Events at Westminster libraries

Westminster libraries host many events and workshops which differ in each library. View all special events by date in the upcoming events section or browse through the guide to find events at your local library, including regulars such as book groups and rhyme time sessions. Westminster City Archives also holds regular events.

Follow us on social media for updates and news, or follow our blog, Books and the City, to read the stories behind our events and activities.

View opening times and contact details for all Westminster libraries. Find out about holiday and other closure dates.

1. Upcoming events

Ongoing events, news and exhibitions

  • Tuesday 30 January, 27 February, 27 March, 24 April, 29 May and 26 June: rhythm for life drumming workshops at Westminster Music Library
  • Tuesday 30 January to Wednesday 28 February: British Chinese Armed Forces exhibition and talks at Charing Cross Library
  • Friday 16 March to Sunday 13 May: Sylvia and Silvio exhibition at Charing Cross Library

Special events and news 

2. Charing Cross Library

View Charing Cross library contact details and opening hours

There is restricted access to the Chinese and adult non-fiction stock at Charing Cross Library due to a recent flood.

Special events

Money management workshop: energy and water bills

Wednesday 24 January, 5pm to 6.30pm.

This workshop will cover subjects like how much energy appliances consume, how to save energy and water, switching energy suppliers and help with bills and reading meters.

Book your place via Eventbrite. The workshop is free but requires a deposit of £2 which will be refunded to your account on attending the event.

British Chinese Armed Forces exhibition and talks

Tuesday 30 January to Wednesday 28 February.

A community exhibition examining the significant contribution people of Chinese decent have made to the British Armed Forces during the 19th and 20th Centuries.
Alongside the exhibition there will be three workshops and talks on the following dates:

Essential but unacknowledged: the contribution of Chinese Labour Corps during the First World War by Frances Wood 

Wednesday 7 February, 6pm to 7pm.
Book your free place via Eventbrite

Chinese family history workshop by My China Roots

Wednesday 14 February, 6pm to 7pm.
Book your free place via Eventbrite

The Chinese Labour Corps 1917-1920 and their role in the First World War by John de Lucy

Wednesday 21 February, 6pm to 7pm.
Book your free place via Eventbrite

Sylvia and Silvio

Friday 16 March 2018 at 9.30am to Sunday 13 May 2018 at 7pm.

An exhibition about Sylvia Pankhurst and Silvio Corio, frontrunners in the campaign for women's vote and against fascism.

More information about talks will be announced at a later date.

Regular events for children and young people

Regular children's events run during term-time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Songs and rhymes for under 5s Tuesday, 10.30am to 11.30am Read more about sessions for under 5s
Play Cantonese Second and fourth Wednesday of every month, 10.30am to 11.30am An under 5s baby and toddler group with stories and songs in Cantonese
Chinese parent and child group Monthly on Sunday For more information contact Dr Lingjie Wang by email
lingjiewang@hotmail.com

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date  Information
Healthy lifestyle checks Monday, 12pm to 2.30pm Free health checks by the Westminster Health Improvement Team. No need to book a place, just turn up
 
Learn Mandarin Monday, 6pm to 7.30pm Contact Charing Cross Library for more information and to confirm dates
Free computer training Every other Monday, 2pm to 4pm One-to-one basic computer and internet skills tuition. Email, searching online, completing forms, laptop, tablet and smartphone assistance - hourly places need to be booked at the library
Traditional Chinese painting classes 

Tuesday, 11am to 4pm (with a break for lunch)

Saturday, 11am to 1pm

Five classes of traditional Chinese landscape painting starting Tuesday 6 March 2018.

Ten classes of traditional Chinese painting of flowers and birds starting Saturday 3 March 2018.

For more information about fees, email info@orientalgallery.co.uk or phone 07956 227 997

Painting workshops by London Mandarin Arts Saturday and Sunday afternoons Art classes for people with no previous experience; you will be to complete a picture in an afternoon. For more information, contact London Mandarin Arts
Chinese London Reading Club Monthly This is a lively and friendly Chinese language group which meets once a month for reading discussions. For more information contact the organiser, Ms Bai by email aihaoshu@gmail.com
Beautiful Life Chinese reading group Monthly on Friday For more information contact the group's organiser by email yoyochen082010@gmail.com

 

3. Church Street Library

View Church Street library contact details and opening hours

Special events and news

Ready, steady, grow with Virgin StartUp

Tuesday 27 February, 10.30am to midday.

Are you an entrepreneur who wants to take the plunge and start up something amazing?

