More brilliant events from ISG London & South East

The trip around the RUSI Library of Military History looks especially good – a real hidden gem…. (though as a former librarian there, I am a biased!) … plus the Herts visit (yes, you guessed it, I have worked for Herts too!)

ISG L&SE have arranged a number of visits to collections of interest over the next few months, plus a training course.  Each visit will last about two hours and is free of charge (except the Library of Birmingham tour).   Places on all tours are limited, so book early to guarantee a place.

Institution of Civil Engineers Library

Wednesday June 25th, starting at 2.30pm

This is a return visit to a collection we visited last year.  The ICE Library is the largest resource in civil engineering in the world and has been designated as being of outstanding national importance.  It houses over 130,000 volumes, 900 periodical titles from around the world, major reports and conference series, an audiovisual collection of videos and slides, and a growing e-resource collection.  There is also an extensive archive of engineer’s reports and drawings (most notably the papers of Thomas Telford) and of the Institution itself.  Our visit should take in a tour of the building, as well as an introduction to the library and the archive.


Keeping up to date with new research: skills and tools for library staff and users.  Half-Day Course joint with the Academic and Research Libraries Group, led by Karen Blakeman     Wednesday July 9th   1.30-6pm at CILIP HQ, Ridgmount Street, London

Information sources are getting more varied and the sheer volume of accessible new research is huge, but it is vital that staff and customers undertaking research keep up to date with the latest literature in their subject.

The aim of this half day course is to give attendees a good understanding of the main tools library and information staff can use, either in their own research or when helping customers, with keeping up to date with new research or searching for recent academic journal articles.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Free internet search tools
  • Using social media
  • Journal TOCS (Table of Contents) service
  • Access to Research project

Discussion sessions will give everyone the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences.  This could be extended over an optional evening meal in a local hostelry afterwards.

There is a charge for this course.  For further details and to book a place, please contact Anne Hayward on


New Library of Birmingham

Friday July 11th, starting at 2pm                     

Built at a cost of £188M, the new Library of Birmingham is a massive investment for the future.  31,000 square metres, spread over ten levels, make it one of the largest public libraries in the world.   Our visit is well outside the usual L&SE area, but the new library is an exceptional development in a period of austerity and may give an opportunity for the development of new services that could be copied elsewhere.  Please note: there will be a £5 charge for the tour, payable on the day.

Hertfordshire Central Library and Information Service, Welwyn Garden City

Date to be confirmed in September.

Hertfordshire County Libraries maintain an active information service with an extensive file of hardcopy official publications, a rarity these days, and an  business information service that offers access to British Standards online: one of the very few library services still able to do so.  Come and see how an information service can be offered to a scattered and diverse population, and compare it with Birmingham.  The date has not been finalised, so let me know if you are interested in coming along, and I will send you details when available.

Royal United Services Institute Library

Tuesday October 14th

Founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington, RUSI is the UK’s forum for national and international defence and security.  The Library (correctly, the RUSI Library of Military History) is made up of over 30,000 volumes on military history from the Napoleonic War to current conflicts.  There is an extensive collection of materials on the First World War, so our tour complements the visits we made to the services museums earlier this year.

Architectural Association Library and Archives

Tuesday November 4th,   starting at 10.30am  – please note starting time

Another long-established collection.  Founded over 150 years ago, the Library now holds more than 45,000 volumes and 150 journal titles on all aspects of architecture, along with an extensive range on online databases and online resources.   We have also been promised tea and biscuits!  Numbers are limited to ten only, so book early to guarantee a place.

For further information on any of these visits, please contact:

Alan Power

Visits Secretary, ISG L&SE


Tel: 08452 30 31 32