Events at Westminster libraries

The Big Friendly Read 2016Westminster 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 .

Follow us on social media or read our blog, Books and the City, for updates on events and news.

View opening times and contact details for all Westminster libraries

1. Forthcoming events

Ongoing events and exhibitions

Special events and news

2. Charing Cross Library

View library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Big Friendly Read

Children are invited to join the Summer Reading Challenge and take part in brilliant Roald Dahl inspired events throughout the school holidays.
You can download the leaflet with all Charing Cross Library's events or see what's going on across the whole of Westminster week by week on our Big Friendly Read page.

 

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 Monday, 10.15am 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. Find out more
Code club - teaching children to program by making games, animations and websites. Wednesdays during term time, 4pm to 5pm Free for children aged 9 to 11. Book at the library, or email the club leader through code club's website.

Regular events for adults

Event Time / date  Information
Free computer training Every other Tuesday, 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.

 

3. Church Street Library

View library contact details and opening hours

Special events and news

Big Friendly Read

Children are invited to join the Summer Reading Challenge and take part in brilliant Roald Dahl inspired events throughout the school holidays.
You can download the leaflet with all Church Street Library's events or see what's going on across the whole of Westminster week by week on our Big Friendly Read page.

 

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
Stories, songs, crafts and fun for under 5s Thursdays, 10.30am to midday Read more about sessions for under 5s
Scratch Computer Coding Club Saturdays, 2pm to 3pm A fun club for kids aged 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 Every Monday, 11.30am to 1.30pm, and Wednesday, 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.
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.
Community garden project Saturdays, 10am to 11.30am, with tea and biscuits Water the strawberries,
plant some cucumber;
bring your little ones
and get your hands dirty!
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 library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Big Friendly Read

Children are invited to join the Summer Reading Challenge and take part in brilliant Roald Dahl inspired events throughout the school holidays.
You can download the leaflet with all Maida Vale Library's events or see what's going on across the whole of Westminster week by week on our Big Friendly Read page.

Active health session for mums and children aged 2 to 4 years

Thursdays for six weeks, 10am to 11am, starting Thursday 28 July

Six summer sessions of this healthy lifestyle programme for 2 to 4 year olds and their parents. The whole family will benefit.

Free bike check-up

13 August, 11am to 2pm

Bring your bike along for a free safety check. Experienced cyclists and mechanics will be on hand to adjust anything minor and advise on bigger jobs, so your bike will be in tip-top condition all summer long.

 

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; 3rd 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 aged 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
Share a Book group Wednesdays, 10.30am to midday Read more about reading groups
Metropolitan Police Safer Neighbourhood Team drop-in Monthly on Wednesday evenings, 6pm to 7pm.  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.
Reading Group Thursday evenings, once a month Read more about reading groups
English Speaking Club in partnership with SpEC Saturdays, 10am to 12pm.
Sessions may be cancelled so please confirm with the library beforehand.
Learn to speak English with confidence. Free to join and no booking required. All are welcome!

5. Marylebone Library

View library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Big Friendly Read

Children are invited to join the Summer Reading Challenge and take part in brilliant Roald Dahl inspired events throughout the school holidays.
You can download the leaflet with all Marylebone Library's events or see what's going on across the whole of Westminster week by week on our Big Friendly Read page.

 

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
Homework club Wednesdays in term time, 3.45pm to 5.30pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Storytime for under 5s Fridays at 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
Dementia Friends Last Tuesday of the month, 6.30pm Understand more about dementia and the small things you can do to help people with the condition.
Reading group Monthly on a Tuesday Read more about reading groups
Crime reading group Last Wednesday of the month, 6.15pm Read more about reading groups
Graphic novel club Monthly on a Wednesday Read more about reading groups
Community gardening

 

Fridays, 10.30am to 12.30am With the support of the Metropolitan Public Gardening Association, we have created a free and open gardening space for visitors of all ages to nurture and enjoy while meeting friendly, like-minded people. Experienced gardeners or keen learners can help sow, nurture and grow a variety of plants, flowers and vegetables.

