Events at Westminster libraries

Westminster libraries host many events and workshops which differ in each library. View all special events by date in the forthcoming 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. Forthcoming events

Ongoing events, news and exhibitions

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

Book sale

From Thursday 3 August

Books at various prices; please speak to library staff for more information.

Cantonese language lessons for young children

Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays during September to December 2017

Help for children to build a vocabulary in order to carry out practical every day conversations. Conversational Cantonese and standard Chinese characters are combined for reading and storytelling.

There are three levels of teaching depending on the age of the children. For more information on dates, times, prices, ages or to book a trial session, email:
rainbow.seeds.hk@gmail.com

Regular events for children and young people

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

Event Time / date Information
Songs and rhymes for under 5s Tuesdays, 10.30am to 11.30am Read more about sessions for under 5s
PlayCantonese Second and last Wednesdays 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 Sundays For more information contact Dr Lingjie Wang by email
lingjiewang@hotmail.com

Regular events for adults

Event Time / date  Information
Healthy lifestyle checks Mondays, midday to 2.30pm Free health checks by the Westminster Health Improvement Team. No need to book a place, just turn up.
 
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.
Chinese painting class  Saturdays, 11am to 1pm £10 per session. To join, please contact Charing Cross Library, 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 infomation, 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 Fridays 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

Blood pressure checks and healthy heart assessments

Friday 22 September, 1pm to 3pm

Have your blood pressure checked for free by the Healthy Hearts service provided by Thrive Tribe.

No need to book.

50th birthday celebration of Church Street Library

Saturday 23 September, 10am to 4pm.

We will have a day full of free activities for adults and children. Come along to celebrate the library being open for 50 years.

The table of activities is below.

Time and location Event Information

10am to 1pm
Meeting rooms

Indian head massage

No pre booking necessary names will be taken on the day

10am to 1pm
Ground floor

Bag making

See how a bag can be made from paper

10am to 11.30am
Community space 2

Smoothie making 

Have a go at making your owh homemade smoothie. Ingredients provided

10am to 11am
Learning centre 2

Code club  

Learn how to code, for children age 8 to 11 years

10.15am to 11.15am
Children’s Library 1

Julia Donaldson story and craft time

Listen to a story, and enjoy arts and craft, for children age 3 and over

10.30am to 2am
Ground floor

Knitting group

Learn knitting from our well established group

11am to midday
Ground floor

Coffee brewing 

Try making your own a freshly brewed coffee

11am to midday
Outside 

Tea and cakes

Celebrate the library's 50th birthday with some cake

11am to 3pm
Outside 

Dr Bike 

Have your bike checked and repaired by experienced cyclists

11am to 11.30am
Learning centre 2

Local reminisce on Church Street

Join other locals to recount your memories of the area

11am to 11.15am
Ground floor

A speech by Councillor Barbara Grahame

Come and listen to Barbara talk about local issues

11.30am to 12.30pm
Children’s library 1

French club craft activity 

Build your own French Chateau

11.30am to 2.30pm
Ground floor and 1

Balloon modelling

Learn how to create different shapes out of balloons.

Midday to 3pm
Ground floor

Friends of Church Street library stall 

Join our Friends group and be involved in the library events and future.

Midday to 2pm
Teen zone 2

Soft tennis

For children aged 11 and over

1.30pm to 2.30pm
Ground floor

Lunch 

Vegetarian Indian snacks, including samosas vegetable rolls, onion bhaji and batata vada – all from a local supplier

Midday to 2pm
Learning centre 2

Showroom workshop

Learn a new skill

Midday to 4pm
Outside

Table tennis Come and practice your table tennis skills

Midday to 3pm
Children’s library 1

Face painting

For children aged 3 and over

Midday to 12.30pm
Outside

Choir

Penfold Hub choir will perform

Midday to 1.30pm
utside

Iraqi Jazz music

Come and listen to a selection of Iraqi jazz

Midday to 12.30pm
Community space 2

Tai chi demonstration

Watch John Brewer perform Tai chi

1pm to 2pm
Community space 2

Improv performance

Watch our successful improv group in action

2pm to 4pm
Meeting room 1

Henna hand painting

No pre booking necessary names will be taken on the day

2pm to 3.20pm
Learning Centre 2

The Legend of Reggae

Reggae fans will love this

2.30pm to 3pm
Outside

Line dancing  

Watch our line dancing group in action

2.30pm
Children’s library 1

Book giveaway While stocks last, get there early

2.30pm to 4pm
Community Space 2

Dream arts 

Drama and vocal workshops

3.30pm
Ground floor

Raffle

See if you have won a prize!

