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

Fun Palaces Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 October

Fun Palaces is an ongoing national and international campaign to encourage sharing of hobbies and interests in the local community. Fun Palaces has an annual weekend of events each October and the events are open to all.

Immerse yourself in an architectural trail, learn about beatbox and experimental musical theatre-making, or the healing power of medicinal herbs, learn to solve a Rubik’s cube in two minutes or try on an original armour from a hundred years ago, enjoy some British light music of the 20th century on a gramophone, shadow a bike mechanic, do yoga, think, play and create.

To find out more about activities at your local fun palace, visit any of the five participating Westminster Libraries during Fun Palaces weekend of 6 to 7 October and master new skills from your neighbours and teach them yours (just turn up!)

Ongoing events, news and exhibitions

Special events and news

2. Charing Cross Library

View Charing Cross library contact details and opening hours

Special events and news

'Not the National Portrait Gallery' exhibition

Monday 10 to Saturday 22 September.

This is an exhibition of original cartoons, caricatures and comics by the Professional Cartoonists' Organisation.

Free entry, contact Charing Cross Library before visiting to check the exhibition's opening times. 

Caricature workshop with Helen Pointer

Sunday 16 September, 2pm to 4pm.

Learn how to draw cartoons and caricatures of your favourite celebrities, family and friends. This free workshop open to young adults and not so young. Contact Charing Cross Library to book your place.

Panel talk on the art, craft and mischief of caricature and cartoon

Monday 17 September, 6pm to 8pm.

A panel talk hosted by The Guardian's political cartoonist, Martin Rowson. His genre is political satire and his style is scathing and graphic and he characterises his work as 'visual journalism'. With special guest speakers: Andy Davey, Rebecca Hendin, John Roberts and Chris Burke, cartoonists, caricaturist, illustrators and visualizers.

This event is free, contact Charing Cross Library to book your place as numbers are limited. 

Salsa for seniors

Sunday 14 October, 3pm to 5pm.

Celebrate Silver Sunday 2018 with a beginners session of salsa dancing, followed by tea and cake.

This is a free event for people over the age of 50. No partner or previous experience is necessary. To book your place, contact Charing Cross Library

Meet actor Robert Gillespie

Thursday 18 October, 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

Actor Robert Gillespie celebrates an exciting time of change in the British theatre with stories from his new book, 'Are You Going to do That Little Jump?' He has starred in sitcoms such as Keep It In The Family, Rising Damp, Porridge, and Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads; and has worked with actors including Richard Burton and Claire Bloom amongst many others.

If you love theatre, if you adore inside stories - this talk is for you. 

Free event, to book a place contact Charing Cross Library

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
Cantonese and Mandarin lessons Saturday, 10.30am to 2pm and Sunday, 11am to 5pm Suitable for children aged 3 to 17 years old. For more information, prices and to book contact Miss Chan on 07886 575 467
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
Action on Hearing Loss drop-in session Monthly on Tuesday, 11am to 2pm Free one to one sessions with the largest charity in the UK for people with hearing loss. Share your concerns and hearing loss checks are available. Next dates: Tuesday 14 August, Tuesday 11 September and Tuesday 9 October 2018.
Traditional Chinese painting classes 

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

Saturday, 11am to 1pm

5 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

Beautiful Life Chinese reading group Monthly on Friday For more information contact the group's organiser by email yoyochen082010@gmail.com
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

 

3. Church Street Library

View Church Street library contact details and opening hours

Special events and news

Small Change Big Difference food campaign workshop

Thursday 27 September, 4.30pm to 6pm.

Are you passionate about food and the environment? Do you want to help make a difference to the planet? Then join the Small Change Big Difference food campaign for London and explore simple solutions for eating well, wasting less and recycling the rest.

This free workshop will be full of tips and tricks on making the most of your food. To book contact Church Street Library

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.
Read to me  Every Wednesday, 3.45pm to 5.15pm Volunteers are available to listen to your child read during 15 minute sessions. Suitable for children aged 6 to 9 to years old. Contact Church Street Library to sign up. 
Homework club Thursday, 3.45pm to 5.30pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Little painters Friday, 10.30am to 11.30am A free arty group for 2-4 year olds. Booking not required, just come along!
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, and council tax. Doors open at 10am and available slots are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. 

