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Reader Bulletin: October 2012

 News

New British Library Chief Executive: Roly Keating
Test our new sound and moving image services
Supporting the Library: legacies
New Blog: Music in the British Library

 New British Library Chief Executive: Roly Keating

Roly Keating has joined the British Library as Chief Executive. He joins the Library from the BBC where he had worked since 1983, most recently as Director of Archive Content. On his appointment, he says:

It’s a huge honour to have the opportunity to lead one of the UK’s greatest cultural institutions, at a time of exciting change driven by the internet and connected media.

Under Lynne Brindley’s leadership the British Library has set standards for the world in both the quality of its curatorship and the boldness of its thinking around new technology. I am looking forward to working with the Library’s talented staff and leadership team to take it on the next stage of its journey into the digital age.

 Test our new sound and moving image services

This month we are making three exciting new services available in our Reading Rooms, for Readers to try out. Together, Broadcast News, the BBC Pilot Service and the TRILT database give access to thousands of TV and radio programmes, as well as the ability to search broadcast listings since 1995. This creates a fantastic – and unique – resource for historians, social scientists, journalists and filmmakers to discover what Britain watched and listened to, how worldwide events were reported, and how broadcasting is changing. We’re still testing some aspects of the services, which will launch fully early next year, but we would like you to try them out and let us know what you think.

The new services:

Broadcast News provides access to TV and radio news programmes broadcast since May 2010. We have recorded daily coverage on 17 channels – over 15,000 programmes and counting – some of which can be searched by keyword.

The BBC Pilot Service combines access to the BBC’s catalogue with the ability to watch and listen to BBC programmes from the last five years.

TRILT (Television & Radio Index for Teaching & Learning) is a database of listings for all UK television and radio broadcasts since 1995, with over 15 million records.

All three are free to use and can be accessed at selected terminals in our Reading Rooms. Reference staff will be happy to direct you to a terminal and help you to get started. To give us feedback, please complete the online survey – you will find it on our Sound & Moving Image web page.

 Supporting the Library: legacies

When Sir Hans Sloane died in 1753 he ensured, through his Will, that his magnificent collection of books and manuscripts would continue to delight and inform the nation. Subsequent gifts have been added to create one of the world’s greatest libraries – the British Library.

Today, many Readers continue to remember the Library in their Will, adding their legacy, small or large, to help future generations learn from the Library. Will you do the same?

For more information about remembering the Library in your Will, please contact Abby Wilson, Patrons and Planned Giving Manager on abby.wilson@bl.uk or on 020 7412 7331.

 New Blog: Music in the British Library

Since June, our team of music curators has started a new blog. We report the latest news about our music collections and related services: for example, what new material we are acquiring, projects we are involved in, and what related events and associated activities are taking place.

Recent postings include news of our digitisation of manuscripts of Purcell, Handel and Mozart, and of recordings from Malta and Tanzania, as well as new acquistions of manuscripts by Britten and Paganini and some very rare early recordings.

Read the blog now at britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/music.

 Service updates

Security and personal property in the Reading Rooms
Library will be closed on Sunday 14 October
Escalator refurbishment
Advance notice of maintenance works affecting the availability of some Western Manuscripts material
American Vogue at the British Library

- Security and personal property in the Reading Rooms - Library will be closed on Sunday 14 October - Escalator refurbishment - Advance notice of maintenance works affecting the availability of some Western Manuscripts material - American Vogue at the British Library

 Security and personal property in the Reading Rooms

In the past week, two laptop computers have been stolen from desks within the Reading Rooms at the British Library.

We continue to work with the Metropolitan Police to investigate these unfortunate incidents, and additional measures have been taken to ensure the highest possible standards of security. However, we would like to remind Readers that, as mentioned in our Conditions of Use ‘The Library does not accept liability for the loss of, or damage to, personal property or equipment, however caused.’  

We strongly recommend that Readers do not leave laptop computers or other valuable items unattended in Reading Rooms, particularly if you happen to leave the room in which you are are using them.

Should you notice suspicious activity anywhere in the British Library, please bring it to the attention of a member of staff, preferably a Security Officer.

Thank you for your assistance.

Mary Canavan

Director of Human Resources.

 Library will be closed on Sunday 14 October

The British Library at St Pancras will be closed on Sunday 14 October because we are carrying out an essential upgrade to our fire alarm system. The building will reopen as usual on Monday 15 October at 09.30. We apologise for any inconvenience.

 Escalator refurbishment

The escalators in the Library’s entrance hall at St Pancras will be refurbished, starting on Wednesday 19 September. This work will continue until approximately mid-December. Lifts are available as an alternative means of access; please ask a member of staff if you require directions. We apologise for any inconvenience.

More on vising the Library at www.bl.uk/visitus.

 Advance notice of maintenance works affecting the availability of some Western Manuscripts material

Essential maintenance works are to be carried out in a section of the Western Manuscripts secure storage area from 10 January to 12 March 2013.

