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Reader Bulletin: July 2013

 News

Poetry in Sound: The Music of Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976)
Enter our British Library and Artsthread Propaganda design competition
Spending Round Settlement 2015/16
Are you interested in the environment?
Advance notice of maintenance works affecting the availability of Stein Central Asian Collections
The Full English Discovery Day – noise disruption
New Europeana Open Culture app
Waves, rivers, streams and geysers: new sounds online

 Poetry in Sound: The Music of Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976)

Fri 31 May –  Sun 15 September 2013
Free exhibition
The Folio Society Gallery

Often described as the greatest English composer since Purcell, Britten’s music spans opera to string quartets to solo songs. This exhibition explores the poetic and literary influences on his distinctive musical world through manuscripts, photographs, programmes and previously unpublished recordings.

Accompanying the exhibition are stimulating, and in most cases free, events - Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century, 8 July, Britten and Dennis Brain: An Enduring Collaboration, 16 July, The Young Person's Guide , 23 July, and The Turner Esemble Plays Britten, 23 July.

Find out more at What's On.

 Enter our British Library and Artsthread Propaganda design competition

Propaganda is all around us. It is used to fight wars and disease, build unity and create division. Whether monumental or commonplace, sincere or insidious, propaganda is often surprising, sometimes horrific and occasional humorous.

We’ve partnered with Artsthread to run a competition for creatives with a cash prize of £1,500, promotion via the British Library news and blog websites, marketing channels and on the Artsthread website, e-newsletter and magazine.

Entry is free and the deadline is 31 July 2013. It’s open to creative students, graduates or anyone who has been working for less than three years in the design industry.

Find out more on our Inspired by… blog at www.bl.uk/blogs

 Spending Round Settlement 2015/16

The British Library has been informed that it will receive a reduction in its Grant in Aid of 5% in the 2015/16 financial year.

This cut is on top of the 15% grant reduction between 2011/12 and 2014/15, announced in December 2010, and the further 3% cuts from 2013/14 onwards announced in the Chancellor’s autumn statement and March budget.

The Library’s Executive Leadership Team and the British Library Board have already been looking at how best to mitigate the effects of these cuts.  This work will continue with greater clarity now the figures have been announced. 

While 5% is better than many had anticipated, it still presents the Library with a very significant funding challenge.  It is the largest single-year cut to the Library’s Grant in Aid and it is estimated that in total the Library will have to find savings of around £7m.

There are many hard decisions to make in the coming months.  Ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Library while meeting the needs of our Readers and visitors will guide this process.  We welcome comments from our Readers and visitors and if you would like to engage in this process, please email chief.executive@bl.uk

More information will be published on the Library’s website in due course. I would like to thank you for your continued support.

Roly Keating
Chief Executive.

 Are you interested in the environment?

Did you know you have access to some of the most up to date and innovative scientific resources available today? The Library’s scientific collections are unparalleled. Here are some of our environmental sciences highlights: Illustrata: Natural Sciences, a deep-indexed image-searching database allowing researchers to discover scientific illustrations, charts and graphs held within articles, covering all areas of the natural sciences. This award winning resource reveals high value graphical objects that would otherwise be missed with traditional searching. Expertly selected environmental literature is available to search with the Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management database, this provides a perfect foundation on which to develop your research and find relevant and high quality results on a broad range of environmental subjects.

Access point: http://www.bl.uk/eresources/science/datasub1.html or ask at the Science reference desk for further information.

 Advance notice of maintenance works affecting the availability of Stein Central Asian Collections

Owing to essential maintenance work in one of the secure storage areas, the Stein Central Asian collections will be unavailable from 23rd August 2013 to 17th November 2013. Readers are advised to contact the International Dunhuang Project department at idp@bl.uk for further information and to check for alternative sources.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

 The Full English Discovery Day – noise disruption

Saturday 13 July
11.00-16.30, free

On Saturday 13 July we are holding a discovery day.  This will include dancing, singing and art workshops in the Library and on the Piazza. There may be more noise than usual from 12.00 onwards, but we hope this will not disturb the Reading Rooms.

 New Europeana Open Culture app

Europeana, Europe's digital library, museum and archive, has launched its first free iPad app - ‘Europeana Open Culture’. This free app introduces you to some fascinating collections from across Europe and allows people to explore, share and comment on them.