6. Mayfair Library

View library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Big Friendly Read

Children are invited to join the Summer Reading Challenge and take part in brilliant Roald Dahl inspired events throughout the school holidays.
You can download the leaflet with all Mayfair Library's events or see what's going on across the whole of Westminster week by week on our Big Friendly Read page.

 

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 library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Big Friendly Read

Children are invited to join the Summer Reading Challenge and take part in brilliant Roald Dahl inspired events throughout the school holidays.
You can download the leaflet with all Paddington Library's events or see what's going on across the whole of Westminster week by week on our Big Friendly Read page.

Financial capability workshop: Saving and planning for the future

Wednesday 27 July, 2pm to 3pm

Westminster Citizen's Advice Bureau will run a workshop for the local community aimed at people aged 18 and above on saving and planning for the future.
The workshop is free and booking is required. For more information and to book, please contact Paddington Library.

Healthy choices for summer

Thursday 28 July, 12pm to 2pm

Health information stalls featuring sun safety, salads, Vitamin D, healthy eating and free blood pressure checks. Plus a massage session from 1pm.

Free local walk starting at Paddington Library

Thursday 28 July, 2.30pm to 5.30pm

City Lit is leading a free walk from Paddington Library. Get to know your local area, improve your well-being, meet new people and improve your map reading skills. Come to the walk and enter a draw to win 2 tickets to London Zoo.
Free refreshments. For adults only. To book your free place, please contact Paddington Library.

Beloved Old Age

Tuesday 2 August, 3.45pm

Talk by author Julia Jones about her work on Margery Allingham's 'The Relay' which resulted in her book 'Beloved Old Age'.
Book your free tickets on Eventbrite.

How to build an email marketing campaign

Tuesday 2 August, 6.30pm to 8pm

This is a Business Information Point (BIP) talk by Tracy Durrant, a Public Relation consultant and business branding expert.
During this workshop learn how to:

  • set campaign objectives
  • select an email marketing service provider (ESP)
  • build your mailing list
  • develop an understanding of how to create email, release campaigns
  • monitor the success of your campaigns.

Admission: £5 (£3 for concessions) including refreshments. For more information and to book, please contact Paddington Library.

Author Jack Felson and 'Charlie’s Trips’ 

Wednesday 17 August, 6.30pm to 8pm

'Charlie’s Trips' is a futuristic version of 'The Wizard of Oz', a dark tale that deals and plays with many of America's institutions and values such as family, religion, army, marriage and fame.
Refreshments provided. Admission is free, but booking required. For more information and to book, please contact Paddington Library.

Get Out Get Active

Tuesday 23 August, 12pm to 2pm 

Meet the Health Improvement team and get information on how physical activity positively affects our health and wellbeing. Plus the opportunity to have a free blood pressure check and to book for a complete health MOT.

How to market your existing website using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) part 3

Wednesday 24 August, 6.30pm to 8pm

Rafi Akbar, founder and CEO of Luckywebs, will cover the following aspects in his seminar

  • Searching your site and your competitors' sites
  • Site audit (identify errors on your site)
  • Link building (competitors links, influencers, create outreach campaigns)

Refreshments, seminar, networking - admission:  £5.00/ £3.00 concessions. to book, please visit www.westminster.gov.uk/bip or contact Paddington Library.

Elizabeth Flynn - crime author

Tuesday 6 September, 6.30pm to 8pm

Author Elizabeth Flynn will give a talk about her crime fiction novel, 'Game, Set And Murder: a Mystery for DI Costello' and about writing in general.
Admission is free but booking is required. For more information and to book, please contact Paddington Library.

This is a Paddington Book Festival event.

Crime Writers and Coppers

Thursday 15 September, 6pm to 8pm

Authors Lisa Cutts and Simon Booker will give a panel discussion about their novels.

