The books kept them up all night

the Biblionoch (Book Night) festival. Source: Kommersant

the Biblionoch (Book Night) festival. Source: Kommersant

Last weekend a group formed online to organize an event in which libraries and cultural centers would stay open until dawn.

Moscow, the city that never sleeps, stayed up all night on April 21 to celebrate literature and culture. Last summer, a group formed online to organize an event in which libraries and cultural centers would stay open until dawn. Their efforts culminated with the Biblionoch (Book Night) festival on April 20-21. The events of the night included master classes, meetings with authors, readings and guided tours of the city’s most important libraries. The night of libraries was inspired by the night of museums, in which museums all over the world stay open late one night for special events and exhibits.

“The idea is to show that even libraries are places that are alive,” said Alexandra Vakhrusheva, who works at Moscow’s Turgenev library and was a member of the group that pushed for the initiative. “We don’t want libraries to be associated simply with a dusty, forgotten, static place. On the contrary, they are important meeting points above all in the provinces, because those are the very places where politicians and intellectuals can reach the community.”

In Moscow, the Turgenev library offered meetings with writers Daniil Koretsky, Viktoria Platova and Natalia Basovskaja; the lights also stayed on the Nekrasov and Tolstoy libraries, in the Russian State Historical Library and in many others.

More than 300 libraries in 90 cities participated in the event, 30 in Moscow alone.

To visit the event’s official website, click here

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