Visit to London Library
Monday 18th November 2013
Having visited the London Library, I realise that I appreciate their collection policy of only acquiring books that will be central to their collection thus never disposing of anything. As a form of preservation and unique identification a lot of books are covered and labelled with a London Library book stamp.
Other unique features of the library is that out of the million books it has 97% are on open access either in the 1890's wing containing art and humanities books or literature session majority in English and some foreign languages. Winding around this maze it is easy to see the thought given to keep the library as it once was by ensuring the writers room has no electronic devices so have complete silence. However, also new editions such as T.S Elliot house for the art collection and The Times Room.
Taking the time to speak to the tour guide, it was great to find out why so many librarian aspire to work there. The majority of head librarians and /or cataloguers are either fluently bilingual or trilingual. You can imagine the step competition to be able to speak and write up to three languages. There are also some interesting projects such as retrospective cataloguing of the holdings of the times newspapers which is a very sort after skill.
I will be interesting to visit again just to see the art room once more. The blue lights are definitely my favourite part of the library.
Giving a tour of Kew Gardens Library, Art and Archives
Wednesday 27th November 2013