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

The new public lift at Maida Vale Library is now in service; the library can now be accessed via Shirland Road as well as Sutherland Avenue.

Special events and news

There are no special events planned at the moment.

Regular events for children and young people

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

Event Time and date Information
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
Careers advice sessions Every Monday, 10am to 4pm

Get free advice on writing a CV, job search techniques and interview preparation. These sessions are run by the National Careers Service. To arrange an appointment call 020 3714 8350 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) or 0800 100 900 (every day 8am to 10pm).

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

Meet your local police officers

One Monday per month, 4pm to 5pm

2 Saturdays per month, 1pm to 2pm

Upcoming sessions:

  • Saturday 8 September, 1pm to 2pm.
  • Saturday 22 September, 1pm to 2pm.
  • Monday 1 October, 4pm to 5pm.
  • Saturday 13 October, 1pm to 2pm.
  • Saturday 27 October, 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

Free IT session with tea and cakes

Friday 19 October 2pm to 4pm

Join us for free IT learning with tea and cakes. 

Tired of having to ask your loved ones with help using digital devices? Are you a senior citizen looking to develop your digital skills. Would you like to learn how to use them more effectively in a relaxed atmosphere. 

Please bring along your device - mobile, laptop, iPad etc - so that you can receive one to one tutoring

To book your place, please contact:

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

There are no special events planned at the moment.

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

Due to building maintenance, Paddington Library's lower ground floor will be closed on Wednesday 19 September, 10am to 11am.

Special events

A very interesting day

Saturday 6 October, 11am to 4pm

Come and join us for a day packed with friendly, relaxing and creative activities, from yoga and breathing to a talk on herbalism; enjoy a walk around the neighbourhood led by our expert guide. Take part in our art workshop in the afternoon (places are limited, so please book at the library or email us: paddingtonlibrary@westminster.gov.uk). There will be a few other sessions on the day, but we’ll keep it as a surprise for now!

PROGRAMME:

  • 11am to 3pm
    Bike maintenance. Cycle Confident's experienced cyclists and mechanics will check your bike
  • 11am to 1pm
    Breathing exercises and yoga. Experience some basic relaxation techniques.
  • 12.15am to 12.45pm
    Learn about medicinal herbs and their healing power. 
  • 1pm to 3pm
    Guided walk of Bayswater led by our expert guide. Meet at the library at 1pm.
  • 2pm to 4pm
    Art workshop. Come and experiment the joys of a creative process. No experience needed; 18 years old +; spaces are limited, please book at the library or email us: paddingtonlibrary@westminster.gov.uk
  • 1pm *Special Surprise*

Regular events for children and young people

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

Event Time and 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.
Lego club First Saturday of the month, 2.30pm to 3.30pm Club for 5 to 12 year olds. Under 8s must be accompanied by an adult.

Regular events for adults

Event Time/date Information
"Share a book" group Monday, 2pm to 4pm and Thursday, 6pm to 8pm Read more about reading groups. Pass on your contact details to a member of staff or email kgielgud@westminster.gov.uk to register your interest in joining.
CV help session Tuesday, 10am to 5pm These sessions are run by the   National Careers Service. To arrange an appointment, call 020 3714 8350 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) or 0800 100 900 (every day 8am to 10pm).
Seniors online IT class Tuesday, 1pm to 3pm Open Age run both a beginners and intermediate course. To book a place on either course, contact Paddington Library.
Improve your English, improve your health course Tuesday, 2pm to 4.30pm until Tuesday 13 March This is run by Open Age. For more information, speak to a member of library staff. To book a place, call Maude on 020 8962 5590, or Russell on 020 8962 5583, or email mail@openage.org.uk
Stop smoking Wednesday, 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.
Readers' group Third Wednesday of the month, 6.30pm to 8pm Read more about reading groups. Contact Paddington Library to confirm the date of the meeting as it may vary.
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.
Knitting and crochet group Second and fourth Fridays of the month, 5pm to 7pm This group is for absolute beginners and those that would like to improve their knitting or crochet skills.
Free health checks Saturday 10am to 3pm 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 by calling 020 7563 6217 or emailing hpgroup@clch.nhs.uk
English conversation group Saturday, 10.30am to 12.30pm This weekly group will start on Saturday 10 February. For more information, speak to library staff or call Mahbuba on 020 7641 5474.

