Thank you for booking for The London Library. Please read these guidelines before you come to the event.

  • Unless your ticket states otherwise, please do not arrive at the Library before 7.10pm as you will not be able to enter the building.  
  • You do not need to print your ticket. Please just give your name to Library staff on reception as you come in.  
  • Drinks will be served in the Issue Hall prior to the event, doors to the Reading Room will open at 7.25pm and the talk will begin at 7.30pm. Books will be on sale in the Issue Hall before and after the event. 
  • If you need step-free access, please let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and enter via the Masons Yard entrance in the eastern corner of Masons Yard.  
  • Use the NHS Covid-19 app to scan the QR codes displayed at our entrance to check in with NHS Test and Trace.  
  • The health of our visitors and staff remains our top priority, and we’ll continue to keep procedures in place to ensure your visit is as safe as possible. This includes hand sanitiser points and ventilation throughout the building.  
  • All events take place in our Reading Room, which will be well ventilated throughout events with large windows open on both sides of the room. Please be aware that this can sometimes mean the room is a little cool.
  • Tickets will be sold at half the Reading Room’s usual capacity. Seats will not be tightly packed and there will be space within the room to socially distance, should you wish to. 
  • Out of respect for our staff and visitors, we ask that you continue to wear face coverings inside the Library throughout the event, unless you are exempt. Staff will also be wearing face coverings.  
  • If you have any Covid-19 symptoms or have been told to isolate, please stay at home. In these circumstances we’re happy to provide a refund – please just get in touch 24 hours before the event on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to The London Library.  

The London Library will be closed throughout the Bank Holiday Weekend Saturday 28 – Monday 30 August inclusive. We’ll be open for business as usual from 10am on Tuesday 31 August.

Although the building will be closed during this period our extensive online resources will be fully available, with Catalyst enabling you to search and return results from all of our print holdings and 95% of our electronic resources, including articles from electronic journals.

The London Library is delighted to partner with a range of organisations for events, awards, workshops and more. Our partners play a vital role in ensuring that we are able to remain a centre of creativity and inspiration for future generations of readers, writers and thinkers. 

Arvon

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For over fifty years Arvon has been the UK’s home of creative writing. They have three centres, in Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire and their residential courses and retreats, led by highly acclaimed writers, span poetry to playwriting, song to screenplay, fact to fiction, starting to finishing.

Bloomsbury Institute

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The Bloomsbury Institute is the public event series of Bloomsbury Publishing, they run unmissable events, panel talks and literary salons for book lovers, writers and publishers.

Brighton Festival

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A celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and community events, Brighton Festival takes place in familiar and unusual locations across Brighton & Hove and further afield for three weeks every May.

Creation Theatre

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Creation Theatre perform classic texts in extraordinary locations, including Dracula and The Time Machine at The London Library. They are experts at bringing stories to life in very special spaces and delighting audiences..

Commonwealth Writers

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Commonwealth Writers is the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation. It aims to inspire, develop and connect writers across the Commonwealth. Its flagship is a literary award for short stories, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

English PEN

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English PEN is one of the world's oldest human rights organisations, championing the freedom to write and the freedom to read around the world. They are the founding centre of PEN International, a worldwide writers’ association with 145 centres in more than 100 countries.

Henley Literary Festival

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Launched in 2007, Henley Literary Festival is established as one of the UK’s biggest book festivals. It brings authors together from all genres and past speakers have included Theresa May, Paul Merton, Mary Berry, Jojo Moyes, Julia Donaldson, Richard E. Grant and many more.

Insiders/Outsider Festival

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Insiders/Outsiders was a year-long nationwide arts festival celebrating the indelible contribution of refugees from Nazi-dominated Europe to British culture. March 2020 marked the official end of the festival, but also the beginning of a longer-term commitment to celebrating the impact of this remarkable generation of émigrés under the Insiders/Outsiders umbrella.

Jacaranda

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Jacaranda Books is a diversity-led British independent book publishing firm launched in 2012, it is known for publishing groundbreaking and inclusive titles. The London Library has partnered with Jacaranda for their #Twentyin2020 initiative - a trailblazing programme that has dedicated a year to publishing 20 works by black British writers.

Jewish Book Week

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Jewish Book Week is a literary festival in London, held annually in February and March, that explores Jewish literature, ideas and culture. The festival was founded in 1952.

Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award

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This is awarded for a full-length published or self-published (in book or ebook formats) work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, by an author aged 18 – 35 years. The prize is administered by the Society of Authors.

Wimbledon Bookfest

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Wimbledon BookFest is a not for profit charity promoting arts, culture and education. They run an Annual Public Festival based on Wimbledon Common in October and educational projects with schools & young people in Merton and South London. Wimbledon Bookfest hosts over 100 events in its 10 day period and has grown from 1,000 visitors in its first year to over 20,000 people now attending.

 

Current Covid measures and opening arrangements

In recent months we have been able to relax some of the Covid-related restrictions in operation across the Library but a number of measures remain in place for the time being. Our priority is to enable members and staff to use the building and collection safely and we want to ensure that our shared spaces provide a reassuring environment for everyone wishing to use them. We’ll be keeping all arrangements under review over the next few months and will announce any further changes in due course.

No need to book

It is will currently not necessary to book a slot in order to visit the Library. Members will be able to enter and leave the building whenever they choose during normal opening hours and will simply need to present their membership card at the automatic gate in the Issue Hall or at the Mason’s Yard entrance. The one-way system in the Issue Hall and in and out of the building is no longer in operation.

Desk arrangements

Following our survey among members and consultation with staff we have restored the Reading Room, the Sackler Study and the 6th Floor Members’ area to normal, pre-pandemic seating levels, including the return of all of the armchairs to the Reading Room – something much requested in the survey feedback. These steps will increase capacity in the Library by over 37 seats. The Reading Room will remain as an area for laptop use while we continue to operate with lower capacity. We understand that a silent, laptop-free space is important to members and hope to restore it as soon as capacity allows.

Face coverings

Unless you are exempt, please continue to wear a mask on arrival at the Library, when moving around the building and in the stack areas, and when interacting with members of staff. Updated signage will be in place as a reminder and we shall keep a stock of face coverings at the Issue Desk in case members forget to bring one with them. 

Members are, however, not required to wear masks while they are seated in the main Reading Room, Sackler Study or 6th Floor members’ area. In the latter space members will also be able to consume food and drink. We hope that this will enable members to work comfortably in these large, well-ventilated spaces.

Lockers in use

We are pleased to confirm that lockers are available, enabling members to store their personal belongings during their visit to the Library.

The return of locker space means that we have reintroduced the pre-pandemic restrictions on bringing large bags into the main body of the Library. Members will be asked to leave bags in the lockers, but will be provided with clear, reusable carrier bags if they need to keep small items with them in the Library. Members’ co-operation with the reinstatement of this arrangement – which helps improve access in narrow spaces like the stacks, prevents damage to the collection, and improves book security - is greatly appreciated.

Opening hours

For the time being we will maintain the slightly later 10am opening time that we introduced during the pandemic, to help staff and members – particularly those who have not had an opportunity to be fully vaccinated – to be as comfortable as possible with their travel arrangements into the Library. Opening hours are as follows:

  • 10am-9pm on Mondays to Tuesdays
  • 10am-5.30pm Wednesdays to Fridays
  • 9.30am-5.30pm on Saturdays

Continuation of free postal loans

Our free postal loans service proved to be a lifeline during the pandemic. We intend to retain a free service to members for the immediate future, recognising that many members are still unable or uncomfortable about travelling to the Library to pick up books in person.

Guests

Members are welcome to sign in guests once again to give them a brief tour of the Library. Please sign your guest in at Reception and remain together for the duration of your tour. Please also ensure that your guest wears a face covering during the visit.

Services

Members will once again be able to use the photocopiers and there will be additional PCs replaced in the Catalogue Hall at the back of the Issue Hall.

We shall be keeping in place the glass screens at Reception and the Issue Desk, maintaining our enhanced levels of cleaning and continuing to provide hand-sanitiser. All our staff will also be wearing face-coverings throughout the Library.

Temporary Tickets

Temporary tickets will be available again, but where these are sought in order to view material under invigilation please contact us first as we are only able to offer a reduced service to non-members at the current time. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details and please note that we will need at least 72 hours notice.

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We hope these arrangements will allow as many members as possible to feel both safe and comfortable when visiting the Library and we look forward to seeing you back here soon. If you have any feedback on the measures or anything else about the Library please contact the executive at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..