Lisa Cutts is the author of three police procedural novels, based on her twenty years of policing experience. She works as a detective constable for Kent Police and has spent over ten years in the Serious Crime Directorate dealing mostly with murders and other serious investigations.

Novelist and screenwriter Simon Booker writes prime time TV drama.  His credits include BBC1’s Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Holby City and The Mrs Bradley Mysteries starring Diana Rigg; ITV thrillers The Stepfather and The Blind Date; and Perfect Strangers, the CBS romantic comedy starring Rob Lowe and Anna Friel. He has written many plays for BBC Radio 4, worked extensively as a producer in TV and radio and as a journalist. Without Trace is his debut crime novel, the first in a series of psychological thrillers featuring Morgan Vine, a single mother and investigative journalist who specialises in miscarriages of justice. Mark Billingham describes the book as “a cracking debut. A real page-turner with a compelling central character. Let’s hope we see a lot more of Morgan Vine.” Simon lives in London and Deal. He is a volunteer facilitator in restorative justice, working with offenders at HMP Brixton. His partner is fellow crime writer Melanie (MJ) McGrath. They often discuss murder methods over breakfast.

Free admission, refreshments provided. This event is for people aged 18 and over. 
Booking essential. For more information and booking please contact Paddington Library.

This is a Paddington Book Festival event.

 

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
"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.
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 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month, 6.30pm to 8pm Read more about the Paddington writers' group. Contact Paddington Library to confirm the meeting date as it may vary.
Quit smoking Tuesdays, 2.30pm to 4.30pm Kick It Stop Smoking specialists offer carbon monoxide testing and free one-to-one sessions for advice and support in giving up smoking.
Community ESOL, beginners entry level 1 and 2 Wednesdays, 1pm to 3pm Run by WAES, this course will help you improve reading and writing skills and develop spelling, basic sentence structure and grammar in English. The course is free, but status restrictions may apply. For more information, call 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.
Health check surgery Fridays, 11am to 4pm Free one-to-one NHS health checks for anyone aged 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.
ESOL reading and writing time Fridays, 1pm to 3pm 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, but status restrictions may apply. For more information, contact 020 7641 8665
Go online - beginners' IT training Fridays, 2pm to 4pm Contact Paddington Library for more information.
Readers' group 3rd 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.

8. Pimlico Library

View library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Big Friendly Read

Children are invited to join the Summer Reading Challenge and take part in brilliant Roald Dahl inspired events throughout the school holidays.
You can download the leaflet with all Pimlico Library's events or see what's going on across the whole of Westminster week by week on our Big Friendly Read page.

Get Out Get Active

Thursday 11 August, 12pm to 2pm

Meet the Health Improvement team and get information on how physical activity positively affects our health and wellbeing. Plus the opportunity to have a free blood pressure check and to book for a complete health MOT.

Budgeting for success: How to access grant funding

Thursday 25 August, 5.30pm to 7pm

Presented by Sheila Elliott, Managing director at BSS management consultancy. In this workshop we will look at how to produce your project budgets following a simple step-by-step approach. Project budgeting is critical for proposal writing. If done incorrectly, there is a serious risk your organisation will not be able to access grant funding.

Topics covered:

  • what is project budgeting
  • how to produce your budget
  • tips for assessing the viability of your project budget
  • pitfalls to avoid when setting your budget

Tickets: £5 (£3 for concessions). Book your place via Eventbrite or contact Pimlico Library.

3 steps to increasing brand visibility 

Tuesday 27 September, 6pm to 7.30pm

Workshop brought to you by Tracy Durrant, PR Coach and Business Mentor. Discover the 3 steps needed to develop your own PR strategy,understand the benefits of using PR strategies to increase brand visibility, services and products and learn how to create stories that will engage journalists and how to develop and connect with your contact list.
Please book your place via Eventbrite or by contacting Pimlico Library.