8. Pimlico Library

View Pimlico library contact details and opening hours

Special events

How to survive, compete and thrive in a digital age

This event has now been postponed; a new date will be arranged soon.

David Taylor of DNAsix will tell us how to navigate today’s digital marketplace using a combination of social media, innovation and old-fashioned business skills. 

David will be talking about how you can take advantage of the new digital landscape, reach out to today’s tech-savvy customers and ultimately future-proof your business. You’ll learn about maximising your profits, reaching new and younger audiences, building your brand and reducing your costs.

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
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
Lego Club Monthly on Saturdays, 10.30am to 11.30am Club for 5 to 11 year olds. Under 8s must be accompanied by an adult.
Junior Chess Club Every Monday, 6.45pm to 7.45pm. Term time only Free, no booking required. Improve your chess skills - Make new friends and have fun! - All abilities welcome Junior Chess Club is back by popular demand! The sessions are provided by Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC), and run by CSC coaches with DBS clearance. Children will receive 15 minutes of coaching followed by 45mins of play with coaching support.

 

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) by emailing 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, so 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.

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

The ???? Book Club

Thursday 27 September, 4pm to 5.15pm

Queens Park Library is starting a monthly children's book club, and we'd like YOUR ideas on how it's run. You can even help us decide what to call it!

If you are aged 7+, come along to first meeting.....Snacks included!

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 or guardian - 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 - 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
Creative writing group Second Monday of the month, 6pm to 7.30pm

Read more about the Queen's Park creative writing group

The next meeting will be on Monday 13 August 2018.

Reading group Third Monday of the month Read more about reading groups
Meet your local police officers Every Thursday, 1pm to 2pm The  Queen's Park Safer Neighbourhood Team are available for customers to drop in and raise concerns on local crime and discuss home or personal safety issues.
Jewellery making class Every Thursday, 3.30pm to 5.30pm Free class where you can learn how to make bracelets, necklaces and more from wire and beads. Bring your own beads or you can buy some from the class teacher for £2. No need to book, just turn up. Beginners welcome. The date of the next class is: Thursday 13 September 2018.

10. St John's Wood Library

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

The lift at St John's Wood Library is currently out of action, we are hoping it will be fixed in the next few weeks. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Special events

Children’s story time and workshop

  • Thursday 11 October,
  • 10.30am to 11.30am
  • St John’s Wood Library

Come along and have fun with Daisy Hirst author and illustrator of Alphonse, that is not ok to do! and I do not like books anymore!

For ages 5 and under, free event no need to book

#natalieandalphonse #alphonsethatisnotoktodo #idonotlikebooksanymore 

@BIGPictureBooks 

@WalkerBooksUK

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 Third 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 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

Victoria Library Fun Palace

Saturday 6 October, 10am to 4pm.

The Victoria Library Fun Palace welcomes you to try your hand at yoga, meditation, jewellery making, healthy cooking, beat boxing and more. Please join us to get together with your community and learn something new. For full events listings see our Fun Palace webpage

PROGRAMME:

​​Big Room 

  • 10am Meditation session 
  • 11am Yoga session 
  • 2pm to 4pm Jewellery Making  
  • 2pm to 4pm Healthy cook and eat 
  • Children’s activity stations will be operating throughout these sessions 

Events Room 

  • 11am Tell your story through Beatbox  
    Explore your story through beatbox with musician and composer Nicola Jane Buttigieg and writer Mark Heywood. Join them for an interactive session that explores building beatbox patterns into stylised grooves, that accompany your original lyrics, be they told through rhyme, rap or riff!
  • 12pm Records Reminiscence 
    Daniel Fitzgerald will share his love of British light music of the early 20th Century, particularly highlighting music and artists associated with Westminster, including Noel Coward, Edith Evans, Carroll Gibbons and Geraldo. Listen to a selection of original 78s from the period played on his portable wind up gramophone record player.

Children’s library 

  • 11am  ‘All about paper’ : Arts and Crafts session for children of all ages 

Drop in activities 

  • Colouring station: chillax and unwind with a selection of colouring pages 
  • Book tree installation: Create our tree by nominating your favourite book

The Story room : Creative Writing Workshops for Children

  • Saturday 13 October 2pm to 4pm
  • Saturday 10 November 2pm to 4pm
  • Saturday 8 December 2pm to 4pm

Creative Writing Workshops for Children aged 7-10, £25 (quote OFFER to get your first session for £15). Email Helena to find out more information.

