About Us

With more than one million books and periodicals in over 50 languages, the collection includes works from the 16th century to the latest publications in print and electronic form.



Since 2004 we have been pursuing an exciting vision to transform the St. James’s Square site to enable the Library to maintain and extend its position as one of the UK’s great literary institutions.  When complete the ambitious building and refurbishment project will have seen every space within the Library renovated and 8 reading and working spaces areas radically transformed. 

The first part of the project was completed in 2013 and saw the creation of a new Art Room and Times Room and extensive refurbishment of the main reading spaces, including the new types of working space needed by our digitally engaged users. 

The second stage will see a refurbishment of all the main areas where books are held, the creation of three more floors of book stacks in the last space on site where we can build, and, finally, the construction of a new Reading Room on the top of the building that will be, both literally and figuratively, the Library’s window on the world.

To complete this work, almost every book in the Library will have to move at some point.  But the logistical challenges involved will be worth it.  Once completed, the Library will have gone from 55 reading desks to almost 200.  It will have the space to continue to grow its collection and the facilities to support a continued literary community amongst its users.


The London Library - Securing Our Future from The London Library on Vimeo.

Produced by Sketch for The London Library

Director: Jeremy Riggall


John O'Farrell


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