers to the language of history, the importance of tea, and even public toilets for women. With plenty of incredible facts, we share the stories of some important and influential women from history. Introduced by Isobel Church, the actor who voices the On This Day She audiobook. This event celebrates Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women's Rights, a UK-wide exhibition by the British Library and public libraries. Event hosted in partnership with Warwickshire Libraries and the West Midlands Readers' Network. Order your copy of 'On This Day She' by clicking <a href="http://hyperurl.co/OTDS" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>
Watch again now. Multiple Grammy award-winning entertainment icon Dolly Parton is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, actor, author, businesswoman, the queen of country and a Glastonbury show-stopper. She was born in a one-room cabin on the banks of the Little Pigeon River in Tennessee, the fourth of 12 children. Her father was a sharecropper who couldn’t read or write, but Dolly credits him as the inspiration for her Imagination Library, a book gifting programme devoted to giving children a love of reading, with over 100 million books distributed so far. Dolly’s prodigious musical output includes such classics as 9 to 5, Coat of Many Colours, I will Always Love You and Jolene. She also loves libraries, a lot. Sara Cox celebrates 25 years of broadcasting by chatting to her all time hero Dolly Parton! Over her career Sara has hosted various shows on BBC Radio 1 and now has her dream job hosting Radio 2’s teatime show. She is also the host of the book discussion show Between The Covers as well as Back in Time and Love in the Countryside for BBC2. She had a Sunday Times bestseller with her memoir about growing up on the family farm Till the Cows Come Home and is currently working on her debut novel. This event celebrates Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women's Rights, a UK-wide exhibition by the British Library and public libraries.
Watch again now. Join us to celebrate the 10th anniversary of World Book Night, hosted by The Reading Agency in partnership with Specsavers. World Book Night brings people from all backgrounds together for one reason – to inspire others to read more. During this special event, you’ll be treated to exclusive readings and hear from special guests about the books that make them smile. World Book Night Ambassador Sandi Toksvig talks live to featuring best-selling authors David Nicholls (One Day, Us, Sweet Sorrow), Bolu Babalola (Love in Colour), and World Book Night founder and Canongate Books CEO Jamie Byng. The evening’s celebration begins at 18.00 with Nobel prize winner in literature Kazuo Ishiguro in conversation with best-selling author Kate Mosse. Details here. Bookers for World Book Night presents: Books to Make you Smile will also be sent a link to watch the earlier event. World Book Night is run by The Reading Agency and celebrated each year on 23 April, the UNESCO International Day of the Book. Since 2011, organisations and individuals have held events up and down the country to celebrate the difference that reading makes to their lives. Organisations can volunteer to hand out books from our annual list to people who don’t read for pleasure or own books. Find out more at www.worldbooknight.org.
Watch again now. With Eddie S Glaude Jr. A searing indictment of racial injustice in America, inspired by the life and work of James Baldwin. Eddie S. Glaude Jr of Princeton University follows the increasingly politicised journey of 'the poet of the revolution' James Baldwin, in the years from The Fire Next Time in 1963 to No Name in the Street in 1972. This was the time of the Civil Rights Movement, when attempts to force a confrontation with the truth of America's racism was answered with the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. In his new book Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and its Urgent Lessons for Today, Glaude suggests we can find hope and guidance for our own times, a new era of shattered promises and white retrenchment. Mixing biography with history, memoir and trenchant analysis of our moment, Begin Again bears witness to the difficult truth of race in America. It is at once a searing exploration that lays bare the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, and a powerful interrogation of what we all must ask of ourselves in order to bring about a more just future. Glaude will be in conversation with Rob Berkeley. Click here to purchase <a href="https://pagesofhackney.co.uk/webshop/product/begin-again-james-baldwins-america-and-its-urgent-lessons-for-today-eddie-s-glaude-jr/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><b>Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Today<b></b></a>
Watch again now. This event took place on: 25 January 2021. To mark Holocaust Memorial Day, 91-year old Eva Schloss MBE tells her remarkable story. A childhood neighbour of Anne Frank in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, she was incarcerated in and then liberated from Auschwitz. Before the Second World War, Eva and her family were neighbours of the Franks in Amsterdam. The two families went separately into hiding from the Nazis. Both were betrayed and deported to Auschwitz. Eva, her mother and Anne’s father were the only survivors. When Eva settled in London after the War, Eva’s mother and Anne’s father married. Eva has published three books and speaks about her experiences to thousands of people around the world. In 1991, Eva co-founded the Anne Frank Trust UK, an anti-prejudice education charity, which is now in its 30th year. Using Anne Frank’s life and diary as a starting point, the trust aims to empower young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to challenge all forms of prejudice and discrimination. Tim Robertson has been Chief Executive of the Anne Frank Trust UK since 2018. His previous roles include Director of the Royal Society of Literature, Chief Executive of the Koestler Trust for arts in prisons, and children’s social worker in the London Borough of Camden. In association with the Anne Frank Trust. Order your copy of Eva's book <i><b>After Auschwitz: A story of heartbreak and survival by the stepsister of Anne Frank</i></b> <a href="https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Eva-Schloss/After-Auschwitz--A-story-of-heartbreak-and-survival-by-th/15126230" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>