Behind the scenes at Bethnal Green Library

A group of parents and children met on Saturday November 5th to explore the parts of Bethnal Green Library that customers don’t usually get to see.

St Elizabeth's ready to explore

One of the most striking hidden features of this very beautiful library is the wonderful stained glass window that commemorates peace.

The Peace window at Bethnal Green Library

We aren’t going to tell you VERY much about what we saw in the rooms that are usually locked and unavailable to the public – we want to keep surprises in store for future trips!

Rachel warns that there are shocks in storeOur children were fascinated by the old reference books they found upstairs: records of parliamentary debate amongst them – we had to explain that before the internet, you came to the library to look things up – no Google!

Fascinating old books upstairs

After we had explored every secret room – and some of them are quite creepy – we made our way down a winding stone staircase back to the library to browse the books.

Book selection made just for us

The Bethnal Green Librarians Mark and Lorraine created cards for everyone that needed one. Did you know that you can take up to twelve items at a time from the library? Some of our children did just that, carrying their spoils home in smart green book bags that Mark and Lorraine gave them.

So much to choose from

Bethnal Green library is a valued part of the Tower Hamlets Idea Store family, and if you live, work or play in Tower Hamlets, you can sign up and use any and all of the libraries and Idea Stores – you don’t have to be a borough resident. You can treat every library that is part of the London Consortium as your own home branch.Reading and sharing is what a library is all about There is a wide, varied and exciting selection of stock at Bethnal Green Library, for adults as well as for children. And if you’re after something that can’t be found on the shelves, it can be requested from another London Consortium library. Our children saw the room where Will takes care of the hundreds of books that move between the different libraries every week.

You could pick up some books from Hackney Central, check them back in at Bethnal Green, and Will will make sure that they are returned to the home branch. This makes it much easier to fit library visits into a busy week!

Mrs Braniff relaxes with a good readIf you’d like to know more about joining a library or the services they offer, please feel free to speak to Rachel (our school librarian) during the Friday parents’ coffee morning. And if you missed this trip, but would like to peek behind the scenes at Bethnal Green, then please let Sue or Rachel know you’re interested – we would be very happy to arrange more visits.

Find out more about Tower Hamlets Libraries and Idea Stores here

A New Era Begins! Book Clubs at St Elizabeth

Some of the titles that the Bookworms Book Club enjoyed

NEW Book Clubs are starting! The library has felt very quiet on a Friday lunchtime since the Bookworms left, and so it was lovely to welcome the Year 5s that are starting their own club this year.

If you are in Year 4 or above, and interested in being part of a  Book Club, please make your interest known to your teacher. If you’re not sure if it’s for you, you could pop into the library on Friday and ask Rachel the Librarian to tell you more about it.

The photo above shows a small selection of the books that the Bookworm Book Club read over the two years that the club ran. We are looking forward to discovering what books and authors our new Book Club members enjoy!

Goodbye to the Bookworm Book Club …

Bookworm Book Club

Dear Bookworms, we wish you every success in your secondary schools and hope that you will seek out the library the moment you get there!

The Bookworm Book Club are pictured here with just some of the books that they have enjoyed together over the last two years – how many of these have you read ..?

Winter is a wonderful time to read!

Christmas display at St Elizabeth’s Library

Can you spot Spot?

Is there anything nicer than curling up with a wonderful book when it’s dark and cold outside?

We don’t think so!

Our library volunteer with her Christmas selection

Our library volunteer with her Christmas selection

We’ve been choosing our favourite books about CHRISTMAS and you will find them on display in the library, ready for you to take home and enjoy.

Is it Christmas yet?

HOW many sleeps until Christmas ??!!


Tower Hamlets Book Awards 2015

Tower Hamlets Book Awards 2015


The Tower Hamlets Book Awards of 2015 are underway, and the members of the Bookworm Book Club are busily working their way through the six shortlisted books to decide which one they think deserves to be the winner.

One of the rules that the Bookworm Book Club is ‘no spoilers’ so I shall not tell you in words which book is an early favourite … but maybe you can guess!

Click the link to find out more about the Tower Hamlets Book Awards 2015

Bookworm Book Club

In the spring of 2014, some of our Year 4s had the idea of forming a book club. That Friday lunchtime book group is still going strong, and together, the Bookworm Book Club have discovered and discussed some wonderful books.Bookworm Book Club Poster

The poster above was a brilliant collaborative effort (as indeed is the Book Club) and the paper copy is brightening one wall in our library. Have you seen it yet?