 Virgin StartUp is a not-for-profit Virgin company for entrepreneurs, founded by Sir Richard Branson. It provides support for entrepreneurs looking to start, fund and scale a business. If you want to learn how to turn your business idea into reality, come and learn how to start-up. Gain the knowledge and insight you need to kick-start your business- from initial idea, to action plan all the way to sustainable success.
The session will cover:

  • Top tips for putting together a business plan
  • How to validate your business idea
  • Funding options for start-ups

Tickets £5, book your place via Eventbrite

Regular events for children and young people

Regular children's events run during term time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Story time Tuesday, 4.10pm to 4.45pm Storytelling and a craft activity; suitable for children aged 2 to 6
French club  Every other Tuesday and Wednesday, 4.30pm to 5.15pm Free for 6 to 8 year olds. Games, songs and activities within a small group with a qualified and experienced native French teacher. Booking essential
Homework club Thursday, 3.45pm to 5.30pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Scratch computer coding club Saturday, 12.30pm to 1.30pm A fun club for kids aged 8 to 11. Learn to use code to make games, visuals and programmes. Booking is essential, contact Church Street Library

Regular events for adults

For any of these sessions other than the CV and employment drop-in and IT drop-in sessions (all on Mondays), speak to staff beforehand.

Event Time and date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Look on the health events page for details
English speaking club for men and women Monday, 11.30am to 1.30pm, and Wednesday, 12pm to 1.30pm Improve your spoken English, as well as reading and writing with this free club. For more information ask in the library or contact Mahbuba Khan on 020 7641 5474
IT drop in sessions Monday, 1.30pm to 5pm and Friday, 2pm to 5pm Help with using Word, Excel, email, the internet and completing online forms. We can also help with how to write a CV and search for jobs
Shared reading group Tuesday, 12pm to 1pm

Find out more on the book groups website

Advice plus session Wednesday, 10.30am to 12.30pm (not held in August) Drop in sessions for help and advice on housing, benefits, council tax, etc.
Free health MOTs for residents Friday, 1pm to 4.30pm Book an appointment or drop in. Call Fabio on 020 7563 6217 or fabio.feca@clch.nhs.uk
Bengali women's reading and writing group Friday, 9.30am to 11.30am Contact Mahbuba Khan on 020 7641 5474 or visit the reading groups page
Reading group Meets monthly on Friday Find out more on the book groups website
Knitting group Saturday, 10.30am to 12pm All experience levels are welcome
IT, ESOL and other courses Regular courses throughout the year For a wide range of courses, contact Westminster Adult Education Service on 020 7297 7297 or see waes.ac.uk

4. Maida Vale Library

View Maida Vale library contact details and opening hours

Special events and news

One to one support from the Department for International Trade

Wednesday 24 January, 10.15am to 11.45am.

Are you a business based in London? If you have been thinking about exporting your goods or services, come along to find out what opportunities are available and how the government can help.

The session will be presented by Nghia Tran, International Business Advisor for DIT London.

This is a free event but requires a refundable deposit which will be refunded to your account on attending the event. You must be a registered company based in London to qualify for this session.

£6.92 per session, book via Eventbrite

New year, new you information stall

Thursday 25 January, midday to 2pm.

This stall will be run by an NHS nurse - they'll have handy tips for getting to grips with feeling good in 2018. Such as good sleep, healthy recipes, reducing alcohol intake, cutting down or giving up smoking, getting more exercise such as walking, biking or even dancing your way to a happier healthier you.

Free blood pressure checks available too from the Stroke Association.

No need to book a place, just turn up.

Regular events for children and young people

Regular children's events run during term-time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Homework club Tuesday and Friday, 3.45pm to 5.30pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Sessions for under 5s Tuesday and Friday, 10.30am; third Saturday of the month, 11am to 11.30am. Runs during the year, with a break for Christmas/New Year. These sessions will start again from Friday 5 January 2018. Read more about sessions for under 5s

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events

Meet your local police officers

First Monday of the month, 4pm to 5pm

Second and fourth Saturday of the month, 1pm to 2pm

No need to book, just turn up
Share a Book group Wednesday, 10.30am to 12pm Read more about reading groups
Reading group Thursday evenings, once a month Read more about reading groups

5. Marylebone Library

View Marylebone library contact details and opening hours

Special events

None currently scheduled.

Regular events for children

Regular events for children are run during term-time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Tiny tots Tuesday,10.30am Read more about sessions for under 5s
Board games club Last Wednesday of the month, 4pm A fun club for children age 5 to 10
Storytime for under 5s Friday, 3.45pm Read more about sessions for under 5s
Saturday morning crafts Saturday, 10.30am to 12pm Make something new every week!

