We’re thrilled that the Library’s 180th anniversary LitFest was Highly Commended at last Friday’s FutureBook awards event, organized by the book industry’s leading trade title The Bookseller. The LitFest was pitched against the Booker Prize (the overall winner), World Book Night, Penguin Talks and the VoyagerCon festival for the top award in the Events category and it’s a tribute to the efforts of the Library team – and particularly those of Head of Programmes Claire Berliner - that the LitFest has been recognised as one of 2020’s most prominent publishing events. Its success reflects the range and innovation of the online programming that featured no fewer than 51 speakers across three days, including Salman Rushdie, Sarah Waters, Tom Stoppard and Simon Schama, plus a specially created, staged adaption of A Room of One’s Own with Nina Sosanya.

The Library was also recognised for the outstanding efforts of its Postal Loans team which was shortlisted in FutureBook’s Team of the Year award alongside Penguin Random House and Hachette UK. Throughout the pandemic, the Postal Loans Team has run an enhanced service that has seen over 22,000 books sent out to members. Facing often challenging working and travelling conditions during lockdown and at a time when very few libraries were able to make their collections accessible at all, the service has been hugely appreciated by members. We’re delighted to have the Library’s events and postal loans recognised in this way and our congratulations go out to all the team members who have worked to achieve this.