Meet children's author Paul Watkins

Tuesday 23 October, 2pm to 3.30pm.

Join author and illustrator, Paul Watkins as he presents the characters Poppy and Pollo and Felipe and Esmerelda from his 2 new books. This will be followed by a themed craft activity and the opportunity to buy copies of the books.

Free event which is suitable for children aged 5 and over. 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 Thursday, 10.30am to 11.30am Read more about sessions for under 5s
Italian story, play and rhyme time Friday, 11am to 12pm. Weekly playgroup for children under the age of 4 - with stories and rhymes in Italian. £3 donation per session. No need to book, just come along.

Regular events for adults

Event Time and date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Women's only exercise session Monday, 10.30am to 12.30pm

A mixture of tai chi and yoga. For more information and to book a free place, call or text Roxy on 07483 172 128

This group will next meet on Monday 10 September 2018.

Writers' group First Monday of the month, 6pm to 7.15pm Read more about the Victoria writers' group
Book gluttons reading group Third Monday of the month, 6pm to 7pm Read more about reading groups
Housing advice Tuesday, 2pm to 5pm

Free sessions from Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity. Get advice for any housing-related query you may have. Slots are allocated on a first come first served basis, speak to a member of library when you arrive.

Upcoming sessions:

  • 25 September
  • 9 October
  • 23 October
  • 6 November
  • 20 November
  • 4 December
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

12. Westminster Music Library

View Westminster Music Library contact details and opening hours

Westminster Music Library will close at 3pm on Tuesday 25 September due to an event taking place.

Special events and news

Rhythm for life drumming workshops

Tuesday 25 September, 4pm to 5.30pm.

We are pleased to announce the return of our drumming workshops. Due to their popularity, participants are limited to attending only one session.

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.

Join us to make some noise and release some stress.

No experience is necessary and drums will be provided. Workshops are free, to book your place contact Westminster Music Library

This event will take place on the first floor and access is only available by stairs.

Silver Sunday 2018: a choral workshop led by Ruairi Glasheen

Saturday 6 October, 10.30am to midday.

Are you over 65? Why not try something new for this year's Silver Sunday celebration? Join in with some favourite songs to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Westminster Music Library.

No experience is necessary. Free event and refreshments are included, to book a place contact Westminster Music Library

This event will take place on the first floor and access is only available by stairs.

Read about previous events on Books and the City

13. Westminster Reference Library

View Westminster Reference Library contact details and opening hours

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

Special events

September 2018: Astronomy Month

September is Astronomy Month at Westminster Reference Library. This year we became the first UK library to lend out telescopes thanks to funding from the Science & Technology Facilities Council. Join us to celebrate the launch of this new project. Interested to get more involved? Read about how you can Borrow a telescope from us.

Telescope and sky: astronomy workshop

Tuesday 18 September, 7pm to 9.30pm.

Explore the cosmos at the very site of Sir Isaac Newton's London home and observatory. A special and unique opportunity for discovering the universe by learning how to use a telescope and how to navigate the night skies with the direction and aid of a professional astronomer. Nicholas Joannou from the Royal Astronomical Society. We will walk you through the whole processes of setting up and using a telescope, opening up the cosmos for you to explore. Following the workshop if weather permits we will be holding a sky viewing session where we hope to see the Moon, Mars and Saturn.

This is a free event but places are very limited so booking in advance is essential. Book your place via Eventbrite

Creative writing workshop: starting out

Wednesday 19 September, 6pm to 7.45pm.

Dive into creative writing at this workshop with novelist and writing teacher, Joy Rhoades. Suitable for those wanting to learn about creative writing, and for those who’ve been writing for longer, this inspiring workshop will cover techniques to help you release your inner creativity. You’ll take part in practical exercises that will help you get started on the path to regular, satisfying creative writing. You will also receive informal feedback in an inclusive and supportive group environment.

This is a free event but places are very limited so booking in advance is essential. Book your place via Eventbrite

King Con – author talk by Paul Willetts

Friday 21 September, 6pm to 8pm.

Paul Willetts, author of Members Only, will be in conversation with Marc Glendening of the Sohemian Society. They’ll be talking about King Con, Paul’s latest work of non-fiction, which follows the bizarre escapades of the Jazz Age American singing star and imposter, Edgar Laplante.

