Barbican & Community Libraries

City of London

Thomas More’s Utopia and Evil May Day

“[how can anyone] be silly enough to think himself better than other people, because his clothes are made of finer woolen thread than theirs. After all, those fine clothes were once worn by a sheep, and they never turned it into anything better than a sheep.”
―  Thomas More, Utopia.  

Thomas More’s Utopia and Evil May Day

Wednesday 16 May

12.30 – 1.30pm

Barbican Library  

 Amidst spring celebrations, May Day also has long associations with workers, protest, demonstration and rioting.

And St Paul’s Cathedral was right at the heart of one of the earliest of these occasions, now known as the Evil May Day Riots of 1517….

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Baileys Prize for Fiction 2018 pt 2

Here Is the second part of this years Baileys prize longlist

When I hit you: Or, a portrait of the writer as a young wife


Meena Kandasmy

Seduced by politics and poetry, the unnamed narrator falls in love with a university professor and agrees to be his wife, but what for her is a contract of love is for him a contract of ownership. As he sets about reducing her to his idealised version of a kept woman, bullying her out of her life as an academic and writer in the process, she attempts to push back – a resistance he resolves to break with violence and rape


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Baileys Prize For Fiction 2018 Long list pt.1

Baileys Prize For Fiction 2018

Here is the first part of the longlist for the 2018 Baileys prize for women’s fiction




Nicola Barker

Imagine a perfect world where everything is known, where everything is open, where there can be no doubt, no hatred, no poverty, no greed. Imagine a system which both nurtures and protects. A community which nourishes and sustains. An infinite world. A world without sickness, without death. A world without God. A world without fear. Could you – might you be happy there? This novel is a post-post apocalyptic Alice in Wonderland, a story which tells itself and then consumes itself. It’s a place where language glows, where words buzz and sparkle and finally implode. It’s a novel which twists and writhes with all the terrifying precision of a tiny fish in an Escher lithograph – a book where the mere telling of a story is the end of certainty.

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Cityread London, 1st – 31st May 2018

Cityread London, 1st – 31st May 2018

Cityread London is an annual celebration of literature that brings reading to life for the whole capital in a massive book group. Each spring, Cityread invites London’s citizens, workers and visitors to pick up a book – the same book – and read it together.

This year’s book is ‘The Muse’ by Jessie Burton

On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick,who unlocks a potential Odelle didn’t realize she had…

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Maisie reviews Van Gogh by Tamsin Pickeral

Maisie one of Artizan Street Library’s Junior Reviewers in residence  tells us why she is inspired by….

Van Gogh


Tamsin Pickeral



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Dragon Cafe in the City

Have you heard ‘Pressure Drop’ yet? It’s a new sound art installation in Shoe Lane Library made with a bath and copper pipes! It’s all about “releasi ng the pressure” and relaxing, brought to the City by the always innovative and exciting Output Arts-

Shoe Lane Library

Thursday 19th April

12 – 20:30pm

If you come along on Thursday 19th April, you can also take part in this week’s Dragon Cafe in the City programme:

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Guildhall Library

There have been several incarnations of Guildhall Library. The first library at Guildhall was
around 1425, when a “new house or library” was instigated by John Carpenter (Town Clerk) and John Coventry under the terms of the will of “the rich and pious merchant” Richard Whittington. This “fayre and large librarye” as John Stowe called it, began in a building on the South side of Guildhall Chapel. There is no surviving catalogue of the contents of this collection, but it seems to have been a library for students of the divine scriptures and so it is logical to conclude that it was a library of theological books (as indeed most libraries were at that time, before printing came to this country) This library was described by contemporaries as ‘Libararia communis’ (the common library) at Guildhall.

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eResource of the month

eResource of the month:
Oxford Music Online

Multiple music reference resources in one location, including Grove Music, the world’s premier online music encyclopaedia, offering comprehensive coverage of music, musicians, music-making, and music scholarship.

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What I would Save: Stiff Upper Jeeves by P.G Wodehouse

Artizan Street Library: What I Would save

I would save…


Stiff Upper Lip Jeeves


P.G Wodehouse



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