In June, the Librarian here at Chawton House Library gave the keynote talk at the Association of Independent Libraries’ Annual Conference held at Bromley House Library in Nottingham. Under the banner ‘Sustainability and Relevance: the Independent Library in 2016’, the talk focused on communicating collections to the user community, and centred on the various activities that are carried out at CHL such as the regular evening talks, conferences, exhibitions, the book conservation project, and more.
As Chawton House Library celebrates 200 years since the publication of Emma, Bromley House Library is currently celebrating its’ 200th birthday and has recently featured in both local and national news reports. Founded in 1816, it is an independent lending library situated in the centre of Nottingham and one of the few remaining subscription libraries in the country. The image shows the entrance to the library squeezed between modern shops and very easy to miss.
Once upstairs, the library houses around 40,000 books and a labyrinth of reading rooms spread over three floors of a Grade II* listed Georgian townhouse. The library also has a walled garden, only one of two in the city centre.
It was here that the Association of Independent Libraries celebrated their 27th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting. The conference featured a full programme over two days including talks on charitable giving to independent libraries, a comparative study between independent libraries in the UK and USA, and opportunities through academic partnerships.
Chawton House Library is in the process of becoming a member and we are planning for the next AGM to be held here at Chawton House Library.