The London Library (the world's largest independent lending library) has a sparkly new expansion. Go on, take a look. Impressive, no? Unfortunately, the gloss rather distracts from the grim news that the Library has a financial shortfall, caused by HMRC's decision to withdraw Gift Aid contributions. The solution proposed by the library's president, Tom Stoppard, is to increase fees by 13%, having already doubled the cost in 2008. Annual membership is currently £395.00, and some think the price hike will prove counterproductive by driving away existing subscribers. The London Library was founded in 1841 by Thomas Carlyle, who'd become aggrieved at certain policies at the British Library (he probably objected to that distasteful flirting); in the past it has counted John Stuart Mill, Charles Dickens, and Agatha Christie as members.
Last Updated 13 July 2010