All day stalls
Ground floor

Restart stall, health check, Paddington Development Trust - working with men's mental health, church pictures in history, craft stalls, best books of 1967

The stalls are open all day, with something for everyone

Dancing Books

Every Monday, 10.15am to 11am

Sessions start Monday 25 September and will run until Monday 4 December

This is a free dance class programme for pre-school children and their families. Using popular children’s books as inspiration, Dancing Books encourages the development of literacy skills and inspires storytelling- it’s also great fun.

No need to book, just turn up. Places are on a first come, first served basis.

How to become a street market trader

Tuesday 3rd October, 5pm to 6.30pm

Do you want to be a market trader? Whatever you want to sell, organic fruit and veg, vintage clothes or jewellery or homemade soap, you will need a licence to trade.

This seminar will tell you how to go about applying for a licence to be a market trader, with an overview of the licence procedure and information you need to make your application valid.  It will also cover issues you need to consider regarding health & safety requirements and food hygiene standards.

So come along to start your business as a market trader and find out about the street markets available to you  in Westminster.

This event is free, please book via Eventbrite
 

Regular events for children and young people

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

Event Time / date Information
French club for kids 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 Thursdays, 3.45pm to 5.30pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Scratch computer coding club Saturdays, 2.30pm to 3.30pm A fun club for kids age 8 to 11. Learn to use code to make games, visuals and programmes. Booking is essential - please email 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), please speak to staff beforehand.

Event Time / date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
English speaking club for men and women  Mondays, 11.30am to 1.30pm, and Wednesdays, midday 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 Mondays, 1.30pm to 5pm and Fridays, 2pm to 5pm Help with using Word, Excel, email, the internet and completing online forms. Also assistance with how to layout your CV and searching for jobs.
Shared reading group Tuesdays, midday to 1pm Read more about reading groups
Advice plus session Wednesdays, 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 Fridays, 1pm to 4.30pm A 30-minute healthy lifestyle check for adult residents in Westminster. It may include measurement of blood pressure, cholesterol, waist circumference, height, weight and goal setting. Book an appointment or drop-in. Contact Fabio on 020 7563 6217 or fabio.feca@clch.nhs.uk.
Bengali women's reading and writing group Fridays, 9.30am to 11.30am Provided by the Westminster Libraries Bengali Outreach Project. For more information and to join, contact Mahbuba Khan on 020 7641 5474 or visit the reading groups page.
Reading group Meets monthly on Fridays Read more about reading groups
Knitting group Saturdays, 10.30am to midday Experts and beginners alike are welcome - ask in the library for more information.
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

None currently scheduled.

Regular events for children and young people

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

Event Time / date Information
Tata Isa French music group Mondays, 11.15am An interactive French music group for little ears. Nursery rhymes, puppetry, props and musical instruments bring the sessions alive. Preschoolers from 6-months old are welcome. Read more on the Tata Isa website£5 per session
Homework club Tuesdays and Fridays, 3.45pm to 5.30pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Sessions for under 5s Tuesdays and Fridays, 10.30am; third Saturday of the month, 11am to 11.30am. Runs during the year, with a break for Christmas/New Year. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Code club for kids Wednesdays in term time, 4pm to 5pm Free club aimed at children age 7 to 11 years. Contact Maida Vale Library for more information.

Regular events for adults

Event Time / 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 The Westbourne Safer Neighbourhood Team will be available for customers to drop in and raise concerns on local crime and discuss home or personal safety. No need to book, just turn up.
Share a Book group Wednesdays, 10.30am to midday 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

Marylebone Library is now at its new location at 9-11 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 9UQ

Special events

Blood pressure checks and healthy heart assessments

Monday 18 September, 10am to midday

Have your blood pressure checked for free by the Healthy Hearts service provided by Thrive Tribe.

