Tag Archives: closure

Christmas and New Year opening hours

Merry Christmas from Westminster Libraries & Archives!The libraries and archives are now closed for Christmas, reopening on Tuesday 29 December.

Services will be open at the usual times on 29 and 30 December, closing at 5.00pm on New Year’s Eve Thursday 31 December and reopening as usual from Saturday 2 January 2016.

Of course, while the buildings are closed the 24/7 Library is always open to help you with those Christmas quizzes, find the facts to resolve disputes, help with project homework and provide a soundtrack to the festivities. Borrow an e-book or two, browse through an e-magazine or settle down with an e-audiobook – all free!

We hope you’ve enjoyed the daily goodies from the Advent Calendar, which will remain online until 6 January 2016.

However you celebrate, we wish you all the best this Christmas.


Merry Christmas from Westminster Libraries

Merry Christmas from Westminster Libraries & Archives!We would like to wish all our customers a happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

Our library services are now closed for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, reopening at the usual times on Saturday 27 December. We will close at 5.00pm on New Year’s Eve, 31 December, and reopen on Friday 2 January 2015.

As usual, even though the buildings may be closed, the 24/7 Library is open.

You can download library e-books, e-magazines and e-audiobooks at any time, so if you need amusement during the holiday period or if you receive an e-reader from Father Christmas, free books from your library are never far away!

And if you’re wrestling with one of the fiendish crosswords and quizzes often published at this time of year, need to settle a trivia argument with a family member, or indeed are studying for exams in January – don’t forget our fantastic library of online resources for library members.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Love Letters to Libraries

“You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone”

"Island of kindness" by Simon WilliamsThe immortal words of Joni Mitchell say a lot about the current appreciation for a much loved institution all over the world, generated by the closure, threatened closure or scaling down of hundreds of libraries. And so it should be. Libraries are relevant and fabulous – as you, our readers, know! We should all be celebrating them, show our support for them and protest against their passing using whatever media.

A short film to look out for – upcoming release 2015 – is Jason LaMotte’s ‘The Library’. It is a story about first love and the sadness that surrounds dementia but the library – backdrop to the story – is just as important an element of the film as the main characters and plot.  Sadly, due to technical reasons, and although Jason loved the space, this film could not be shot at Westminster Reference Library (they went for Tonbridge School in Kent).  There is also ‘Spine’, playwright’s Clara Brennan take on, among other things, library closures. A powerful one-woman piece that premiered at the Edinburgh Festival this year.

And then there are brilliant initiatives such as the GuardianWitness’ Love Letters to Libraries which took off big time this week.  Here, people share tributes to their favourite place of study, research, entertainment, leisure and rest.

Westminster Reference LibraryWestminster Reference Library regularly pops up in blogs and tweets, such as this excellent recent entry from deskoverlondon, delighted at having found a quiet study place in the madness of the West End, but thanks to ‘Love Letters…’ the library has also got a couple of VIP mentions highlighting its art initiatives as well as praising the services provided.

Mayfair LibraryMayfair Library is another much-loved Westminster library which has received a Love Letter in the form of ‘I am a Mayfair Elephant’, but is your own favourite library missing? Perhaps your career turned on some information imparted at Marylebone Library? Your children cultivated a a love of reading at Paddington Children’s Library? Or the events at Westminster Music Library gave you a reason to learn an instrument?

There’s still a few days to contribute your own love letter to the site – we’d love to see it.


Letter from the Queen

You may remember that Maida Vale Library sent a letter to The Queen recently, enclosing all of the pictures drawn by children for a half-term competition.

Winning picture by Halah, aged 9What with all the excitement with the birth of the new Prince George of Cambridge, we were somewhat surprised to receive a reply from Her Majesty so quickly. The letter just appeared on the library desk and we wondered if The Queen had dropped it in person on her way to Scotland! With no sign of a sparkling tiara bobbing above the shelves and no yapping of Corgis being heard, we guessed it must have been another Royal that had delivered it: Royal Mail! Take a look at the reply we received, below…

Don’t forget that Maida Vale Library will be closed from this Saturday, 3 August to Saturday 10 August 2013 inclusive to allow us to move back to the ground floor. We re-open on Monday 12 August and very much look forward to seeing you then – royal, commoner or anything in between!

Letter from the Queen to Maida Vale Library,  23 July 2013


So long, and thanks for all the reads

St James's Library in Victoria Street - now closed.St James’s Library, Westminster’s most recently established library in Victoria Street, has now closed its doors for good.

We would like to extend our best wishes to the many warm and enthusiastic St James’s customers and hope that they will continue to use the library service through the other nearby libraries: both Pimlico and Victoria libraries are within a mile of the St James’s site. As before, items currently on loan from St James’s can be returned to any of Westminster’s other libraries.

A message from the staff of St James’s Library (soon to be staff at a range of other Westminster libraries):

“Many thanks to St James’s Library’s many loyal customers who came in yesterday with freshly baked cakes, snacks, bottles, chocolates and cards, bearing heart-warming thoughts about the pleasure they’ve found in using the library these past 14 years. To our lovely customers: See you soon at our new branches…”

Some of the words which cropped up more than once in their messages include: ‘outstanding’, ‘friendly’, ‘helpful’, ‘excellent’, ‘valuable’, ‘supportive’, ‘kind’ and ‘fantastic’. 🙂

You can read more about the decision to close the library on the St James’s Library page on the Westminster Libraries & Archives site.