The Friday Photos: London Libraries

“People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned”, said Saul Bellow. The library is one of the greatest multi-function public spaces the human race has ever invented. A place where you can read, relax, think, study, acknowledge and…sleep.

Here’s a collection of pictures taken from our Flickr Pool showing just some of the libraries of London. And if you’re feeling inspired, take a look at our guide to London-themed libraries and archives around town.

Many thanks to the photographers for allowing us to use their images via Flickr: WPhotomsganchingRobin Bray-HurrendeepstoatAndrew SmithShanne WJudyAlan HabbickMatt Brownfazfazfaz and David Merrigan

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Article by Silvia Baretta | 158 Articles | View Profile

  • CP

    A phone box is not a library – that is just a collection of books. A library is curated, it is looked after, it has people who are happy to help and will work through your research question with you. A library has computers, that should be free to use and if they are not that’s a shame. A library has online resources, as well as a wealth of books that someone has tried to make sure are relevant, not just off-casts from someone’s shelves. A library puts on events that try and engage its user, it sometimes has a cafe so you can sip coffee and read. It is not a phone box.

    • MattFromLondonist

      I think you need to spend more time browsing Dewey Decimal class 817 😉

      • CP

        I am familiar with it thanks though I prefer 827, as the English wit is more to my taste. With lots of library closures it’s just nice to remember that real libraries are at threat with trained staff losing jobs. Sadly one day a phone box may be all we have. Though my colleagues and I like the londonist’s library. Let me know if you’d like your collection classifying beyond 914.21 :)

    • Mediastarguest

      Well pointed out !