LEICESTER’S libraries are backing World Book Night on 23 April with a free book giveaway and online discussion.
The discussion – which takes place over Zoom at 6.30pm – is called Taking Up Space: The Artist Response. It will feature conversations by artists about the book Taking Up Space: The Black Girl’s Manifesto For Change, by Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi.
The event has been organised by the city council in partnership with Opal22 Arts and Edutainment. It has also benefited from ward community funding from Spinney Hills councillors.
The first 50 people to book a space on the event will receive a free copy of the book.
Taking Up Space discusses what it means to be a black woman in university institutions that are often deeply ingrained in racism and misogyny. Written by two Cambridge graduates, it details their personal struggles and encourages empowerment, resistance and change.
At the online event, singer/songwriter Nadia Latoya, poet Poetic Lili and dancer Adele Bond will showcase their responses to the book in specially filmed performances and discuss the parts of Taking Up Space that particularly resonated with them. Audience members will be able to join in with the discussion.
World Book Night is an annual celebration event run by The Reading Agency, a national charity that promotes the power of reading to help tackle life’s big challenges.
Books are given out across the UK with a focus on reaching those who don't regularly read, and are gifted through organisations including prisons, libraries, colleges, hospitals, care homes and homeless shelters, as well as by passionate individuals who give out their own books within their communities. World Book Night 2021 is in partnership with Specsavers.
Cllr Kirk Master, assistant city mayor for neighbourhood services, said: “I know many of us are missing the events we used to host at our libraries, and we can’t wait to get back to them – but at the moment, the city’s covid response has to come first, which involves many of our library buildings and staff.
“While we can’t open our doors, we can welcome people online, and I’m delighted that we have helped to set up this online event to mark World Book Night – especially as we are focusing on such an important and empowering book.
“I hope that lots of people will enjoy connecting with others and joining the discussion.”
In addition to the event, Leicester Libraries have put together a specially-curated eList on the OverDrive online platform, celebrating what is, this year, the 10th anniversary of World Book Night. Find it at https://leicesteruk.overdrive.com/collection/1190161
To join Leicester Libraries, visit www.leicester.gov.uk/libraries
More information on World Book Night is at https://worldbooknight.org/