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Writers' group Monday, 6.45pm to 7.45pm Read more about the Marylebone Writers' Group
Reading group Monthly on a Tuesday Read more about reading groups

6. Mayfair Library

View Mayfair library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Meet author J.E. D'Este Clark

Wednesday 7 February, 6.30pm to 8pm.

Author J.E. D'Este Clark will be launching her new romantic epic, 'Plunder With Intent'. There will be a short talk by the author, readings from the book, and a book signing.

Book your free place via Eventbrite

Regular events for children and young people

Regular events for children take place during term-time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Under 5s sessions Tuesday, 10.30am Read more about sessions for under 5s
Homework club Tuesday, 3.45pm to 5pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date Information
Reading group Monthly on a Tuesday

Read more about reading groups

Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events

7. Paddington Library

View Paddington library contact details and opening hours

Special events

None currently scheduled.

Regular events for children and young people

Regular events for children are run during term-time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time/date Information
Homework club Monday and Friday, 3.30pm to 5.15pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Baby rhyme time Wednesday, 10.30am to 11.30am Songs and rhymes followed by baby play time. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Toddler toy time Friday, 10.30am to 11.30am A chance for parents and carers of toddlers aged one and above to meet, mingle and make new friends. With toys and colouring to keep your toddlers entertained.
WAES family workshops Occasional Saturdays Westminster Adult Education Service family workshops take place intermittently. For more information, please contact Paddington Library.

Regular events for adults

Event Time/date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Quit smoking Monday, 2.30pm to 5.30pm Kick It Stop Smoking specialists offer carbon monoxide testing and free one-to-one sessions for advice and support in giving up smoking.
"Share a book" group Monday, 2pm to 3.30pm and Thursday, 6pm to 7.30pm Read more about reading groups. Pass on your contact details to a librarian or email kgielgud@westminster.gov.uk to register your interest in joining.
One-to-one CV writing, job search sessions and interview skills workshops Monday and Friday, 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm Get expert advice on how to update your CV and great tips on job searching. There are also free interview skills workshops which last about 2 hours. Places are limited; book by contacting Paddington Library.
Health check surgery Monday and Friday, 11am to 4pm Free one-to-one NHS health checks for anyone age 40 to 74 and who lives or works in Westminster. Get your results in as little as 20 minutes. Members of the public can also book a series of free, one-to-one health trainer sessions for weight loss, mood boosting and increasing physical activity.
Beginners' IT class Tuesday, 9.55am to 11.55am and 2.30pm to 4.30pm This course is run by Open Age. To book the afternoon class, please call 020 8964 1900. To book the morning class, please contact Paddington Library.
Community reading and writing: essential skills Wednesday, 10am to 12.30pm from 21 September 2016 (contact WAES for exact dates of terms) Run by WAES, this course will help improve your reading and writing skills and develop your spelling, basic sentence structure and grammar in English. The course is free to students who show proof of benefits and status restrictions may apply/ For more information, contact 020 7641 8665.
Community health event Last Thursday of the month, 12.30pm to 3.30pm Please see publicity in the library for further details.
Go online - beginners' IT training Friday, 2pm to 4pm Contact Paddington Library for more information.
Readers' group Third Friday of the month, 6.30pm to 8pm Read more about reading groups. Please contact Paddington Library to confirm the date of the meeting as it may vary.
Free health checks for men Saturday 9.30am to 2pm Do you live in or are you registered with a GP in Westminster? Get a free 30 minute healthy lifestyle check and set your new health improvement goals. Weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and health promotion advice. Just turn up, or book an appointment on 0207 563 6217 / hpgroup@clch.nhs.uk

8. Pimlico Library

View Pimlico library contact details and opening hours

Special events

None currently scheduled.

Regular events for children and young people

Regular events for children take place in term-time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Wiggle and jiggle Monday, 10am to 11am Music and movement for toddlers between 12 to 30 months. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Stories, rhymes and crafts Tuesday, 10.30am to 11.30am Stories and rhymes for under 5s. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Homework club Tuesday, 3.45pm to 5.30pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Baby bounce and rhyme Wednesday, 10am to 11am Knee-bouncing songs for babies between 3 to 12 months. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Just for dads First Saturday of the month, 10.30am to 11.30am Under 5s session especially for dads and male carers to bring children for stories and songs. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Lego Club Monthly on Saturdays, 10.30am to 11.30am Club for 5 to 11 year olds. Please note: under 8s must be accompanied by an adult.

