From the Tardis to Central Library: Christopher Eccleston shares his love of libraries with Stockport residents

There were more than hushed whispers at Stockport's Central Library last week (Thursday 13 June) when award-winning actor Christopher Eccleston made a guest appearance.

From the Tardis to Central Library: Christopher Eccleston shares his love of libraries with Stockport residents

Over 80 residents enjoyed a special Q&A session with the Salford-born actor as part of the Manchester City of Literature's Festival of Libraries.

With a career that's taken Christopher from Shakespeare to Hollywood, attendees got to quiz him about his roles on stage and the small and big screen – most notably his coveted role as Doctor Who – as well as hearing about his favourite read and how libraries have supported his work over the years.

When he was a boy, Christopher saw his local library as a place of sanctuary away from the rush of life:

"When I was growing up in Salford the local library provided a vibrant lifeline to the wider world. Libraries feed people's interests and passions and provide access leading to connections being forged."

In the wake of the festival, Stockport's library service is turning its focus to its summer programme, encouraging children to develop a love of reading.

On Tuesday 25 June, the majestic Town Hall Ballroom will host over 450 children, authors and VIPs to announce the year's winners of Stockport's world-famous Children's Book Awards.

And to encourage children to keep up their reading over the holidays, this year's Summer Reading Challenge, themed 'Marvellous Makers' will launch at Stockport libraries in July. Children who read six books over six weeks will get prizes, including a certificate and medal.

Emma Handby, Head of Resident Services said:

"We were delighted to welcome Christopher to our Library. This event helped showcase that our borough's library service is more than just a place to research or get hold of the latest books. The service we provide is an inspirational and broad one that really brings people together through hosting special guests and events and supporting a love of reading, whilst also giving our residents help and advice, getting people online and so much more. This was one of our highlights of our library year so far."

Supported by Arts Council England, the Festival of Libraries, now in its fourth year, has involved all Greater Manchester's 133 libraries. Its programme includes exhibitions, author talks, live music, and workshops. It aims to remind people of the breadth of what libraries offer and the contribution they make to communities.

Learn more about Stockport's libraries and what's on.