Membership terms and conditions. Last revised: November 2022
Thank you for becoming a Member of the British Library. The terms and conditions of your membership are as follows. Please read carefully as by submitting the membership application and paying the Membership Fee you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. Acceptance of your membership application will take place when the British Library notifies you that it has been accepted. This creates a valid and binding contract between you and the British Library.
1.1 In these terms and conditions, the following words have the following meanings:
British Library means the statutory corporation established under the British Library Act 1972 with its principal place of business at 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB
Foreseeable Loss and Damage means loss or damage where it is obvious that it will happen or if, at the time the contract was made, both the British Library and you knew it might happen.
Member means you and/ or any other member of the British Library Membership Scheme (depending on the context in which it is used). Please note that these terms and conditions apply to all members;
Membership Benefits means the benefits set out in clause 4
Membership Card means the card or cards provided to you by the British Library confirming that you are a Member;
Membership Cardholder means the holder of a Membership Card (therefore in the case of Joint Members will include each Member);
Membership Fee means the money you have paid to the British Library to become a member, such Membership Fees are set out on the British Library website www.bl.uk/membership or on the membership application form;
Membership Period means the date from which British Library acknowledges your membership following receipt of your Membership Fee to the date on which your Membership expires. This will usually be 12 months from the date that we acknowledge receipt of your Membership Fee. The term of your Membership Period is set out on your Membership Card.
You or you means the person named on the membership application (and in respect of Joint Membership both names listed on the membership application)
2 Your details
2.2 The British Library will use the information you provide to us to provide you with your Membership Benefits. In particular, the British Library will contact you by email and post with information that will help you access these benefits, for example, by providing advance notice of exhibitions or events, or informing you of new products and special offers in our Shop.
2.3 As part of your Membership, the British Library may also send you information about other British Library activities where we feel these may be of interest to you.
2.4 You may opt out of receiving communications from the British Library (other than those directly related to the creation and maintenance of your Membership account) at any time. If you do so, some aspects of your Membership Benefits may become harder to access; for example, you may not receive notification of Events and Exhibitions in sufficient time to exercise your right to reserve tickets. If you do not wish to receive communications from the British Library then please inform us by email at Customer-Services@bl.uk, or by calling +44 (0)1937 546 546. You can also cancel such communications by using the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of all emails sent to you by the British Library.
2.5 You are responsible for informing us of changes to your personal details.
3 Subscription fees and payment
3.1 All Members will pay an annual Membership Fee. British Library reserves the right in its absolute discretion to change the Membership Fee each year.
3.2 Your Membership is valid immediately from the day that your Membership is acknowledged by the British Library (following receipt of the Membership Fee by the British Library in cleared funds) and will usually be valid for 12 months unless, for example you have purchased a longer Membership Period. If you do not renew your Membership it will expire automatically at the end of the Membership Period unless it is renewed in accordance with clauses 3.4 or 3.5 below.
3.3 Upon expiry of your Membership you will no longer be a Member and you will no longer be entitled to receive any Membership Benefits.
3.4 Renewal by Direct Debit: When each Membership Period comes to an end, the British Library will send you a renewal reminder. If you do not wish to renew your Membership you must inform the British Library at the earliest opportunity and preferably at least 10 days before the end of your Membership Period to prevent funds being debited from your account. If you do not inform the British Library otherwise, your membership will automatically renew at the end of each Membership Period.
3.5 Renewal by cash, and credit/debit card: When each Membership Period comes to an end, the British Library will send you a renewal reminder, and your Membership will be cancelled unless and until a further Membership Fee payment is received from you.
3.6 In order to comply with HMRC guidelines the British Library is not able to accept CAF cheques as payment for membership.
3.7 The British Library reserves the right in its sole discretion to refuse you or terminate your membership if in its reasonable opinion you behave in a way which is considered to be harassing, causing distress or inconvenience to other members, any visitor to the British Library, any member of the British Library staff or any directors, trustees, patrons, donors or other supporters of the British Library or you breach any of these terms and conditions.
