Second year social science student, Marinda, reviews the British Library.
The British Library is one of London’s greatest destinations to discover, from its large scale architecture to its random furniture (one of my favourites being the book-like benches), it is somewhere known for its imaginative exhibitions. The Annual footfall of visitors is in excess of 1.6 million, from all over the world. It is a great place for grabbing some coffee with a group of friends and meeting other like-minded people with similar subject interests. It is located in the centre of London, next to the international train station ‘London St Pancras’ so not too far from local restaurants and other tourist attractions as well as having a number of cafes and open spaces to sit and relax in. There are even some places to hold your belongings like the lockers. Another benefit, most definitely, is the free Wi-Fi throughout the complex so you can use your laptop pretty much anywhere.
Many people tend to be taken aback by the vast enormity of the building. It is something that cannot be completely explored in one or two hours. Within the library the building has many sections; a highlight for me is the King’s Library. It holds multiple collections and valuables from different eras; I would say that it is a definite lookout if you are into historical ventures. The British Library holds more than 150 million items in more than 400 different languages and dialects. I cannot tell you how beneficial it is to have somewhere that literally has every book you will ever need not only for your course but for every possible interest that you desire. I would say that the British Library is not really like any other library that you could easily study in. It could be likened more to a museum of books in which you discuss their information and talk of its literature rather than just study. The library is bustling with tens of thousands of people daily.
Once you enter you see a little gift shop much like what you would see at a museum, there are a lot of little trinket gifts that you could get for friends and family. In my view one of the greatest bits about the British Library is the subject specific events that they put on for people from all levels of study to come and listen to. I was lucky enough to go to a cognitive lecture which was given by high profile professors in the field. It was something that although aimed at students could be understood by people of lay interest and still be enjoyed by to those of vast knowledge. Other than subject specific lectures they have random exhibitions purely for entertainment like the Alice in Wonderland exhibition.
I would recommend that you visit the British Library. You can take the Hammersmith and City, Metropolitan or Circle line to Euston Square and walk down if you are coming from City. It is constantly at the epicentre of exciting, cultured and historical events and membership is free so it’s always jam packed with different characters.