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
CV Advice Tuesday from 10am to 4pm

One to one sessions with a National Careers Service advisor.

Contact the NCS directly to book your place (places cannot be booked through the library): ncsbookings@prospects.co.uk. Call 0800 100900 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week.

Reading group Last Tuesday of the month Read more about reading groups
English conversation club with Rotary London Saturday, 10am to 12pm during term time Are you interested in improving your practical English conversation? Join for free, no booking required. Some sessions may be cancelled occasionally, please confirm with the library beforehand.

9. Queen's Park Library

View Queen's Park library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Assisting people who haven’t been working for a while

Tuesdays, 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

Are you over 19, unemployed or on JSA? Interested in exploring your options for training or employment? Find out more with our Employment Advisor, who can help with creating a CV, training opportunities and more.

Please drop in or make an appointment by calling Shah Alam on 020 7266 8254.

Regular events for children and young people

Regular events for children take place during term-time only, unless otherwise stated. Children can join these after-school clubs with a registration form signed by a parent/guardian - please fill in one form and attend any after-school clubs.

Event Time and date Information
Rhyme time for under 5s Monday and Friday, 10.30am to 11.30am (except school holidays) Read more about sessions for under 5s
Code Club Wednesdays during term time, 4pm to 5pm A fun club for kids age 9 to 11. Learn to use code to make animations, games and more. Free, but booking is essential - please contact Queen's Park library for more information.
Lego club Friday during term time, 4pm to 5 pm A fun club for kids age 5 to 11. Bring your imagination, make Lego creations and new friends. No need to book, just turn up.
 

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date Information
Healthy Westminster  Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Reading group Third Monday of the month Read more about reading groups

10. St John's Wood Library

View St John's Wood library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Tell me a story family workshop

Wednesday 14 February, 2pm to 4pm.

Join us for a practical workshop for children and their parents/carers.

You will:

  • Explore what makes a good story
  • Take part in group story-telling
  • Make your own story wheel or story cards

This workshop is free, contact St John's Wood Library to book your place in advance.

Regular events for children and young people

Regular events for children are held in term-time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Storytime Monday, 4pm to 4.30pm Magical journeys into a world of fantasy, adventure and fun!
Code club Tuesday, 4pm to 5pm. Booking required. Teaching children programming by making computer games, animations and websites, following the program at Code Studio. Offering great support and fun for all ages.
Songs and rhymes for under 5s Tuesday, 10.15am Read more about sessions for under 5s
Homework club Wednesday, 3.30pm to 4.30pm (just come along) Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Japanese rhyme time for the under 5s Third Thursday of the month, 11.30am to 12pm Read more about sessions for under 5s
Chess club Thursday, 4pm to 5pm Booking required
Maths club Friday, 4pm to 5pm Booking required
Saturday morning crafts Saturday, 10.30am to 12pm Make something new every week!

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Family history group Second Monday of the month, 11am to 12pm Free monthly meeting with refreshments. No need to book, just turn up. If you would like to look at something in particular, contact St John's Wood Library
Crime readers group Third Tuesday of the month Read more about reading groups
CityWest Homes drop-in surgery Wednesday, 10am to 12pm and Friday, 1pm to 3pm Advice for tenants and lessees
IT drop-in session Wednesday 2pm to 4pm Delivered by WAES, jointly funded by the councillors for Abbey Road and Regent's Park wards. You must be a resident of these wards to attend and you will be asked to record what you have learned each week. Sessions are free; no booking is required, but places are given on a first come, first served basis.
Book club First Wednesday of the month Read more about our book clubs
Chair yoga Fridays, 10.30am to 11.30am  
Laptop, tablet and iPad surgery First Saturday of the month, 10am to 12pm Drop-in session. Get some help with your portable IT problems and woes. This session is free and there is no need to book.

11. Victoria Library

View Victoria library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Winter special unders 5s session

Thursday 25 January, 10.30am to midday.

Join us for us songs, stories and crafts celebrating winter. Suitable for children under the age of 5. Free and no need to book, just turn up. 

Stand by your Nan - poetry and storytelling workshop and show

Saturday 27 January.

  • Workshop: 2pm to 3pm workshop.
  • Performance and open mic stories from the workshop: 3.30pm to 5pm.

Join performer and storyteller Rachel Sambrooks for a free poetry and storytelling workshop, plus a live performance of her show Stand by your Nan.

