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The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Partners with Libraries Connected to Bring the Children's Folio to Families Nationwide

Title page illustration of the Tempest - please see release for credit and copright

As its Folio at 400 celebrations continue, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) has today (5 October 2023) announced a new partnership with Libraries Connected to issue thousands of its Children’s Folio to libraries and offer training to librarians across the nation to help them get the most out of the book.

Through the partnership, the Stratford-based education and heritage charity, along with the support organisation for librarians and libraries, will collaborate to distribute free copies of its new Children’s Folio book and accompanying digital resources to libraries throughout England and Wales.

The partnership is also working with a team of library staff from across the country to create special resources aimed at helping librarians maximise the impact of the Children’s Folio.

‘’We are thrilled to join forces with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to bring the Children’s Folio to libraries nationwide.

‘’Libraries serve as vital hubs for many communities and families, possessing the power to transform lives and ignite inspiration in future generations. Through this project, we aim to not only enhance access to the Children’s Folio for young readers but also empower library staff with the knowledge and confidence to make the most of this book through a series of digital resources and training.’’

Commented Isobel Hunter, CEO at Libraries Connected.

Produced in partnership with Walker Books, a leading publisher of children’s books, Shakespeare’s First Folio, a Children’s Edition includes all 36 plays from the original First Folio in an abridged form that simplifies performing the plays for small groups of children.

Aimed at 7 to 14 year olds, the new Children’s Folio uses only Shakespeare’s original language, so children can experience all the evocative and powerful language and phrases in an accessible way.

To celebrate the wonder of books, the magic of the plays and the universality of Shakespeare’s language, the SBT has committed to distribute an initial 10,000 copies of the Children’s Folio directly to schools and libraries along with a series of hands-on teaching resources. 3,500 copies will be distributed for free to public libraries for Shakespeare Week 2024.

Although librarians do not need to register due to the partnership, schools are encouraged to request their free copy of the Children’s Folio through the SBT website, with distribution starting in early 2024.

‘’This partnership marks the beginning of our journey to place the Children’s Folio in every public library across the UK, enabling us to connect with new communities and ensure that more children than ever before have a positive first experience with Shakespeare.

‘’Our team is excited to work with Libraries Connected to assist librarians in maximising the benefits of Shakespeare and the Children’s Folio through dedicated resources developed by our award-winning learning team.’’

Added Andy Reeves, Head of Learning Development at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

On Thursday, October 26, Libraries Connected is hosting an online national seminar that will explore the Children’s Folio. Librarians across the country are encouraged to register their interest to learn more about the Children’s Folio Project and hear from library staff involved about the top tips for engaging children and families around the First Folio.

Shakespeare's Plays: A First Folio for Children published by Walker Books will be launched in spring 2024.

More information about the project, including details on how libraries can register and how to support the Children’s Folio Project, can be found at

To sign up for the Libraries Connected online national seminar on Thursday, October 26, from 10:30am to 12:30pm, click here: