Supporting our COVID-19 response

Final total £208,424

March 2021 Update

The Library Fund closed in March, having raised a total of £208,424 following a truly fantastic response from Library members and supporters.

The extraordinary response from donors means The Library Fund will meet over 90% of the Library's direct COVID-19 costs, estimated at £228,000. This generous support alleviates much of the direct financial impact of the pandemic and, crucially, limits the knock-on effect to the Library's ongoing efforts to reduce the operating deficit and ensure its financial sustainability.

Donations of all sizes played an important role, ranging from 300 donations of £50 or less to the largest donation at £15,000, and two matched funding grants totalling £40,000 from The International Friends of The London Library and US Founders' Circle. Thank you to everyone who donated to The Library Fund, in a very difficult year we were heartened to receive a record number of donations for an appeal of this kind.

Our Library Fund infographic presents some interesting facts and figures about the Library’s COVID-19 response and donors’ support for The Library Fund (click to view full size).

Library Fund Infographic

COVID-19 Measures

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis the Library’s guiding principle has been keeping as many of its services available to members as possible, while continuing to operate safely and responsibly. We have received so many wonderful messages of support for what the Library has done so far, and feel confident it is the right approach.

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The Library has employed range of measures in three key areas to keep services running:

Continuing Library services to members during lockdown and social distancing

  • Free postal loans service
  • Increased borrowing allowances for all members
  • Membership extensions offered to offset the periods the Library has been forced to close
  • Equipment to enable staff to work from home, and continue running the Library’s core functions

Reopening the Library promptly and safely

  • Reopening the Library following lockdown periods as soon as government guidance allows
  • Increasing cleaning throughout the building during the day, providing safe workspaces for members
  • Reconfiguring the issue hall, installing glass screens for the reception and issues desks and additional infrastructure changes around the Library building ensuring a safe environment.
  • Reassigning staff to COVID-19 specific tasks, and employing more part-time staff to support the Member Services team and enable them to work safely in ‘bubbles’

Enhancing remote access to the collections

  • Adding significant new online resources to the collection, including The Telegraph Historical Archive and Eighteenth Century Collections Online
  • Making eBook borrowing available for the first time through OverDrive
  • An extensive and vibrant free online events programme, bringing literary conversations to members in their homes

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The Library Fund

The Library Fund is an annual fundraising appeal focused on improving the Library in ways that directly impact its users. How people use the Library is at the heart of what makes it a special institution. Supporters of The Library Fund help improve the Library’s collections, services and spaces to enhance enjoyment of the Library.

Find out more about past Library Fund projects