|Old library by KitLKat on Flickr|
At the Guildhall Library we were given a history of the library by Andrew Harper, the librarian. The library hasn't had the luckiest of histories, with the collection in the medieval library being "appropriated" by the Duke of Somerset in 1549, and the building then being damaged in the Great Fire of London. Once the library had been refurbished and the collection rebuilt, a direct hit from a bomb in WWII took out 20,000 books, and the collection was moved to the Old Bailey for safekeeping. Unfortunately the Old Bailey was later bombed, and 83,000 further books were destroyed. Despite all of this, thanks to donations etc. the collection has been rebuilt again, and virtually all of the materials lost during the war have been replaced. The library today has the best collection of materials on the City of London, along with books on local English history, and English financial history. Some of the most popular items in their collections include their backrun of the London Gazette, and Lloyds shipping record cards, which detail every voyage made by ships including the Queen Elizabeth and the Lusitania. Andrew then took us on a tour of the working library, and then to the old library which is now empty and is used for functions, and there was a steady trickle of ladies in hats arriving as we looked around!
After lunch we headed over to Moorgate to the Chartered Institute of Accountants' headquarters. Their library was very different from any we've seen so far this year, and so I didn't really know what to expect. The Business Centre part of the library opened off the main welcome area and cafe part, and to get to other parts of the building you needed to walk through the library areas. We were being shown around by Rowena Mann, the Customer Services Manager, who said that this was good as people are more aware of the library. The Business Centre had meeting rooms and a quiet study area, but through most of the Centre there were people talking on mobiles and basically getting on with business. Although most enquiries are done over the phone or email, there was an enquiry desk in the middle of the Centre for face to face enquiries. There were some shelves of books and journals (actually more than I'd expected) but the majority of stock was kept in an offsite store.
|Institute of Chartered Accountants by Loz Flowers|