It provides an easy introduction to Europe’s glorious art treasury through five specially curated themes: Maps and Plans, Treasures of Art, Treasures of the Past, Treasures of Nature and Images of the Past.

Download the app from iTunes and start your cultural treasure hunt!

 Waves, rivers, streams and geysers: new sounds online

This month we launch a new collection on our Sounds website, ‘Water’. Waves, rivers, streams, waterfalls and even geysers are represented in this compilation which will continue to develop. With each example being a unique sonic record of a particular time and place, this resource invites listeners to both engage with and enjoy over 100 recordings from around the world. Sounds include an erupting Icelandic Geyser; waves bubbling through rocks in an Australian national park and river cascades in Mexico.

Listen for free at Sounds.

 Event highlights

We run a wide range of fascinating events for the general public as well as researchers and businesses. Explore our full events programme online at What's On.

Free cocktails with screenings and comedy
Selling the Samovar: A One-Day Symposium
Africa Writes
Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century
The Rise and Fall of the American Industrial Foodscape

 Free cocktails with screenings and comedy

Make your night at the British Library even more enjoyable with a free drink at our bar. Peyton and Byrne are providing a complimentary cocktail with a propaganda theme with every ticket to the screening of documentary Fires Were Started on 26 July, and comedy night Matt Forde: The Political Party, 15 July.

Find out more at www.bl.uk/whatson.

 Selling the Samovar: A One-Day Symposium

8 July 2013 / 9.30 - 17.30
Conference Centre, British Library
£10 / £5 concessions

The Propaganda exhibition features many fascinating items from the Library's Russian collections. This one-day symposium explores the role of consumerism, industry and commerce in Russian and Soviet art and design.

In partnership with the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre (CCRAC) and supported by CEELBAS (The Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies).

 Africa Writes

6  - 7 July 2013 / 12.00 - 17.00
Conference Centre
Free, no booking required

The Africa Writes weekend brings together key writers and actors in the world of African literature to discuss and celebrate the continent's past, present and future. Enjoy a vibrant programme of free book launches, readings, discussions, performances, family activities and a book fair, showcasing the best established and rising literary talent from Africa and the diaspora.

This event is part of Africa Writes, a celebration of contemporary African literature from across the continent and the diaspora in association with the Royal African Society.

 Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century

8 July 2013 / 18.30-20.00
Conference Centre
£7.50 / £5 concessions

Published to mark the beginning of the Britten centenary year, Paul Kildea's highly acclaimed book, Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century, has been seen as a definitive biography of one of Britain's greatest modern composers. Conductor and Britten expert Paul Kildea discusses his book, explores the private and creative life of Britten and provides an intimate portrait.

 The Rise and Fall of the American Industrial Foodscape

24 July 2013 / 12.30 - 14.00
Foyle Suite, Centre for Conservation
Free, booking essential

Join Betsy Donald for this thought-provoking lunchtime talk. In recent years, the American-inspired agro-industrial food system has been under attack. Technological innovation has provided cheap food to millions, but this has come at a cost in terms of rising obesity and other diet-related health problems: food safety; workers' rights; animal welfare and the environment.

 Free Reader Training Sessions

To find out more about all our workshops and book your place, visit the workshops page. There is a heavy demand for these courses so if you are booked on one and later find that you are unable to come, please let us know so that we can offer the place to someone else. your needs.

 Service updates

Reading Room copy service price increase
Lost or stolen pass?
Follow @BL_Ref_Services

 Reading Room copy service price increase

The price of staff-assisted and self-help copying and printing services offered in our Reading Rooms are due to increase by 3.75% in August 2013.

New price lists detailing these changes will be displayed in all Reading Rooms and on www.bl.uk from 1 August 2013.

 Lost or stolen pass

Check our website for details on renewing - you’ll need to provide proof of your home address and signature. Your records in Explore the British Library will be saved until your pass expires. Please see Reader Registration.

 Follow @BL_Ref_Services

@BL_Ref_Services on Twitter for tips on using the Library and updates on how busy it is in the Reading Rooms.

Tell us what you think about the 'new look' Reader Bulletin

We are keen to hear what you think about the Reader Bulletin – what you find interesting or helpful and what you feel we could improve. We are also interested to know the format you prefer, whether a printed copy or an electronic version, as well as your views on other possible forms of communication. Please email Melissa Byrd.