Westminster Music Library is on demand

Did you know we have our very own music library? It is one of the largest public music libraries in the UK was founded in 1946 with the music collections of music critic Edwin Evans.

And now its collection is just one click away…

 

We are happy to announce that a new document supply service is now available from Westminster Music Library (WML). The library’s unique collection has been enjoyed by musicians, scholars, students and music lovers from all over the country for more than 70 years.

WML on Demand will make it possible for everyone to access our special collection and get the music they need whenever they want, from the comfort of their own home. Customers will be able to save time and money avoiding a long trip to the library. Copies of scores, books and articles can be supplied by post or email everywhere in the UK and abroad to anyone whose request has been accepted by the library.

Westminster Music Library On Demand charges for 2019/20 – there’s a handling fee £10 per item plus:

  • electronic delivery of a copy from print: £1 per page
  • paper copy by mail (UK delivery): £1 per page and £3 postage
  • paper copy by mail (overseas delivery): £1 per page and £5 postage

For Terms and Conditions and how to contact us, visit the Westminster Music Library page.

 

Westminster Reference Library – Celebrating 90 Years! 8th Oct 1928 – 8th Oct 2018

A big Happy Birthday to Westminster Reference Library! 90 years old! Opened to the public on 8th Oct 1928, the Central Reference Library as it was then known has continued to serve the public throughout its 90 years, morphing its way through the myriad information formats, books, magazines, microfiche, floppy disks, CDROMs etc and on into the age of the internet and world wide web…  WRF90thPartyThe library’s journey throughout the 20th Century and into the 21st reflects the evolution of the library as institution, in particular the curious beast that is the reference library, a rare breed now, almost extinct!  Indeed the use of the word ‘reference’ in the library’s name is something of a misnomer as what were once purely reference and information services now includes lending, with the library focused on its special collections in BusinessLawArt & Design, and Performing Arts.

Current visitors enjoy access to characterful reading rooms with study spaces over three floors, an Exhibition space, free access to internet & pcs, free wifi, as well as access to books, magazines and newspapers, all complemented by the wealth of online resources also available via 24/7 Library.  The library hosts regular events  with a special programme of talks and workshops throughout October.

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Even libraries benefit from having a USP these days and earlier this year the library was refurbished and its unique heritage brought to fore.  Situated on what was the site of astronomer Isaac Newton’s house, the library’s architecture reflects the style of the original building.  Plaques marking the site’s historical significance always adorned the foyer and the exterior, but now a portrait of Sir Isaac Newton and images of the telescope he invented along with his study decorate the foyer and stairwell.  This decorative renovation was inspired by and designed to coincide with the Reach for Skies project, launched in May 2018,  with the library now lending telescopes!

Tucked away off Leicester Square and behind the National Gallery, often people report only finding out about the library when passing by. Lending telescopes is already working to put the library on the map and reach new audiences.  If you haven’t visited Westminster Reference Library recently or before, do come see us.

Our Celebration party is on Monday 8TH October, 11am – 3pm and everyone is invited!

There will be cake and crepes and an opportunity get to know the library better by taking part in a Cryptic Quiz which runs to the end of October. Full of clues about the library, its history and collections, you will be in with a chance to win theatre, concert, opera tickets, book tokens, and free access for 1 year for a lucky entrepreneur to exclusive KOMPASS Global B2B database.

No need to book, just turn up. Whether you’re a regular customer or first time visitor, we look forward to seeing you!

Astronomy Month: Stars in Your Eyes

September is Astronomy Month at Westminster Reference Library with free events each week and telescopes for loan; more information about everything that’s happening on our website

Bayeux Tapestry 32-33 comet Halley Harold

Isti Mirant Stella, Bayeaux Tapestry, Canterbury, 1070s

They wonder at the star

This is the earliest picture of Halley’s Comet, made at a time when comets were bad omens. In 1066, it was visible from  24 April to 1 May, a few months after Harold’s coronation on 6 January, and before his death and defeat at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October.

Edmond Halley (1656 – 1742) astronomer and mathematician, was the first to compute the orbit of this comet and accurately predict its return in 1758. Halley was a frequent visitor when Sir Isaac Newton lived in the house which was on the site of the library from 1710 – 1727.

Did you know the library has a specialist Fine Arts Collection on the first floor? You are welcome to explore our books on this early medieval masterpiece, from a contemporary account to recent research:

Bayeux Tapestry and the Norman Invasion, Introduction and Translation from the contemporary account of William of Poitiers by Lewis Thorpe, London 1973

David Mackenzie Wilson, The Bayeux tapestry: the complete tapestry in colour, with introduction, description and commentary, London, 1985

Wolfgang Grape, The Bayeux Tapestry: monument to a Norman triumph, Translated from the German, Munich 1994

Lucien Musset, The Bayeux Tapestry: translated by Richard Rex, Woodbridge, 2005

Carola Hicks, The Bayeux Tapestry: The Life Story of a Masterpiece London, 2007

Library staff are happy to help you to find these and other books in the collection.