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
Baby bounce and rhyme Mondays, 11am to midday Knee-bouncing songs for babies between 3 to 12 months. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Pimlico chess club Mondays, 6pm to 8pm Club run in association with 'Chess in Schools and Communities'.
Homework club Tuesdays, 3.45pm to 5.30pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Rhyme time rhymes Tuesdays, 10.30am to 11.30am Stories and rhymes for under 5s. 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

Regular events for adults

Event Time / date Information
Healthy Westminster   Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Reading group Last Tuesday of the month Read more about reading groups
Internet taster sessions Thursdays, 10am to midday Internet taster sessions to help you handle a mouse, send emails or improve existing computer skills. Walk-in sessions only.
English speaking club in partnership with SpEC Saturdays, 10am to midday Learn to speak English with confidence. Join for free - no booking required. Some sessions may be cancelled occasionally, please confirm with the library beforehand.

9. Queen's Park Library

View library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Big Friendly Read

Children are invited to join the Summer Reading Challenge and take part in brilliant Roald Dahl inspired events throughout the school holidays.
You can download the leaflet with all Queen's Park Library's events or see what's going on across the whole of Westminster week by week on our Big Friendly Read page.

Active health session run by Mytimeactive

Tuesdays for six weeks, 10 am to 11am, starting on Tuesday 26 July.

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
Homework club Mondays and Wednesdays, 3.45pm to 5.30pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Rhyme time for under 5s Wednesdays and Fridays, 10.30am to 11.30am (except school holidays) Read more about sessions for under 5s

Regular events for adults

Event Time / date Information
Healthy Westminster  Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Reading group The third Monday of the month Read more about reading groups
Stop Smoking Stall Tuesdays, 1.30pm to 3pm This is delivered by our partners, Kick It Stop Smoking services.
Share a Book group Tuesdays, 3.30pm to 5pm We read short stories, poems, plays and novels aloud, and discuss what we’ve read. There's no pressure to read aloud or join in the discussion; you decide how much you participate. New joiners should contact Queen's Park Library or just turn up. Read more about reading groups

10. St John's Wood Library

View library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Big Friendly Read

Children are invited to join the Summer Reading Challenge and take part in brilliant Roald Dahl inspired events throughout the school holidays.
You can download the leaflet with all St John's Wood Library's events or see what's going on across the whole of Westminster week by week on our Big Friendly Read page.

Art exhibition: Eszter Rajna

​Throughout July 2016

Art to love and keep. For more information, please see the artist's website: www.eszterart.co.uk

Get Out Get Active

Thursday 18 August, 12pm to 2pm 

Meet the Health Improvement team and get information on how physical activity positively affects our health and wellbeing. Plus the opportunity to have a free blood pressure check and to book for a complete health MOT.

Regular events for children and young people

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

Event Time / date Information
Tata Isa french music group Mondays, 10am to 10.30am  £6 per session. For more information, visit the Tata Isa website
Storytime Mondays and Tuesdays, 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 and Thursdays, 10.15am. Saturdays, 11am. Read more about sessions for under 5s
Homework club Wednesdays during term time, 3.30 to 4.30pm Ages 7 to 13. Read more about homework clubs
Share a read Thursdays, 4 to 5pm Join our group to read a story together. We read as a group, one-to-one, and also on our own.

Regular events for adults

Event Time / date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Crime readers group 3rd Monday of the month Read more about reading groups
Shared reading group 2nd Monday of the month Read more about reading groups
Creativity life coaching for women Thursdays, 6.15pm to 6.45pm Eszter is a creativity coach who helps women unleash their creative potential, explore their dreams and connect with what they really want in free one-to-one coaching. Please make sure to show up on time for your session which will take place in the Children's section. Speak to a librarian or email the library to book your place.
Information and advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau Wednesdays, 10am to midday Please call 08444 771611 to book an appointment
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
Monthly meet-up Last Wednesday of the month, 10.30am to midday A series of informal talks, workshops and book readings with coffee, tea and croissants for seniors. The Penfold Community Hub will have information on activities for the over 50s.
Chair yoga Fridays, 10.30 to 11.30am  
Laptop, tablet and iPad surgery Saturdays, 10.00am to midday. Forthcoming sessions: 2 July Drop-in session

11. Victoria Library

View library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Big Friendly Read

Children are invited to join the Summer Reading Challenge and take part in brilliant Roald Dahl inspired events throughout the school holidays.
You can download the leaflet with all Victoria Library's events or see what's going on across the whole of Westminster week by week on our Big Friendly Read page.