No need to book, just turn up.

Knitting club

Monday 18 and 25 September, 5pm to 7pm

Monday 2 and 9 October, 5pm to 7pm

Like to learn to knit? Or improve your skills and learn new techniques? Come along to our new club. Free and no need to book, just turn up.

'Silent Cinema - Before the Pictures Got Small'

Wednesday 27 September, 6pm to 7.30pm

Dr Lawrence Napper, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at King's College London will be introducing and signing copies of his new book 'Silent Cinema - Before the Pictures Got Small'. Come along to find out more about this extraordinary period in film history.

This is a free event and no need to book a place, just turn up.

Regular events for children

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

Event Time / date Information
Tiny tots Tuesdays,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, starts Wednesday 30 August
Storytime for under 5s Fridays, 3.45pm Read more about sessions for under 5s
Saturday morning crafts Saturdays, 10.30am to midday Make something new every week!

Regular events for adults

Event Time / date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Writers' group Mondays, 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

Summer Reading Challenge events for children of all ages

Blood pressure checks and health information

Tuesday 19 September, midday to 2pm

Trained volunteers from Stroke Association and NHS staff from the local Health Improvement Team will give free advice on stroke prevention, take your blood pressure and also have information on living with the effects of stroke and services available to help those affected.

No need to book, just turn up.

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 Tuesdays, 10.30am Read more about sessions for under 5s
Homework club Tuesdays, 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

Let's talk about plastic

Tuesday 19 September, 5pm to 7pm

Come along to this free talk and find out:

  • How to go plastic-free, one step at a time
  • How to save money
  • How to help protect the environment

No need to book a place, just turn up.

Make your own hand sanitizer

Tuesday 26 September, 6pm to 8pm

Make your own hand sanitizer from scratch using natural ingredients. This is a free event but we do ask that you bring your own spray bottle to take your hand sanitizer home.

No need to book a place, just turn up.

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 Mondays and Fridays, 3.30pm to 5.15pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Baby rhyme time Wednesdays, 10.30am to 11.30am Songs and rhymes followed by baby play time. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Toddler time Fridays, 10.30am to 11.30am Songs and stories followed by simple crafts.
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 Mondays, 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 Mondays, 2pm to 3.30pm and Thursdays, 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 Mondays and Fridays, 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 Mondays and Fridays, 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 Tuesdays, 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.
Writers' group Second Tuesday of each month, 6.45pm to 8.15pm Read more about the Paddington writers' group. Contact Paddington Library to confirm the meeting date as it may vary.
Community reading and writing: essential skills Wednesdays, 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 Fridays, 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 Saturdays 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

Blood pressure checks and healthy heart assessments

Thursday 21 September, 1pm to 3pm

Have your blood pressure checked for free by the Healthy Hearts service provided by Thrive Tribe.

No need to book, just turn up.

Meet author Sarah J Naughton

Tuesday 26 September, 6pm to 7.30pm

Local author, Sarah J Naughton will be discussing her electrifying new novel, Tattletale.

This is a free event and refreshments will be provided. Contact Pimlico Library to book your place.

Halloween craft session

Tuesday 24 October, 10.30am to 11am

Spooky craft session for the under 5s. Free event, no need to book a place - just turn up. 

Halloween party

Thursday 26 October, 2pm to 3pm

Spooky fun and games for the over 5s. There will be prizes for the best spooky fancy dress too.

Free event, no need to book a place - just turn up. 

