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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.


Reading rm 1 c PHILIP VILE mid resAGM 2018

The 177th Annual General Meeting of The London Library will take place on Wednesday 7th November 2018 in the Reading Room at 6.00 pm. Members are cordially invited to enjoy a glass of wine before the meeting and to meet Trustees and senior staff in the Issue Hall from 5.30 pm. Click here to download this year's agenda.

Annual Report imageANNUAL REPORT

The 2017-2018 Annual Report is available here as a PDF download. 

To reduce the economic and environmental implications of printing and mailing, the Library now uses a print-on-demand system for those Members wishing to receive a physical copy. Please contact the Library Office for further information (mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;020 7766 4712).

Windows InternalWe are continuing to make progress with the project to replace the windows on the Lightwell Room side of the St James’s stacks (which have now deteriorated beyond the point where they can be realistically repaired). We are installing custom-made replacements which will look nearly identical (and feature identical window stays), but will also be double-glazed and reduce the current levels of solar gain.

Although there have been some initial delays arising from the new windows being delivered later than anticipated, we expect all the new windows and fittings to have been installed by the end of August. We will be able to remove the scaffolding shortly afterwards and begin decorating the walls adjacent to the new windows. We hope to complete this work and remove the protective covering on that side of the stacks by early/mid-September

The windows replacement work is part of a wider project that will see a significant improvement of member facilities with the installation of 12 new desks in the stacks and upgrades to the existing six.  The new desks will be housed on the three floors overlooking St James’s Square and to make way for them we are removing the modern metal bookshelves currently in position, and re-locating the books they contain elsewhere within the Library. The book moving work is already underway, and the shelves will be removed in early September, after which additional power sockets will be installed. We will then begin two weeks of work to decorate the walls on the St James’s Square side of the stacks. We anticipate some noise and disruption during this work and protective covering will be in place on adjacent stacks, but it should be complete by early/mid-October with installation of new oak and leather inlaid desks taking place by the end of October.

We are extremely grateful to everyone for putting up with the disruption that has inevitably accompanied the works so far and hope that members can bear with us while the works are being completed. The wait should be worth it. The installation of 12 new desks will expand the Library’s overall desk provision by nearly 10% and should mean that spare desks will be easier to find during busy periods. It will also help with our wider ambition to increase membership numbers, which as we have communicated previously is a fundamental part of ensuring a stable financial position for the Library.

In thanking everyone for their tolerance while the works are underway, we also want to thank everyone who has given so generously to the windows replacement appeal. The Appeal has raised enough funds to cover all of the work, meaning that none of it now needs to come out of operating resources. This is an enormously helpful result and we are extremely grateful for all the very generous support we have received.

The Library will remain open for the duration of the window replacement project. We will try to keep disruption to members to a minimum, but there may be some increased noise and activity.

The St. James's Building book stacks will be kept as accessible as possible, but some desks may not be in use and some shelves may have a protective covering. The desks overlooking St. James's Square will remain available, but the area may be warmer, noisier and dustier than usual. 

Window replacement is scheduled to take four weeks. Scaffolding will start going up on Monday 9th July and building work should be complete by the end of August. If you encounter any problems, or need help accessing books or finding a working space, please do speak to a member of staff. 

THANK YOU to everyone who has already donated to the Windows Appeal. Your support is so important to the Library, and has helped make this vital project possible. You can still donate to the Appeal. All funds raised will go towards the replacement of the windows or subsequent improvements to the St. James's Building book stacks. Donate online here, or using a donation form available from reception. 


The London Library is collaborating with the Bloomsbury Institute, the public events series created by Bloomsbury Publishing, on a series of events this summer and autumn.

The London Library and the Bloomsbury Institute are delighted to be working together on a vibrant series of literary occasions, which will embrace the strengths of the Library’s 1 million-strong lending collection and the excellence of Bloomsbury’s publishing.

The first three events, featuring Bloomsbury authors Diane Atkinson, Mohammed Hanif and Agnès Poirier, will be held in the elegant Reading Room of the London Library in 2018 before an audience of avid readers, writers and academics, and will be followed in early 2019 by events at Bloomsbury’s elegant headquarters on Bedford Square.

Philip Marshall Director of The London Library comments:

“We are delighted to be working with the Bloomsbury Institute, an independent publisher with an inspiring range of books and authors. The series of events we have co-curated promises to be thought-provoking and entertaining and we are excited to welcome new audiences into The London Library, a place of inspiration for so many. We look forward to continuing our collaborative work with the Bloomsbury Institute over the years to come."

Nigel Newton, Founder and Chief Executive of Bloomsbury Publishing comments:

“I’m very pleased about this new partnership of the Bloomsbury Institute with The London Library. As a library where many Bloomsbury authors research and write their books, this collaboration is a good one. We look forward to staging author events together in the months and years to come.”

The London Library and Bloomsbury Institute Events Programme:

Atkinson RiseUpDiane Atkinson, The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes

5 July 2018, The London Library

Marking the centenary of female suffrage, Diane Atkinson discusses her definitive history Rise Up Women!, charting women's relentless fight for the vote through the lives of those who took part.

Diane Atkinson is the author of two illustrated history books and three biographies and is a regular lecturer and commentator on the suffragettes at conferences, literary festivals and in the media.

Hanif RedBirdsMohammed Hanif, Red Birds

11 October 2018, The London Library

Dubbed 'Pakistan's brightest voice' by the Guardian, bestselling prize-winning author, Mohammed Hanif, discusses his brand new novel, Red Birds, a powerful work about war, family and love.

Mohammed Hanif was born in Okara, Pakistan. His first novel, A Case of Exploding Mangoes, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Novel. His second novel, Our Lady of Alice Bhatti, was shortlisted for the 2012 Wellcome Prize. He writes regularly for The New York Times, The New Yorker, BBC Urdu, and BBC Punjabi.

Poirier LeftBankAgnès Poirier, Left Bank Art, Passion and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-1950

8 November 2018, The London Library

Agnès Poirier paints a captivating portrait of those who lived, loved, fought, played and flourished in Paris between 1940 and 1950 and whose intellectual and artistic output still influences us today.

Agnès Poirier is a Paris-born and London-educated journalist, writer, critic and broadcaster. She is an authority on the different ways in which France and Britain do things, a topic she frequently discusses on the BBC, Sky News and CNN and writes about in, among others, The Observer, The Times, Marianne, Télérama and L’Espresso

All events are open to The London Library members and non-members. To find out more and to book tickets, visit: http://www.londonlibrary.co.uk/about-us/whats-on


John McNally


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