3.8 Subject to any statutory right to cancel, your Membership Fee is non-refundable once payment has been received by the British Library. If you join online or via the phone you may change your mind and cancel your membership provided that you tell the British Library within 14 days starting the day after you join which will be the date of the British Library’s acknowledgement of your membership. You can do this by contacting us as set out in these terms and conditions or by using the model cancellation form attached to these terms and conditions. British Library will refund to you in full any Membership Fees paid (unless you have made use of the Membership Benefits during these fourteen days in which case you expressly acknowledge that you will be responsible for a proportion of the Membership Fee in relation to the services that we have supplied during this time and you will therefore not receive a full refund of all amounts paid). Please note that this early cancellation right does not apply if you join in person.
3.9 Membership rights are not transferrable.
3.10 Membership rights shall cease on a Member’s death or an individual ceasing to be a Member.
4 Your Membership Benefits
4.1 You can purchase either a Membership or a Joint Membership. Further details regarding the types of membership are set out on the British Library website: www.bl.uk/membership.
As a Member or Joint Member of the British Library you are entitled to the following membership benefits (Membership Benefits):
4.1.1 Membership Card(s) (if you purchase a Joint Membership then you will receive two Membership Cards, with each Membership Cardholder receiving the Membership Benefits as set out in this clause 4);
4.1.2 Unlimited access to eligible special exhibitions advertised as such in the What's On cultural programme (listing guide) and the British Library website, and the right to bring one guest with you to such exhibitions (one guest per Membership Cardholder); advance booking for exhibitions may be required.
4.1.3 Exclusive access to the Members’ Room for you and one guest within public opening hours and in line with last admission times.
4.1.4 What’s On cultural programme (listings guide) sent to you direct four times per membership year.
4.1.5 Priority booking for eligible general public events, as advertised on the British Library website.
4.1.6 The opportunity to redeem up to half price tickets for select events.
4.1.7 Invitations to exclusive member events and previews.
4.1.8 20% discount in the shop, cafes and restaurants. Subject to certain limitations and exclusions.
4.2 Membership Benefits are subject to the following:
4.2.1 Guests are not eligible to receive membership benefits. Guests must be accompanied by a Member and cannot visit exhibitions, the Members’ Room independently of a Member. Please note that some exhibitions may not be suitable for children under the age of 16. Advance booking for exhibitions may be required. We cannot guarantee walk-up entry without an advance booking.
4.2.2 Membership cards and Membership benefits are non-transferrable.
4.2.3 We reserve the right to exclude certain events from the Members priority booking period. Some activities and venues are subject to capacity limits and admission may be withheld/refused at any time.
4.2.4 Priority booking applies to events selected by the British Library in its sole discretion. All eligible events will be advertised as such in the What's On cultural programme (listing guide) and on the British Library website.
4.2.5 Up to half price event tickets are redeemable on events selected and priced by the British Library in its sole discretion. All eligible events are advertised as such in the What's On cultural programme (listing guide) and on the British Library website and are subject to limitations and availability. Even tickets are issued in accordance with British Library ticketing terms and conditions.
4.2.6 Up to half price tickets are unlimited across the membership year and are redeemed by selecting the appropriate Member ticket when booking the event.
4.2.7 Shop, cafe and restaurant discounts cannot be used in conjunction with any other special offers or discounts. Discounts are not applicable to: postage, gift vouchers, prints on demand, stamps, sale items, book tokens, magazines, and newspapers, additional Memberships and gift memberships or alcohol. Members’ discount is pre-applied to prices in the Members’ Room.
4.3 You must present your Membership Card on every visit to obtain the Membership Benefits. Any loss of Membership Card must be reported to British Library immediately. British Library reserves the right to make a reasonable charge for replacement Membership Cards.
4.4 You must not allow anyone else to use your Membership Card. Allowing someone else to use your Membership Card outside these terms and conditions may result in your membership being cancelled without notice. No refund for Membership Fees will be given under these circumstances.
5 Publications and other materials
5.1 Unless stated otherwise, copyright and all other rights in all publications and materials supplied to you by the British Library is owned by the British Library. Members may not reproduce, transmit, distribute, sell or commercially exploit these materials without the prior written consent of the British Library or to the extent expressly permitted by law.
6.1 The British Library is responsible to you for Foreseeable Loss and Damage arising from a breach of the British Library’s contract with you or our negligence but not otherwise.
6.2 Subject to clause 6.3, the liability of the British Library to you is limited to the amount of your annual Membership Fee.