Regular events for children and young people

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

Event Time / date Information
Wiggle and jiggle Mondays, 10am to 11am Music and movement for toddlers between 12 to 30 months. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Stories, rhymes and crafts Tuesdays, 10.30am to 11.30am Stories and rhymes for under 5s. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Homework club Tuesdays, 3.45pm to 5.30pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Baby bounce and rhyme Wednesdays, 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 / date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
CV Advice Tuesdays from 10am to 4pm One to one sessions with a National Careers Service advisor.
Please contact the NCS directly to book your place (places cannot be booked through the library): ncsbookings@prospects.co.uk / 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 Saturdays, 10am to midday 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

Dancing Books

Every Tuesday,10.15am to 11am

Sessions start Tuesday 26 September and will run until Tuesday 5 December

This is a free dance class programme for pre-school children and their families. Using popular children’s books as inspiration, Dancing Books encourages the development of literacy skills and inspires storytelling- it’s also great fun.

No need to book, just turn up. Places are on a first come, first served basis.

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 / date Information
Rhyme time for under 5s Mondays and Fridays, 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, 4 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 / 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

Blood pressure checks and health information

Thursday 28 September, midday to 2pm

Trained volunteers from Stroke Association and NHS staff from the local Health Improvement Team will give free advice on stroke prevention, take your blood pressure and also have information on living with the effects of stroke and services available to help those affected.

No need to book, just turn up.

Silver Sunday Family History Group Meeting 

Sunday 1 October, 1.30pm to 2.30pm 

This will be the first meeting of the St John's Wood Family History Group. It will help members use our online resources and turn this activity into a social occasion. Come and learn from one another sharing tips and experiences.
 
It's free to come along. Tea and biscuits will be provided. Please email  ogrey@westminster.gov.uk  for more information and to tell us what you wish to find out.

Regular events for children and young people

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

Event Time / date Information
Storytime Mondays, 4pm to 4.30pm Magical journeys into a world of fantasy, adventure and fun!
Code club Tuesdays, 4.30pm to 5.30pm 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 Tuesdays, 10.15am Read more about sessions for under 5s
Homework club Wednesdays during term time, 3.30pm to 4.30pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Japanese rhyme time for the under 5s Third Thursday of the month, 11.30am to midday Read more about sessions for under 5s
Saturday morning crafts Saturdays, 10.30am to midday Make something new every week!

Regular events for adults

Event Time / date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Crime readers group Third Tuesday of the month Read more about reading groups
CityWest Homes drop-in surgery Wednesdays, 10am to midday and Fridays, 1pm to 3pm Advice for tenants and lessees
IT drop-in session Wednesdays 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, 10.30 to 11.30am  
Laptop, tablet and iPad surgery First Saturday of the month, 10.00am to midday Drop-in session
"Drop in and 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

Dancing Books

Every Wednesday, 10.15am to 11am

Sessions start Wednesday 27 September and will run until Wednesday 6 December

This is a free dance class programme for pre-school children and their families. Using popular children’s books as inspiration, Dancing Books encourages the development of literacy skills and inspires storytelling- it’s also great fun.

No need to book, just turn up. Places are on a first come, first served basis.

Elaine Daley exhibition  for Black History Month

Monday 2 to Friday 13 October

Elaine Daley is a digital artist who uses strong bold, vibrant colours to make a positive impact on the viewer. She seeks to use her art as a means of therapy to relieve stress and anxiety and aims to showcase her art to charities with a mental health focus, businesses and social groups to explain the powerful health and wellbeing benefits of both engaging with and creating art.

Her mission is to inspire others to overcome their challenges, pursue their passion and appreciate their self worth. The message is to embrace who you are and shine.

Regular events for children and young people

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

Event Time / date Information
Under 5s Wednesdays, 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
Victoria Creative Corner Tuesdays, 1pm to 3.30pm Craft workshop run by local artists that recycle objects
"Share a 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 Third Saturday of the month, 11am to midday. Read more about the Victoria writers' group.

12. Westminster Music Library

Due to an event taking place, Westminster Music Library will open at 2pm on Tuesday 10 October 2017.

View Westminster Music Library contact details and opening hours

Special events and news

Learn to play the bodhrán

Saturday 23 September, 11am to midday

The bodhrán, the heartbeat of Irish music, is an ancient drum made from wood and goatskin and beaten with a wooden stick. This fun and inclusive workshop led by Irish percussionist, Ruairi Glasheen, will explore the history of this dynamic instrument and a range of technical and musical skills required to play the bodhrán.