Healthy choices for summer

Tuesday 26 July, 12pm to 2pm

Health information stalls featuring sun safety, salads, Vitamin D, healthy eating and free blood pressure checks.

 

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 / date Information
Healthy Westminster Regular information and advice sessions Read more about health events
Book gluttons reading group 3rd Monday of the month, 6pm to 7pm Read more about reading groups
Share a book reading 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 3rd Saturday of the month, 11am to midday. Read more about the Victoria writers' group.

12. Westminster Music Library

View library contact details and opening hours

Special events and news

None currently scheduled.

Read about previous events on Books and the City

13. Westminster Reference Library

View library contact details and opening hours

Special events

Get Out Get Active

Tuesday 16 August, 12pm to 2pm 

Meet the Health Improvement team and get information on how physical activity positively affects our health and wellbeing. Plus the opportunity to have a free blood pressure check and to book for a complete health MOT.

Regular events

Event Time / date Information
Drop-in business advice sessions Monthly Business advice sessions with business consultant, Colin Rutt. View details about the session on Eventbrite.
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.​
Computer training - one-to-one introductions to basic computer and internet skills Fortnightly on Tuesdays, 2pm to 4pm Please speak to staff to book your free 30 minute session on starting to use email, booking tickets or shopping online, completing forms and applications online, using the online library and Westminster libraries' online resources, using Microsoft Office (Word/Excel/PowerPoint), using smartphones, kindles and tablets.
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.
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 Rossella Black on rblack1@westminster.gov.uk, 020 7641 5250 or 07940 146681. View Facebook for more information

Current and upcoming exhibitions

All exhibitions are completely free to view.

City of Dust

11 to 23 July

Lewis Bush’s new photography series City of Dust relates walking with memory to explore the past and present of London. City of Dust views London as a memory palace made physical, a place where the layering of history and memory is on open view for anyone willing to see it, and where the past is constantly being disinterred and encountered at unexpected moments. At the same time the series also comments on London’s continued redevelopment and gentrification, the sanitisation and destruction of these vestiges of the past, and the city’s gradual transformation into a metropolis without memory. City of Dust is published as a newsprint publication which also constitutes a self-contained exhibition which can be taken away by visitors.

For more information, please contact Lewis Bush at lewis@lewisbush.com@lewiskaybush or 07906 440031.

‘You know what I mean?’ oil paintings by Fleur Donnelly-Jackson

25 to 30 July

"These paintings are about the transcriptional memory of loss. Hidden within plain sight, in family photographs and handed down stories, are erasures and concealed pockets of experience. The paintings are an attempt to witness, to memorialize; to represent something that ultimately cannot wholly be represented, and which will fade with the memories of those who lived the experiences. The paintings pull the private sphere of the family through into the public sphere of the gallery, in an attempt to interrupt hegemonies and to disrupt a dominant narrative."

In her practice Donnelly-Jackson explores myths, truth and fiction and the blurry boundaries between them. With these paintings she attempts to deconstruct the myths of her extended family. Donnelly-Jackson grew up at the junior end of a large Irish Catholic, Mancunian family, already notorious before she was born. 
And yet the story told by these paintings is quiet, and of a certain tenderness, pride, and affection.

