Celebrating Shakespeare in Libraries
What was Celebrating Shakespeare 2016?
Celebrating Shakespeare 2016 marked the bardʼs 400th anniversary with library events and activities over several months. It built on the previous yearʼs successful Shakespeare Week pilot project and was funded, to the tune of 95,500, by Arts Council England.
Thanks to the ACE grant, English library services were able to commission (centrally approved) artists, writers and performers to work on their Shakespeare celebrations.
When did it happen?
The campaign launched during Shakespeare Week (March 14 – 20). Shakespeare Selfie Saturday – a mass participation event in libraries and bookshops across England – marked the bard’s anniversary on April 23. The library celebrations continued, with arts events and activities through to December.
Who was involved?
The Society of Chief Librarians worked with a number of high-profile partners to ensure maximum reach and impact: the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Association of Children’s and Education Librarians, The Reading Agency, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, BBC Learning, the Booksellers’ Association, British Library and Royal Shakespeare Company.
What did it aim to achieve?
Celebrating Shakespeare 2016 aimed to introduce younger children to Shakespeare in a fun way, to interest teenagers in a playwright who was arguably the rapper of his day, and to encourage adults to revisit his works with a fresh eye.