Closures and disruption to services on Friday 28 April

Web maintenance at the British Library

Due to upcoming industrial action there will be significant disruption to services at St Pancras and possible disruption at Boston Spa on Friday 28 April.

Published date:

On Friday 28 April we will only have a limited number of Reading Rooms open at St Pancras due to planned industrial action by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, as part of a national dispute over pay, pension, jobs and redundancy terms. Some services will be limited, closed or close earlier than normal.

We plan to only open the following Reading Rooms:

  • Humanities 1 and 2
  • Rare Books and Music

Our other Reading Rooms at St Pancras are likely to be closed, please check back for further updates. With fewer Reading Room desks we can’t guarantee spaces will be available for everyone who visits us on these dates.

Some collection items may be unavailable but these will be identified when you place an order. With reduced staff available we will be limiting collection orders to five items. If you’re planning a visit to any of the open Reading Rooms, we strongly recommend ordering your items in advance as you may not be able to order them on the day. Existing orders for some of our rare items may need to be cancelled but we will be in touch to let you know.

We intend to open our current exhibition and Treasures Gallery, and to close the building at St Pancras at 18.00 as usual.

Our Reading Room at Boston Spa will be open as usual but some services may also be affected.

Other possible disruption

In addition, there may be further disruption on Wednesday 10 May and Wednesday 7 June due to industrial action by the Prospect union as part of a national dispute. We’ll try to minimise disruption as much as possible and will update this page with any further changes as soon as we can.

Delivery updates

In addition to the above disruption, we’re continuing vital work to improve our mechanical book handling system, which will put parts of it out of action.

There will be timed collection deliveries to the Reading Rooms in St Pancras and some manual movement of collection items.

This may result in some potential delays to orders so please check My Reading Room Requests before setting off to the Library to make sure any items have arrived. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your patience.