All instruments will be provided, no experience necessary.

This event is free but you are advised to book your place at the library or contact Westminster Music Library

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

A feast of folk songs for Silver Sunday, a choral workshop led by Ruairi Glasheen

Saturday 30 September, 10.30am to midday

Are you over 65? Like to try something new? Come along and join in some favourite folk songs from around the world.

No experience necessary and refreshments are included. This event is free, contact Westminster Music Library to book your place.
 
Please note that this event will take place on the first floor and access is only available by stairs.

Rhythm for life, supporting World Mental Health Day

Tuesday 10 October, 11.30am to 1pm

Rhythmical activities such as drumming can have a hugely positive impact on health; it can help people regulate their emotions, reduce anxiety and stress levels, whilst increasing a sense of connection and wellbeing.

Workshop leader, Ruairi Glasheen will explore how the drum allows everyone regardless of age or ability to explore rhythms, their anxieties, themselves and to have fun.
 
All instruments will be provided, no experience necessary. This workshop is free, contact Westminster Music Library to book your place.

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

View Westminster Reference Library contact details and opening hours

Special events

SALON NO 49:  UNFINISHED AND  ALMOST LOST LONDON 

Thursday 28 September, 6.30pm to 8pm

JAY FOREMAN + POLLY HUDSON
A city is a cross section of all the journeys ever taken in it said. er, someone or other. And the currently heavily-craned skyline of London shows that it is still in a constant state of flux. But it all could have been so, so different.

This month, comedian JAY FOREMAN and architect POLLY HUDSON take us walking through the City that never was - and very nearly wasn’t.

Admission: £6/ £8.50 in advance only from: http://www.antiquebeat.co.uk/tickets
Ticket includes a sentence of Hendricks Gin Cocktail
Please note there is no wheelchair, lift or ramp access to this building.

My life with puppets - with Rev’d Simon Buckley

Thursday 19 October, 6pm to 7pm

Experience the wonderful world of puppets as Simon Buckley demonstrates a wide range of puppetry techniques and styles to illustrate the childhood hobby that became his profession for over thirty years.

Now the Anglican Rector of St Anne’s Church, Soho, Simon is less often found animating some furry creature for a BBC programme or television commercial; but his passion for this global art-form remains and his ability to enthral people with even the simplest of puppets is unique.

This event is free, please book via Eventbrite 

Please note there is no wheelchair, lift or ramp access to this building.

Entertainment - on the home and fighting fronts in World War One

Wednesday 25 October, 10.30am to 4.45pm

The George Edwardes Musical Comedy Society presents Entertainment - on the home and fighting fronts in World War One. The programme for the day will run as follows:

  • 10.30am to 11.30am - an illustrated talk by Steve Bartlett on the work of Seymour Hicks and Ellaline Terriss, famous early musical comedy stage performers, who initiated the practice of providing theatrical entertainment to the British troops on the fighting front. This work was continued by others and helped to establish the tradition of troop entertainment extending into World War Two.
  • 11.30am to midday -  break
  • midday to 1pm - an illustrated presentation by Emma Hanna, a research worker in history, who has done some pioneering research work into the cinematic entertainment provided by the YMCA for the British troops who were fighting in Europe. Emma has been active as part of the Gateways to the First World War Project which commemorates events related to World War One.
  • 1pm to 2pm - lunch break. Lunch is not provided; please bring your own lunch or feel free to eat out nearby
  • 2pm to 4.45pm - re-creations of parts of the highly popular wartime musical comedy revues The Bing Boys Are Here and The Bing Girls Are There. Audience members will have an opportunity to read some of the dialogue from the revues while the musical numbers will be provided by original recordings made at the time of the productions.

The event is free but a donation of £5 is suggested, please book via Eventbrite

Please note there is no wheelchair, lift or ramp access to this building.

Regular events

Event Time / date Information
ESOL classes in grammar and conversation Mondays, 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 Tuesdays 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 Wednesdays, 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.

