Macclesfield’s Secret Librarians

Back Wallgate Books, one of Barnaby 2016’s best-loved events, is to continue on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 2nd October 2016, courtesy of the festival’s new ‘Secret Librarians’.

The team of local residents will open and close the new library and keep it stocked up with a mix of interesting, popular and thought-provoking reads on a variety of topics, fact and fiction, with something for all ages.

“It’s such a fun project and we’ve already had lots of people getting involved. People have really have taken ownership of it and they feel that it is their library,” said a Secret Librarian who lives close by.

Hundreds of people have already enjoyed the free, shared library, tucked into alcoves on Back Wallgate (opposite Tempranillo/JC Vape).

Visitors are invited to bring, browse or borrow books, or take advantage of the specially-created ‘reading nook’, which seats up to three people.

Festival Director Karl Wallace was inspired by the ‘Library in the Landscape’ at Tegg’s Nose Country Park, created by Ailsa Holland (Artist in Residence, Barnaby Festival 2016) in collaboration with Cheshire East Ranger Martin James.

Ailsa Holland commented, “Karl approached me and asked if I would like to create a similar project for the town centre and Back Wallgate Books is the result! I have been overwhelmed by the comments and positive response. We’ve had lots of donations of books, including an anonymous gift wrapped in paper of a space-themed book to fit with the Barnaby theme. The library and reading nook have already become a popular town feature; people are starting to refer to it by name when giving directions in town.”

Karl Wallace said, “I wanted to work with an artist on creating a shared arts project that would last beyond the festival itself. Back Wallgate Books is one of a number of legacy projects commissioned this year and we are delighted that they are now becoming part of the fabric of the town. It is wonderful to explore Macclesfield with all its cobbled streets and twisting and turning steps and stumble upon these little gems.”

You can also donate books via RKW Unique Living (opposite Back Wallgate Books). To become a Secret Librarian, contact: mail@barnabyfestival.org.uk

Back Wallgate Books will be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10am – 5pm, until Sun 2nd October 2016

Photo courtesy of Ailsa Holland