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