14. Exhibitions

All of the following exhibitions are held at the Westminster Reference Library. View library contact details and opening hours

Exhibition space hire

To hire the exhibition space on the first floor of Westminster Reference Library, please contact Nick Alexander on nalexander@westminster.gov.uk, 020 7641 5250 or 07795 336 564. View Facebook for more information

Current and forthcoming exhibitions

Landscape Within: Burton Nitta

Monday 18 to Friday 22 September

An exhibition of new artwork created by art duo, consisting of Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta (Burton Nitta) in collaboration with scientists, reimagines ourselves in a future landscape of heavy metal contamination.

The new artwork created by Burton Nitta proposes ‘you are what you eat and where your food is grown’. Visitors are invited to reimagine their future exploring new organs and machines that use plants, bacteria, food, worms and frogs, to help us thrive in contaminated landscapes. It also reveals how our bodies and minds are changed by our industrial activity and waste. The work presents new body parts and machines to adapt us for a future landscape that is contaminated with heavy metals left behind from past industry and waste.

The artworks are made in collaboration with Dr Susan Hodgson at Imperial College London who investigates the impact of contamination exposure on our health. Through her research the work navigates surprising future impacts of heavy metals found in some foods on our body and mind.

For more information about the project, visit the Burton Nitta website 

Please note there is no wheelchair, lift or ramp access to this building.

Blood Landscape - an exhibition by Louise Lahive

Monday 25 to Saturday 30 September

Working primarily with oils, Louise Lahive also adds objects that are sourced from nature, for example seeds or dry beans. These objects are carefully placed into her paintings and drawings using oil paint or rabbit skin glue, sometimes they are covered or buried in the paint, sometimes they are painted as mini objects in their own right and added to the images as texture.
Louise is committed to exploring pattern in her work, pattern that is sourced from natural phenomena like rain or heat and used as a process to create the image, for example leaving the canvas in the rain to create a direct pattern, or burning areas of canvas to create pattern. This ‘natural data’ as she describes it is not only limited to the direct process but is also an interest in the paintings subject matter.

To find out more, visit the ArtRabbit website

Please note there is no wheelchair, lift or ramp access to this building.

Sohrab Crews - art exhibition

Monday 9 to Saturday 21 October

This exhibition by Sohrab Crews, his second solo show at Westminster Reference Library, presents a selection of prints chosen from several hundred photographic works made between 2006 and 2009, with the collective title, Dream Syrup.

Taken using the increasingly rare analogue (film-based) format, some of these photographs were produced with an optical enlarger whilst others have been rendered digitally for the purpose of the present display. To make these images, Crews set up numerous temporary  compositions made from all manner of localised detritus, including sundry materials left over from paintings, sculptures and other works produced in the studio.

For more information, visit Sohrab Crews' website

Please note there is no wheelchair, lift or ramp access to this building.

Voice - exhibition by Gavin Maughfling

Monday 23 to Saturday 28 October

Talk and Q and A with the artist

Saturday 28 October, 2pm to 3.30pm

This exhibition is part of the celebrations for Black History Month.

On the net four young gay men talk about the difficult terrain they have crossed to get to this point, sharing their struggles with school, bullying, racism, loneliness and prejudice, turning over current questions of identity and gender politics, the bonds and betrayals of friendship and their first thrilling, disappointing and troubling experiences of love. Over a year of broadcasts and Instagram streams and intense and supportive friendship, they experiment with multiple self-images and potential future trajectories, broadcasting in the process to a large online following.

The paintings in Voice aim, across a high wire, to reveal through paradox - in stilled images and mute paint to record fast-flowing narratives. Narratives that are at once richly articulate, funny, moving and empowering, and to bear witness to a moment of transition between teen years and adult life, between silence and voice.

Gavin Maughfling trained at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, and the University of East London. He has shown internationally, including the Galerie Van der Planken and Elzenveld Foundation (Antwerp), the Carrousel du Louvre (Paris), the Pump House, Lounge and ICA Galleries (London), the Holland Art Fair (den Haag) and the Mostyn Biennial (Llandudno). For more information, visit his website.

Please note there is no wheelchair, lift or ramp access to this building.

 

Previous exhibitions


Last updated: 21 September 2017
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