Stand by your Nan is a poetry and storytelling show which tells stories of unforgettable and unsung women who have helped make us who we are. Rachel has worked her way around communities of London sharing her stories about her Nan, Eve Hind, and hearing the incredible stories about nans, mothers, sisters and friendship of women from London’s suburbs.

Book your place for the performance via Eventbrite

Book your place on the storytelling workshop, email: standbyyournan@gmail.com

Regular events for children and young people

Regular events for children take place during term-time only, unless otherwise stated.

Event Time and date Information
Under 5s Thursday, 10.30am to 11.30am Read more about sessions for under 5s

Regular events for adults

Event> Time and date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Book gluttons reading group Third Monday of the month, 6pm to 7pm Read more about reading groups
Book group Thursdays, 10.30am to 12.30pm Read more about reading groups
Reading group Last Thursday of the month, 6pm to 7pm Read more about reading groups
Writers' group First Monday of the month, 6pm to 7.15pm Read more about the Victoria writers' group.

12. Westminster Music Library

Westminster Music Library will close at 2pm on Tuesday 30 January 2018 due to a workshop taking place.

View Westminster Music Library contact details and opening hours

Special events and news

Rhythm for life drumming workshops

  • Tuesday 30 January, 3pm to 4.30pm.
  • Tuesday 27 February, 3pm to 4.30pm.
  • Tuesday 27 March, 3pm to 4.30pm.
  • Tuesday 24 April, 3pm to 4.30pm.
  • Tuesday 29 May, 3pm to 4.30pm.
  • Tuesday 26 June, 3pm to 4.30pm.

Rhythmical activities such as drumming can have a positive impact on health. It can help regulate emotions, reduce anxiety and stress levels, whilst increasing a sense of connection and well-being. Workshop leader, Ruairi Glasheen will explore how the drum allows everyone regardless of age or ability to explore rhythms and to have fun.

All instruments will be provided and no experience is necessary. Workshops are free, to book your place contact Westminster Music Library. You can book to attend one or more of the workshops.

Please note that this event will take place on the first floor and access is only available by stairs.

Revision to Westminster Music Library opening hours

From 1 April 2017, Westminster Music Library will open each Saturday from 1.30pm to 5pm. 

The Rehearsal Room will still be available for bookings from 10am, and any items of stock that have been reserved - including pre-paid performance sets - may be collected in Victoria Library from 9.30am. 

Weekday opening hours are not affected, the Music Library will remain open Monday to Friday 11am to 7pm.

Read about previous events on Books and the City

13. Westminster Reference Library

Westminster Reference Library is closed for refurbishment. The ground floor will reopen on Monday 5 March 2018. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Charing Cross Library is nearby.

View Westminster Reference Library contact details and opening hours

There is no wheelchair, lift or ramp access to this building.

Special events

None currently scheduled.

Regular events

Event Time and date Information
ESOL classes in grammar and conversation Monday, 4pm to 5pm, 5pm to 6pm Free but class size is limited so please book your place by contacting the library.
Housing, welfare benefits and debt drop-in sessions Every fortnight on Tuesday

Free 30-minute sessions from Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity. Get advice and, if necessary, further appointments for follow-up work. 

Bookings can only be made in person on the day at 1.15pm, for a maximum of 6 people so slots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Computer training - one-to-one introductions to basic computer and internet skills Wednesday, 10.30am to 12.30pm Speak to staff to book your free 30-minute session on using email, booking tickets or shopping online, completing forms and applications online, using the online library and Westminster libraries' online resources, using Microsoft Office, and using smartphones, kindles and tablets.
Social group for adults who live in Westminster with Asperger syndrome First Thursday of the month, 5pm to 7pm For further information email assistlondon@nas.org.uk  or call 020 8962 3015.
Salon for the City: London at the library Last Thursday of the month, 6.30pm to 8.30pm Event series taking a look at London through a different lens each month. For more information, please view the Salon for the City website.
Housing, welfare benefits and debt advice session Friday, from 12.30pm

Free 40-minute sessions from Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity. Get advice and, if necessary, further appointments for follow-up work.

Bookings can only be made in person on the day at 12.30pm, for a maximum of 5 people so slots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Sessions are only available for Westminster residents.

14. Exhibitions

Westminster Reference Library is closed for refurbishment. The ground floor will reopen on Monday 5 March 2018. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Charing Cross Library is nearby.

All of the following exhibitions are held at the Westminster Reference Library. 

View library contact details and opening hours.

Space hire

To hire the exhibition space on the first floor of Westminster Reference Library, contact Nick Alexander.

There is no wheelchair, lift or ramp access to this building.

Previous exhibitions


Last updated: 19 January 2018
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