Tag Archives: 90th Birthday

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.

WRFStairs

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!

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In June, somebody celebrated their second birthday of the year…

Maida Vale Library pulled out all the stops for its week of free celebrations to commemorate The Queen’s Official 90th birthday on 11 June 2016. Like The Mall itself, the library was be-decked in patriotic red, white and blue Union Flag bunting.

Crown making craft activity for the Queen's 90th birthday, Maida Vale Library, June 2016 Crown making craft activity for the Queen's 90th birthday, Maida Vale Library, June 2016
The 'Crown Jewels' on display for the Queen's 90th birthday, Maida Vale Library, June 2016

The celebrations kicked off on the Monday with the first of four craft drop-in sessions. The families who came along made some wonderfully designed crowns which sparkled in the sunlight as they left the building. One little boy was particularly pleased to be able to make another crown, having already made one recently at school for The Queen.

“It’s great that the library does theses craft and art events as they don’t do much art stuff at school nowadays.”

Making Buckingham Palace for the Queen's 90th birthday, Maida Vale Library, June 2016

On the Tuesday, families made 3D models of Buckingham Palace out of recycled junk and on the Wednesday a wonderful collage of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee’s Thames Flotilla of boats was recreated and is now proudly on display in the children’s library.

“My kid really loved this event as he’s mad on boats.”

Remembering the Jubilee Flotilla for the Queen's 90th birthday, Maida Vale Library, June 2016

The first big event of the week took place on the Wednesday with our under 5s’ Royal Teddy Bear’s Picnic. Blankets were laid out on the floor and the toddlers and their teddies were treated to music, songs and rhymes along with healthy food and drink. Staff took the opportunity to talk to carers about library partners such as MEND who will be working with us over the summer providing free weekly sessions. They also promoted upcoming library health events specifically aimed at young children, such as Dinosaur Douglas who made an appearance the following week as part of National Smile Week.

“Fabulous event for kids and nannies! I’ve enjoyed it as much as the kids.”

Teddy Bears' Picnic for the Queen's 90th birthday, Maida Vale Library, June 2016 Teddy Bears' Picnic for the Queen's 90th birthday, Maida Vale Library, June 2016Teddy Bears' Picnic for the Queen's 90th birthday, Maida Vale Library, June 2016

The Thursday saw a multitude of different designs created for cards and badges fit for The Queen. We also had two more major events for the over 5s: a red, white and blue themed Indoor Street Party with children’s entertainment which took place on the Friday, followed by a visit from Zoo Lab on Saturday who brought along some of The Queen’s smaller beasts to the library.

Our partner Imagethirst was on hand to offer a free photo to children (or adults for that matter!) at the party with our special guest of honour…

Portrait with 'The Queen' at Maida Vale Library, June 2016

All in all nearly 300 people turned up at the various events and activities which took place over the week. We were particularly pleased that we were able to showcase the best of British to some new arrivals who have settled in Westminster and made it their home.

None of these events could have been possible without the ward funding provided by Little Venice, Maida Vale and Westbourne wards. Staff and volunteers worked as a team to make so many events happen in such a short period of time and I must thank each and every one of them for all their hard work.

“The staff here are brilliant and so helpful, they always have so many interesting ideas.”

[Ben]

The Queen’s 90th birthday at Maida Vale Library

Maida Vale Library is currently be-decked in patriotic red, white and blue for its week of FREE celebrations to commemorate The Queen’s 90th birthday.

The celebrations kicked off on Monday with the first of 4 craft drop-in sessions. The families who came along made some wonderfully designed crowns which sparkled in the sunlight as they left the building. One little boy was particularly pleased to be able to make another crown, having already made one recently at school for The Queen. The other craft sessions this week include making a 3D model of Buckingham Palace out of recycled junk, recreating the 2012 Diamond Jubilee’s Thames Flotilla of boats and designing a card or badge fit for The Queen.

The library is also hosting a Royal Teddy Bear’s Picnic for Under 5s and an Indoor Street Party with children’s entertainment and a visit from Zoo Lab with some of The Queen’s smaller beasts for the Over 5s – these events need to be booked though.

We still have spaces at some of the events, so why don’t you pop along and help us celebrate?

For more information, please visit our webpage.

[Ben]