Not sure where we are? Westminster Reference Library  is off the south side of Leicester Square, behind the main wing of the National Gallery.  For more information, telephone 020 7641 1300.

Summer Reading Challenge 2018: join in!

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge launches in our libraries tomorrow, Saturday 14 July. The challenge is fun, free and designed for all children whatever their reading ability and it’s been designed to help children to improve their reading skills and confidence during the long summer holidays.

Children can read whatever they like for the challenge – fact books, joke books,
picture books, audio books or you can download a book,  just as long as they are borrowed from the library.

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge is called Mischief Makers – Dennis the Menace, Gnasher and friends invite the children taking part to set off on a hunt for Beanotown’s famous buried treasure.

 

Each of our libraries will be holding special events for children of all ages, some of these are listed now on our website  Pop in to your local Westminster library to find out more about the Summer Reading Challenge and collect a special  events programme.

Celebrating ‘The Muse’ by Jessie Burton

Last month, as part of the Cityread London celebrations Church Street Library had an amazing day full of events. Over to the staff there to tell us more –

Friday 18 May 2018 saw the three Church Street Library book groups come together to discuss this year’s Cityread London book ‘The Muse’, set against the theme of art and Spain and London.

The ESOL group, bibliotherapy and monthly book groups plus other customers took part in a lively discussion on the book and its themes. The book is set in 1936 Spain and 1967 London and follows the story of Odelle Bastein from the Caribbean trying to solve the mystery of the painting that her boyfriend Scott has inherited from his late mother. The story reverts to 1936 and covers how the painting came to be – and follows the story of Olive Schloss in pre-civil war Spain. The story follows one of the rebels Isaac Robles and his sister Terese, and how their lives are entwined with Olive and her family. All is not as it seems in the household.

The readers taken on a journey of many twists in the story until it concludes with Odelle never really knowing the whole truth. The story reflects on how women were suppressed by the age. Olive wanted to go to art school but at this time, women were still much the second-class person.

For many of the group, English was not their first language and they rose admirably to the challenge of reading the book. Everybody took part in the discussion and everybody’s point was valid. The consensus was that the book was very enjoyable. For those who had read Jessie Burton’s previous book,
‘The Miniaturist’ this was a different style but equally as good.

After the discussion, the ‘Showroom Gallery’ courtesy of Terese and Anna held a fantastical collage montage around the themes in the book. The group developed their own style of art – some using the characters/themes in the book, others using their imagination. Everybody had great ideas and it was fantastic to see all the groups working together producing some great images.

From  midday, the groups were treated to an infusion of Spanish guitar music from the members of the London Guitar Orchestra and their conductor Tom Kerstens. The library was enchanted with the sound of guitar strings humming the air transforming the audience to a warm sunny Spain. The orchestra played six pieces, which showed their skills and took your breath away, and it was with great sadness when they finished after 30 minutes. The amateur group meet once a week to play, in Central London.

Overall it was a great morning of discussion, art and music that was enjoyed by all and we would love to see happen again. Roll on next year!

We must offer a big thank you to Joy Fromings, and her orchestra for giving their time free to perform and to Theresa and Anna from the gallery, without them the event could not have taken place.

Elephant of My Heart

Performed by the author, Jessica Clements

This interactive storytelling event relates the tale of a girl recovering in hospital who is visited by an elephant, the animal of her heart, in her quest to fly.

The elephant and a host of other animals are brought to life by Jessica with the aid of her wonderful puppets and costumes and by the audience themselves.

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Here’s what the audience at Queen’s Park Library thought:

“The performance was fun. Participation was helpful and also fun”.

“I think this story was very fun and funny”.

“Very good show. I and my kids enjoyed it lots”.

Boom! Free Comic Book Day arrives once again…

Free Comic Book Day is an international celebration of all things comics – taking place on the first Saturday in May – tomorrow – it is a day where new titles are released and shops offer a giveaway of free issues – our libraries are taking part, courtesy of those lovely folks at Forbidden Planet

The day is perfect for both collector fanatics and those who are picking up a comic for the first time.

We will also be hosting two special events on the day –

St John’s Wood Library make superhero masks and stick figures, 10.30am to 12pm . This free event is open to children of all ages.

Maida Vale Library – learn how to draw your own cartoon characters, 2.30pm to 4pm. Free event which is suitable for children aged 5 and over.

Queen’s Park Library – create your own mini comic, a superhero (or a super-villain!) and we’ll display the best, 2pm to 4.30pm. This free event is open to children of all ages.

Explore all this and more at one of our libraries and don’t forget to ask staff for your free comic book. We have three titles to give out, while stocks last – head on in before missing out. You’ll discover characters from the DC Universe including Superhero girls, Doctor Who, plus look out for the exclusive DC Nation!

Why not also check out the graphic novel selection? or the new release DVDs available while you are there and see what else your local Westminster  library has to offer?

Matthew