6.3 Nothing in these terms and conditions excludes or limits liability for death or personal injury caused by the British Library’s negligence or for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation.
7 Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”)
7.1 British Library is a ‘Public Authority’ for the purposes of FOIA. Subject to certain exemptions, the British Library may be required to release information to a third party upon request which may relate to your membership.
7.2 The obligations contained in this clause 7 shall remain in force notwithstanding the termination of this Agreement for any reason whatsoever.
8.1 The failure of or delay by the British Library to exercise or enforce any right in these terms does not constitute a waiver of such rights.
8.2 British Library reserves the right to:
8.2.1 Make minor changes to these terms and conditions to reflect changes in relevant laws and to make minor technical adjustments and improvements, upon reasonable notice to you. These changes will not affect your Membership Benefits. Or
8.2.2 Make more significant changes to these terms and conditions, in its absolute discretion at any time, including by making changes to the Membership Benefits. In these circumstances, we will notify you of the proposed change and you may then contact us to cancel your membership and receive a refund of the unused portions of your Membership Fee before the changes take effect.
8.3 These terms and conditions shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with English law and, in the event of any dispute arising out of these terms and conditions and/ or your membership, you agree with the British Library to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
8.4 You have to be over 18 to apply for membership.
8.5 British Library reserves the right to remove benefits at their discretion or in order to meet HMRC requirements or otherwise to comply with a change in the law
8.6 You can contact us by telephoning us at +44(0)1937 546060 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to us at British Library Membership, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB.
8.7 If the British Library has to contact you we will do so by telephone or by writing to you at the email address or postal address you provided to us in your membership application.
(Complete and return this form only if you wish to withdraw from the contract)
To the British Library of 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB. email@example.com
I/We [*] hereby give notice that I/We [*] cancel my/our [*]membership of the British Library Membership Scheme
Ordered on [*]/received on [*],
Name of consumer(s),
Address of consumer(s),
Signature of consumer(s) (only if this form is notified on paper),
[*] Delete as appropriate
1.1 The Members’ Room is located on the second floor of the Library and is open during building opening hours1.2 Please note seasonal opening hours of the building, full details of which can be found at https://www.bl.uk/visit/opening-hours
1.3 The Members Room may be closed occasionally for private and Members' events. Please check signage and speak to staff for details.1.4 Admission to the Members’ Room is for Members and one guest per cardholder (for a single Membership, one member and one guest, for a joint Membership two Members and two guests).
1.4.1 Please be prepared to show a valid Membership or Patrons card at the bar on arrival.
1.4.2 No additional guests may be brought into the Members’ Room and guests cannot visit independently of the member.
1.4.3 Children under 5 may be admitted without counting as a ‘guest’, however please note there is limited space for pushchairs.
2 Food2.1 The 20% discount for our public restaurants is not available in the Members’ Room. The menu in the Members’ Room has been designed with Members in mind including their discount and is priced accordingly.
2.2 Food is served in the Members’ Room between 10:00 and 15:45 only.
3 Use of space3.1 The Members’ Room is available for work, study, relaxing and eating and drinking, however we ask that you be mindful of your fellow Members.
3.1.1 Members may use the lounge space to hold meetings as long as these do not exceed the allowance of guests and Members are considerate of those around them.
3.1.2 Members are requested to use the study room for private working. The study room is a quiet space. Phones and electronic devices must be switched to silent. Telephone calls should be taken outside and conversations kept to a minimum. The study space is not suitable for collaborative working or meetings.3.2 Saving seats and reserving tables is not permitted. Space in the Members’ Room is limited and on a first come first served basis.
3.2.1 Tables cannot be reserved in advance by Members. On occasion tables may be reserved internally, by the Membership Manager, for executive guests in which case this will be signposted.3.3 You cannot bring your own food into the Members’ Room unless you are visiting with babies or young children. Food from other Library outlets is permitted.
4 Conduct4.1 We ask all Members to be respectful to fellow Members and our staff. In the case of rudeness or abuse we reserve the right to request Members leave the space.
4.1.1 In the case of repeated abuse to our staff and/or other Members, we reserve the right to ban Members from the Members Room and if appropriate will consider full revocation of Membership benefits.4.2 Any misuse of these terms may result in you being asked to leave the Members’ Room.