Benefits of joining the london library

Founded in 1841 The London Library is one of the world’s great lending libraries. An extraordinary history, a vast borrowing collection and an outstanding building make this a unique place to read, to write and to be inspired. 

Outstanding resources

Membership of The London Library offers access to an extensive collection of more than one million books dating from 1700 to the present day, almost all of which can be borrowed. The collection covers more than 2,000 subjects with c.6,000 new books added annually. Browse 17 miles of open access shelves for an unforgettable voyage of literary discovery!

Members can access hundreds of current journals and periodicals, with backruns of 2,500 titles. We also provide an extensive range of electronic resources – from JSTOR periodicals, databases and newspapers – giving members online access, from anywhere in the world, to over 25,000 academic journals and other scholarly resources.

Amazing spaces to work, think and create

Inside the Library there’s a vast labyrinth of books, hidden corners and beautiful working spaces. From elegant reading rooms, meeting rooms and information work spaces, to atmospheric bookstacks, it’s a unique literary oasis in the heart of London.

A creative community and inspiration for over 175 years

From Sarah Waters to Kazuo Ishiguro; Charles Dickens to TS Eliot; Virginia Woolf to Bram Stoker; we’ve been at the heart of literature for over 175 years. A home for anyone who loves the written word, we would love you to join them.


Membership types

All Memberships include:

  • Access to our unique collection of one million books, journals and periodicals
  • E-library access at home including JSTOR, Newspapers and academic journals
  • Borrowing rights of 10 or 15 books at a time with an increased allowance available
  • Long loan periods
  • Discounts on our events programme
  • Members Quarterly Magazine
  • Research and reference assistance
  • Postal loan service

Full Membership

  • Full access to the Library building during open hours (6 days a week and at least 2 late evenings until 9pm)
  • More than 150 spaces to read or work including four reading rooms or a choice of individual study spaces
  • Voting and AGM attendance helping to shape the Library

Associate Membership

  • Full borrowing rights plus access to the Library building at the following times:
    • Mondays and Tuesdays: 5.00pm-9.00pm
    • Wednesdays: 5.00pm-5.30pm with some 5.00pm-9.00pm
    • Thursdays and Fridays: 5.00pm-5.30pm
    • Saturdays: 9.30am-5.30pm

Remote Membership

  • Full borrowing rights and access to the Library building only to collect and return books.