Laplante, could be described as a hybrid of Tom Ripley and Jay Gatsby, plus more than a touch of David Bowie’s sexual ambiguity and shape-shifting theatricality. Having reinvented himself as Chief White Elk, leader of the Canadian Cherokee, he travelled to London in 1922 for an audience with King George V. And, from that point onwards, his life becomes stranger and stranger.

Book your free place via Eventbrite

Women and the stars – by Dr Helen Klus

Monday 24 September, 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

Women have studied the stars for the whole of human history, and yet their stories are not often told. In Women and the Stars, Dr Helen Klus from the Royal Astronomical Society shows how women have shaped our understanding of the universe. From painting prehistoric star maps on the walls of caves, to discovering dark matter in the Galaxy, to commanding space shuttles and waking in space. At the same time, these women have faced tremendous prejudice.

Dr Klus looks at how this history has led to the current climate for women in astronomy, including media representation and the effect of the #MeToo movement, and discusses why diversity is better for everyone.

Book your free place via Eventbrite

Victorian and Edwardian theatricality

Wednesday 26 September, 10.30am to 5pm.

The George Edwards Musical Comedy Society invites you to attend a day devoted to Victorian and Edwardian theatricality. The day will feature illustrated presentations devoted to the work of lmre Kiralfy, the creator of spectacular exhibitions at Olympia, Earl's Court and the White City. It will also feature a concert version of the 1909 Gaiety Theatre musical Our Miss Gibbs which was based on some events which took place in 1908 at the White City.

The programme for the day will be:

  • 10.30am to 11.30am: an illustrated talk by Vincent Daniels featuring the spectacular exhibitions which lmre Kiralfysu ccessfully undertook from the 1890s to the early 1900s in London at Olympia and Earl's Court.
  • 11.30am to midday: break
  • Midday to 1pm:  a presentation by Ken Reeves featuring illustrations and music to highlight the accomplishments of lmre Kiralfy with his 1908 Franco-British exhibition at the White City as a prelude to the accomplishments of the Gaiety Theatre with its presentation of Our Miss Gibbs in 1909.
  • 1pm to 2pm: lunch break (please bring your own lunch or eat nearby)
  • 2pm to 5pm: a concert version of Our Miss Gibbs in a fully scripted and fully sung presentation with 6 specialist singers. There will be a break between the 2 acts of the musical.

This is a free event, but there is a suggested donation of £5 per person.

Book your place via Eventbrite

Salon no. 58: London's forgotten film studios

Thursday 27 September, 6.30pm to 8pm.

Come on a whistle-stop tour of some the lesser known locations around the capital that have contributed to celluloid history with 2 experts on the history of British cinema, Bryony Dixon and Kiri Walden.

Admission: £9.50 in advance only from the Antiquebeat website

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.
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, visit the Salon for the City website.
Housing, welfare benefits and debt advice session Friday, 12.30pm to 3.30pm

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

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

View library contact details and opening hours

Reaching For The Stars: astrophotography exhibition by Martin Howe

Monday 17 to Saturday 22 September.

Martin Howe is a keen amateur astronomer and astrophotographer living in London. In conjunction with September's Astronomy Month events at the library this exhibition demonstrates what can be achieved by amateurs today, often with little more than a good DSLR camera and standard camera lens or small telescope.

Digital technology has made the heavens accessible to everyone with the result that anyone with relatively modest equipment can now record images that rival or even surpass those of the professional astronomers using the world’s largest telescopes of barely 20 years ago.

Modern Myths - art works by Guillem Ramos-Poquí

Tuesday 25 September to Friday 12 October 2018.

Guillem Ramos-Poquí grew up in Barcelona where he was a leading figure in the Catalan Conceptual and Povera Art avant-garde. He settled in London in 1968 and has exhibited internationally. Through a poetic interplay of symbols, his paintings, collages, drawings and assemblages explore the nature of art, reality and perception. Layers of texture and material, including tempera, oils, wax and ephemeral found objects, combine to tell stories about memory, mythology and the unconscious.

Space hire

Interested in hiring the exhibition space on the first floor of Westminster Reference Library? For further information, including the full terms and conditions of hire please contact the library

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

Previous exhibitions


Last updated: 21 September 2018
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