A large portion of our high grade material (Select, Restricted and Z Safe) will therefore be unavailable throughout this period and readers will need to return all items in the affected area by 9 January 2013. 

Surrogates are available for a significant number of the items affected.

If you plan to visit us to consult manuscript material during this time please contact British Library Customer Services using the details to be found at the top of our contacts page at http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/contact/index.html.

We apologise for any inconvenience this essential work may cause.

 American Vogue at the British Library

The American Vogue archive is now available digitally in our British Library Reading Rooms, including the Business & IP Centre.  It features every issues of American Vogue from 1892 to the present day, spanning over 400,000 pages.

Find out more on the Inspired by… blog at britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/inspiredby.

 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.

The PEN Pinter Prize
The John Lennon Letters
Readers Research: Black in Renaissance Britain
TalkScience@BL: Sustainable Energy
2012 Panizzi Lectures 3: Acquiring Books

 The PEN Pinter Prize

8 October 2012, 18.30 - 20.00 
£7.50 (£5 concessions)

The PEN Pinter Prize is awarded annually to a British writer of outstanding literary merit whose work encapsulates the principles of freedom and truth that Harold Pinter upheld throughout his writing career. At the event, introduced by Melvyn Bragg, the 2012 prize will be presented to Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, who will read a selection of her work, including several new poems. She will also announce the international writer of courage who shares the award. A limited edition booklet will be published by Faber and Faber and will be available to the audience.

Presented by English PEN in association with the British Library.

 The John Lennon Letters

Thursday 11 October, 18.30 - 20.00 
£7.50 (£5 concessions)

John Lennon wrote letters and postcards all of his life, and now a selection of these letters is being published for the first time. They were sent to his friends, family, strangers, newspapers, organisations, lawyers and the laundry – they were funny, informative, campaigning, wise, mad, poetic, anguished and sometimes heartbreaking. Hunter Davies, the authorised biographer of the Beatles and editor of the collection, talks about the John Lennon he knew and the unique insight that the letters give into the mind of one of the great figures of our times.

Presented in association with Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

 Readers Research: Black in Renaissance Britain

19 October 2012, 18.30 - 20.00 
£4 (£3 concessions)

Two British Library readers present their findings and talk about the role of our collections in their research.. Miranda Kaufmann reveals how the Library manuscript collection lead to her discovery of 135 Africans spending a week outside Bristol in 1590. Michael Ohajuru made use of the Library to gain an insight into the making, location and viewing of a roodscreen featuring a black magia found in early 16th century Devon. They are in conversation with Dr Caroline Bressey, director of the UCL Equiano Centre.

In association with UCL Equiano Centre.

 TalkScience@BL: Sustainable energy for the 21st century: Can we ensure a bright future?

23 October 2012, 18.20 – 20.30 
£5

This event in our popular TalkScience series will examine the future of energy in the UK. Join a panel of experts, moderated by Guardian Environment Correspondent Fiona Harvey, for a dynamic discussion around the energy mix of the future. Panellists and the audience will debate why our current situation is unsustainable, whether we can meet energy targets without use of fossil fuels or nuclear power, and the balance between technological advance and behavioural change.

 2012 Panizzi Lectures 3: Acquiring Books

Monday 29 October, 18.15 - 19.30 
Free (no booking required)

How did women of all social classes get access to books as their owners and readers? This final lecture will examine a variety of means through which women could gain possession of books, including commissions of manuscripts, purchases, gifts and inheritance, and borrowing from other members of their communities. Brian Richardson is Professor of Italian Language at the University of Leeds. His publications include Print Culture in Renaissance Italy: The Editor and the Vernacular Text, 1470-1600 (1994), Printing, Writers and Readers in Renaissance Italy (1999), Manuscript Culture in Renaissance Italy (2009) and editions of 16th-century texts on Italian linguistics. He is currently leading a project on oral culture in relation to manuscript and print in early modern Italy.

 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

Need a new Pass?
Keep updated via Twitter - @BL_Ref_Services

 Need a new Pass?

Please remember that when you need to renew or replace a Reader Pass, you must provide appropriate identification – two original documents, one showing proof of your home address and one showing your signature. For details of the forms of identification, please see Reader Registration, email Reader-Registration@bl.uk or call +44 (0) 1937 546060.

Please note that records you have saved in 'My Workspace' in Explore the British Library, will still be available for you to view if you renew your Pass before it expires. Otherwise these records will be deleted.

There is a £10 charge to replace a lost or damaged Pass.

 Keep updated via Twitter - @BL_Ref_Services

If you're visiting the Library you can keep up to date with developments by following Reference Services on Twitter (@BL_Ref_Services). We're tweeting updates on how busy the Reading Rooms are, giving top tips on getting the most out of your visit, and which days the Reading Rooms are closed. You can also find out about new services, free workshops, new e-resources, events and exhibitions. If you haven't got a Twitter account, it's free and easy to join – just go to Twitter Signup.

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.