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Recommended Reviews for Westminster Reference
7 reviews in English
Review from Fiona G.
Review from Larissa G.
I really wanted to like this little library tucked away behind Leicester Square that is open to the public and has free wifi, but my days of having access to the greatest academic libraries in London has quite obviously turned me into a snob.
It's in a pretty and historic building; it has reasonably comfortable seating; it has free wifi; its location is tops, but its reference books aren't of any use to me and it only has one toilet. Really? I mean, really? Just one toilet? This is inconvenient, especially as some people come to the free reference library JUST to use the toilet. They should just rename the place Free-Public-Toilet Library.
Review from Corinna H.
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Being a graduate in History of Art and Design, it is a love of mine to spend hours leafing through the pages of art books. Realising I hadn't done this enough since leaving university, I decided to visit Westminster Reference library as I heard down the grape vine that it had quite a good collection.
Placed conveniently behind the national portrait gallery it is really easy to get to. Art & design books are not the only key subject they hold, there is also business, performing arts, law and a couple of others. There's also free Internet access (the computers can get full but I booked one when I arrived and only had to wait a couple of minutes).
After briefly using the Internet I went upstairs to the Art & Design floor with the aim of finding images to inspire my Christmas card designs. The range covers a wide range of artistic movements, time periods and types of art and craft. I discovered the floor only displayed about an 8th of the overall collection, with a much larger collection kept behind the scenes that can be supplied within minutes on request. I asked for several books that were in the 'art stack' and the librarian brought them to me within 5 minutes. These were only reference books but I found others on display that could actually be lent out to library members.
A really nice thing about the place is the 'oldy worldy' feel due to it being a grand old stone building with high ceilings and tall dark wooden bookshelves, creating an authentic, intellectual and creative atmosphere.This place gets a good rating from me.
Review from Qype User (kingof…)
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- Qype User kingof…
Quaint little library located just behind Leicester square which seem to be full of homeless people. Its a strange feeling browsing the books of this village feeling library as the worlds famous strut their stuff in front of an audience just 100yard away. Especially with the crowds roaring in the background whilst i was trying to get some work done.
OK internet access, although there's always a pc available(but the pcs are set to a weird resolution). Open 6 days a week until 7pm(5 on Saturdays) with polite although not efficient staff).
I have yet to explore the movie section of this library as mention in the previous review but am looking very forward to it.
Review from Qype User (Rutche…)
Review from Tom E.
::: pssst... don't tell too many people, but they've just added free WiFi - now perfect place to work in central London :::
Review from Qype User (filimb…)
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- Qype User filimb…
This place is great for internet users, as you can wifi several places from here, including MI6. Sadly there's a password required for some reason, but it's nice to see MI6 popping up there on your screen. I think I'm right in saying it was Newton's old house. Newton or Wordsworth, someone incredibly famous. Shows a certain lack of research. But all the original features are there. There is a huge cinema and theatre library, full of old film books, and I've bought several ancient cinema books from here when they were selling old stock, including work by Pudovkin. There is a vast range of magazines to read, and a lot of foreign papers. ACTORS: the library on the first floor has PCR behind the desk, which you can read (and possibly photocopy) for free, you don't have to be a member. The top floor used to be a quaint little art library under the eaves, and I always suspected the librarian there never left, just have built a little flat for himself, hidden amongst the stacks. I was watching the ancient british movie Blackout the other day and was delighted to see it featured in a scene where the strange hero, Maxwell Reed (famous for marrying Joan Collins and treating her a bit badly) looks up an address in an enormous directory. They shot on location in the library, and it hasn't changed at all. Since 1950. Quite an important plot point as well, since Maxwell witnessed a murder when he was blind at an address he didn't want to go to. (Film Noir.) So come to Westminster Library and sit at a desk graced by Maxwell Reed, forgotten star of British B-Movies.