A packed fortnight of reading related fun will get underway this weekend with the start of the 2016 Barnet Libraries Festival.
Barnet’s second annual libraries festival begins on Saturday 6 February and runs until 21 February with activities, talks and events at libraries across the borough.
The festival kicks off with prize winning children’s author and illustrator Rob Biddulph hosting a storytelling and craft session for younger children at Church End library on 6 February.
Other highlights include bestselling crime fiction authors Mark Billingham and Erin Kelly who will be talking about their work followed by a Q&A at Chipping Barnet library on Wednesday 10 February – tickets £3.
There is a chance to take a walk back in time through East Finchley Cemetery with local historian Hugh Petrie on 7 February, and an opportunity to learn more about banned books with Sim Branagan during his talk at East Finchley library on 12 February.
Mobile emergency poet Deborah Alma, and her assistant Nurse Verse, will be travelling to Mill Hill and Chipping Barnet libraries in their 1970s ambulance to administer therapeutic poetic treatments. Be there to get your free consultation and lyrical prescription – no appointment necessary.
Meet women's fiction authors Julie Cohen, Rowan Coleman, Katy Regan, and Lucy Robinson for a fun, chilled out evening with bubbly and cupcakes provided at South Friern library on 18 February – tickets cost £5.
Local author Helen Barbour will be hosting a Q&A and book signing for her debut novel ‘The A to Z of Normal’ at North Finchley library on 20 February.
There will also be stories, crafts and play at the Ten Terrible Dinosaurs session for under 5s at Mill Hill and Chipping Barnet libraries, while 11-16 year olds can get a two-day introduction to screenwriting from Neil Arksey at Mill Hill library.
There will be a chance to make an edible book and enter the festival finale competition. Entries will be judged by Great British Bake Off 2014 finalist, Richard Burr. There will be prizes for children’s and adult categories.
For full details of the events highlighted, and listings for loads of other events and activities taking place during the festival, visit the council website.
Councillor Reuben Thompstone, Chairman of the Children’s, Education, Libraries and Safeguarding Committee, said: “There is an absolutely tremendous array of events going on over the two weeks of the festival, ranging from all sorts fun activities for children of all ages to talks offering a fascinating insight into the creative process.
“There is something for everyone and I would like to encourage as many people as possible to have a look at what is on and get involved.”