Finale Celebration: The Novels that Shaped our World

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

Speakers

Libraries Connected

Charitable Organisation

The Days after Tomorrow: Climate Fiction for the Future

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This event took place on: 22 September 2021.

Can we reimagine our relationship with nature and protect the future? Join the Climate Imagination Fellows, Climate Fiction writers from around the world, to find out. As Glasgow prepares to host the UN Climate Conference (COP26), our panel explores the crucial role of imagination in the fight against climate change. With a special appearance from prize-winning author Amitav Ghosh.

How can we marshal our collective imagination, accelerate the global transformations required by COP26 and move towards a sustainable way of life? How can we get beyond dystopian visions of climate chaos and focus on more positive, equitable and community-led futures?

With roots in science fiction, Climate Fiction or ‘Cl-Fi’ is now expanding across genres and styles from poetry to thrillers and more experimental work. This vital area of contemporary fiction grapples with climate science, art, politics and technology, seeking to reinvent the way we envisage tomorrow. At this special event Climate Imagination Fellows: Libia Brenda, Hannah Onoguwe and Vandana Singh share stories that bring the future into the present. They will reflect on the essential role of storytelling in thinking through the consequences of our collective decisions and charting a path towards the futures we want to build together.

Chaired by journalist, author and cultural commentator Claire Armistead.

Watch the full length interview with Amitav Ghosh <a href="https://youtu.be/CnQiacyQ9Oc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here.</a>

Create your own 'Postcard from the Future' <a href="https://climateimagination.org/postcards-from-the-future/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here.</a>

Find out more about the Centre for Science and the Imagination <a href="https://csi.asu.edu/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here.</a>

Part of the British Library's environment event series, <a href="https://www.bl.uk/events/the-natural-word" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Natural Word</a>, which celebrates the underrepresented voices harnessing the power of imagination to change the world.

British Identity in 50 Documents with Dominic Selwood

Join us here live: 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.

Bessie Smith: Jackie Kay in conversation with Bernardine Evaristo

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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>

On This Day She: Putting Women Back Into History One Day At A Time

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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>

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