London libraries are not just for reading, but they are also important historical sites. Most of them have been around for several years, and so their collections also range from over a century. So, whether you are just visiting the city for a while or are a student who wants to study here, you should not pass the chance of stepping into some of the best-equipped libraries in the world. After all, London is one of the most literary cities in the whole world.
These facilities have enough reading material to make a discerning reader panic due to the information overload. You even have access to online Beowulf essay examples that you can access from computers within these reading spaces.
Here is a list of 10 of the best libraries in London.
This 19th-century library is part of King’s College university’s Strand Campus. It has been featured in a number of films, including The Da Vinci Code. This towering library building is not only home to thousands of books, but it is also one of those magnificent spaces that you just have to see while here. With over 750,000 assorted books, journals, CDs, and records, this reading space has something for everyone. Being based within a learning institution, entry to this library is restricted to visitors that take a tour of the university. This only means you have more to see since the college itself is quite beautiful.
This magnificent library is not only a tourist destination in the city but also a quiet space for a student. A student would have to register at the library to get a Reader Pass that allows them access as many times as they wish. You apply for this online then show up physically to get additional admission documents. Visitors who simply want to see inside the space and how it works would have to attend one of the public events held at the library to access it. You pay nothing to get into the library café within the facility for a cuppa.
This library welcomes everyone from students, researchers, curious minds, and creatives. With its comprehensive public reference collection of books, there is something for everyone. It is also a leading source of medical history material. You have charging ports that any research student will appreciate, plenty of desk space, and free Wi-Fi. Another thing that students will appreciate is the informal reading area that holds discussion groups. You will need to sign-up as a library member to access material to take away and/or a day card if you are simply looking for quiet spots for the day.
You want to read in this library if your idea of the best reading room is one overlooking the John Madejski Garden at the V&A. You will have one of the largest collections of books here, ranging from decorative arts to catalogues. There are also three dedicated quiet rooms that give users access to the museum. This library is one of a kind because apart from the inspired book collection, you also get to take breaks while in the presence of historical material. The library has a dedicated space for people who have disabilities too.
Within Imperial College, London is this library that is open to students and university staff. You will be required to show a college ID card or the library membership card for admission. There are six study zones within this library with adjustable desks as well as charging ports that those with laptops will find convenient.
The London Library has a vibrant history and one of the largest collections of books – over 1 million. The reading room at this library was opened by Virginia Woolf’s father in 1896 and has since had its fair share of famous visitors, including renowned authors. Overlooking St. James’s Square, this reading area holds books from as far back as the 1700s. The 17 miles of shelving is designed in a beautiful way that makes this space more than just a library. To top it all off is a Writer’s Room within this library that can hold up to 26 people at a time.
This is the place to be if you are in the Liverpool Street area and looking for material on arts, culture, and physical exercise. It is one of those places in London where people can access material on free thought and protest, among others. This library has been open to all since 1895 to the public, and there are private study spaces as well as common areas for quiet study. No fee is charged, and students will like the fact that they have free Wi-Fi here.
Whether you are a student looking for the ideal libraries for your studies or a book fanatic who likes being in the presence of a good book collection, this beautiful library is accommodating. There are areas for quiet reading and discussions, and the staff is always ready to help when you ask. Here, you have free access to a computer for an hour as well as a lecture theatre and a meeting room that members of the public can hire.
You can access this library at no cost if you are in London with an itch to check out books on the production of films and moving images, basically. The wide collection of reading material goes beyond books on movies to extend to other parts of creative arts. You can access off-site materials within the same day you request them, but you are advised to request them in advance. The Edwin Fox Foundation Reading Room is open to everyone, and here, you have access to several books covering film-making. In this library is a formal study area that works perfectly for those working on their laptops, a drop-in area for groups, and you have unlimited Wi-Fi.
There are not too many libraries dedicated to music and spoken word recordings, and so this library located within Barbican Center is one of a kind. The material here is available to loan to anyone that walks into this space. There is also a listening station for new and classic vinyl albums. Since there are facilities for younger kids, music students are also welcome to sample music and practice pianos at this library. There are working desks too with access to the internet and photocopying services. To be a member of this unique library, you have to be a resident of London as a frequent visitor to Barbican.
Some of these libraries are restricted to certain groups, such as students, but the majority are open to the public for free. Though these libraries are packed with books and ideal for readers, they are also architectural marvels that those who appreciate design will find quite fetching.