What’s on in Hackney libraries


Mental Health Awareness Week

Monday 10 May – Sunday 16 May

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week’s theme is nature. Join us online for nature related books, activities, and resources to get you out of your head.

Dementia Festival

Saturday 15 May – Saturday 23rd May

As part of Hackney’s Dementia Festival, we will learn more about dementia, highlight books with characters living with the condition and recommend resources for living well.

Storyteller John Kirk’s interactive reinterpretation of the Emperor’s New Clothes

As a dedicated follower of fashion the Emperor must have the latest styles but when two crooks come to town and convince him to buy clothes he can’t see he ends up with nowhere to hide his pride. This is a pre-recorded presentation with suggested opportunities for participation that can be watched at any time from 15 May via our YouTube channel.

You Say, Me Say a recorded poem by Lydia Julien

Listen to our amazing library poet, Lydia Julien, reading the poem she wrote by collecting memories from The Bells Project. In 2017 Lydia Julien worked with the Peppie Close residents, an event organised by The Community Library Service.

She created a prose poem, Me Say, You Say from all of the resident’s oral history and memories which was performed at Peppie Close and the Windrush Tea Party at Hackney Town Hall 2018. This is a pre-recorded presentation that can be watched at any time from 15 May via our YouTube channel.

Online Hackney memories workshop

Wednesday 19 May, 11-11.20am

If you used to step out to the Rio Cinema, Hackney Empire or loved your local library, join us for a friendly and relaxed session chatting about well-loved places in Hackney. Share memories and experiences promoted by a wide variety of fabulous photos, posters and pamphlets from Hackney Archives. This is a zoom live session that will be recorded and available to watch after the live event via our YouTube channel.

Book now


Thursday 13 May

Happy Eid! Get ready to celebrate this world-wide holiday making your own Eid al-Fitr banner to decorate your home.

National Children’s Day

Monday 17 May

Relive your childhood with our selection of classic stories that shaped us into who we are today.

Elmer’s birthday

Saturday 29 May

Upcycle your own patchwork elephant using an old milk bottle and paper.

Bus ride reads

All month long

Every day our librarians will post a recommendation for a book with under 200 pages on Twitter @HackneyLibs and our Hackney Libraries Facebook page.


Bike Week

Sunday 30 May – Saturday 5 June

Hop on your bike for a week of cycling books, resources, and tips. #7daysofcycling

Hi-Vis Fortnight

Monday 7 June – Sunday 20th June

This year we will be celebrating the diversity of reading by highlighting the wonderful world of accessible books. We have a wide selection of audiobooks free to download.


Thursday 10 June

Hackney Libraries joins Empathy Lab to present fun home based activities to help children read, connect and act using empathy.

Father’s Day

Sunday 20 June

Honour the important male figure in your life with our smart looking Father’s Day card.


Monday 21 June

Get ready to make some noise. See our Twitter @HackneyLibs and our Hackney Libraries Facebook page and learn how to make your own instruments at home.

We will feature our wonderful music scores collection and access to free online concerts and music performances.


Wednesday 23 June

Start writing – or get back to writing – with tips and tricks from our creative library staff. #247Challenge

Graphic novel recommendations

All month long

Every day our librarians will post a recommendation for a graphic novel on Twitter and Facebook.

Summer Reading Challenge 2021

Coming soon

Reading groups

Don’t miss our April reading group. It’s National Tea Day, so grab a cuppa and join us as we discuss one of the novels chosen for World Book Night.

Book your place

Lockdown poetry group

Every Thursday evening from 6pm

Poets, wordsmiths, and poetry fans, take part in our weekly lockdown poetry group, run by Hackney Libraries’ poet in residence, Jack Houston. This season Jack is running several thought-provoking workshops to inspire your creative energies. For more information, email jack.houston@hackney.gov.uk.

Reading Friends 

Reading Friends is a reading befriending programme that helps to start conversations and connect people who are lonely and isolated.  The aim of the programme is to help end loneliness and support mental health and wellbeing through the proven power of reading.

Quizzes and jigsaws

Keep yourself and your young ones entertained with Hackney Libraries’ #WhereInHackney jigsaw puzzles and #HackneyQuirkyQuizzes.

Online quizzes

Virtual jigsaw puzzles

  • this jigsaw puzzle features an image of Braidwood’s Academy, the first deaf school in Britain. This academy was built in the 18th century and stood at what is now 36 Chatham Place
  • the more things change, the more things stay the same. Solve this jigsaw puzzle and take a look at a school class visiting Hackney Central Library in 1958
  • Elmer’s birthday is at the end of May, so we’ve made a jigsaw puzzle featuring everyone’s favourite patchwork elephant.

Live sessions

Comic workshops with Emily Fellah

Take part in our live comics workshops with writer and illustrator Emily Fellah as she teaches your young artists how to create original characters and come up with their own fun comics. With her step by step instructions, anyone can become an illustrator.

Online ‘Heroes and Villains’ robot comics workshop

Draw your own robots from simple shapes and turn them into heroes and villains, then create your own comic strip.

Book your place

Online Chinese New Year comics workshop

Take inspiration from Chinese legends and zodiac animals to create your own mythical characters and comics.

Book your place

Online Shakespeare comics workshop

Get inspiration from illustrated versions of Shakespeare plays and brainstorm for character ideas, then create your own characters and comic strips. For ages 7+.

Book your place

Social media

Follow Hackney Libraries on social media to take part in our virtual events. From craft sessions to storytimes, our Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are jam packed with activities to keep you and your family entertained.

Follow Hackney Libraries on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Page updated on: 12 May 2021

Hackney Libraries

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Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman St
E8 1DY


Opening times

  • Renewals and information line open Mon to Fri, 8am to 6pm