She says: "I wanted to take my family’s stories and explore them in paint, because my own experiences have often been at odds with the flashy myths that have been created. How do you bring to the fore a silent violence, the curtailing and de-selection of certain stories to favour others? Often what has been left out of the stories told about my family are the experiences of the women, of domesticity, of the everyday, of life-affirming family rituals such as weddings. This series of paintings seeks to even the balance, and to shift the focus from the bold males to the female members of my family: To explore ‘in the round’ the co-existence of notions of working class respectability alongside a fierce desire to get on, and to escape poverty. Although these paintings start from a very personal point of view, there is hopefully a universality to be found in them. In a time of austerity there will be all too many struggling with similar dilemmas. I’m influenced by Gerhard Richter’s paintings from black and white photographs. My other painting influences are quite wide: from the techniques of Renaissance artists, Caravaggio, Velasquez, and Sargent, to contemporary artists such as Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, and Martin Kippenberger."

Outsiders - an exhibition by Michelle Fulham, Leon Cole and Katherine Hewlett

1 to 27 August

We look forward to welcoming you a group exhibition by multidisciplinary artists Michelle Fulham, Leon Cole and Katherine Hewlett. This is an exhibition exploring the condition of being different and outside the mainstream. The 'other experience': the black dog mood, the contrasted faces and identities - drawn from the experience of seeing London locations barred to others in the 1980s and how these limitations are now changed to the austerity of managed systems. 
More information.

Urban Utopia

5 to 17 September

Nicola Wills is a London based artist who pursues her own independent studio practice and produces a wide range of abstract art in both oils and pastels. ‘Urban Utopia’ is a representation of daily city life in the twenty first century.  In this exhibition the artist explores the fast paced culture of contemporary society and its values and depicts the hustle and bustle of modern life through use of abstract and representative imagery.
 

Previous exhibitions

Photographic Retrospective of 'The Moment'

1 to 9 July

Rita Taylor is a freelance photographer and is organic in her approach. She takes photographs for her own love of capturing the perfect moment but if others who see them are interested then she is very enthused. She specialises in portraiture, however has also taken some celebrity photographs, attended events and constantly shoots street photography in many parts of the world, witnessing social change when re-visiting many years later. Examples are her 1978 Trinidad carnival and 1979 Notting Hill carnival photographs. These are a rare and personal snapshot of Rita’s talent as a natural photographer. She captures ‘the moment’ of every situation, always looking for the most interesting composition.  She loves photography, as she has to have an ‘instant’ action otherwise the shot is lost forever. 

Rita attended a college course in Notting Hill in 1977 and developed and printed her own photos. Understanding these fascinating original techniques she admits she is not technically minded, but has ‘an eye’. Rita lives by the idea of being in the right place at the right time, which is reflected in her photographs, always holding an interesting story behind them.

Rita has photographed ‘Inside Afrofuturism’ film event presented by Ashley Clarke’s Q&A last year at the BFI Southbank. She has had work published in magazines such as The Soul Survivor and displayed in public an image of ‘The Needleman’ George Dyer in his Walworth Rd shop, which was used by MACE Construction on hoardings at Newington Butts under the banner ‘The Gems of Elephant & Castle’.

Morphogenesis: the beginning of shape - Rosa Doyle & Boudicca Paloma

14 to 26 June

For Morphogenesis, Boudicca Paloma and Rosa Doyle have responded to the fantastic collection of textile design books and folios held in the library’s stores and shelves. The artists incorporate imagery from the natural world, bold colours and pattern in their work and textile design encompassed all 3 of these elements.

Doyle creates a series of paintings in response to the origins of the 18th century French textile house ‘Toile de Jouy’ whose designs were heavily influenced by traditional Indian textiles. Using the national symbols of India she has composed a series of scenes encompassing the serenity, beauty and stillness of a pre-industrial age.

Boudicca Paloma presents a series of paintings utilising pattern to bridge a wide range of imagery and abstraction. Interested in how humans perceive and interpret pattern, often imitating the natural world ‘Marble Love’ is based upon crudely imitated marble found in the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul. She says, ‘I am also interested in human behaviour, why are we attracted to pattern and repetition, what is it about this natural phenomenon of creating, repeating and building life that is so appealing?’


Last updated: 27 July 2016
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