My Experience at the British Library

On June 12 2019, I accompanied 11 other students on an exciting trip to the British Library in Boston Spa, Wetherby. The library was designed by St John Wilson; it was specially made to have a sturdy floor, much like a carpark, to support the spectacular weight the Library holds. Not only has the Library got amazing machines to digitize books, maps, manuscripts, diaries, newspapers, periodicals and many more, they have a copy of every book ever published in the UK and Ireland.

Our day was enjoyed thoroughly by everyone who went and had a look around the amazing complex that is the British Library. We started the day with a tour of the premises, we saw the different buildings and how they had different sections to help the library be what it is today including a digitization section (scanning books and transferring them online so that everyone can see), the library also has a reading room where anyone can go, grab a book, sit down and read.

Many people think that Libraries just have books; that’s not the case. It is the home of the UK national newspaper collection which comprises more than three centuries of national, regional and local newspapers. You can access 3 million sound recordings and a wide range of electronic databases and resources which include journals and diaries from famous people in history like King Henry VIII and King James I.

After the tour we went into a conference room near to the reception of the library, we had a little talk about libraries in our area and our favourite books; there was one non-fiction book about pirates that we all seemed intrigued to see. We then designed pirates of our own, using only our imagination, a piece of paper and a pen. Pairs then stood up in front of the group and showed off the pirates they had created, talking about their appearance, personality and what they hunt for. Minecraft was a fantastic addition to our day. With our pirates we designed as our characters in the game and a map at our side, we set of on a treasure hunt to find different valuables on the desert island we were trapped on.

Finally we sat down and listened to the author and illustrator Kate Pankhurst, famous for her book series ‘The Marreilla Mysteries’ and new book, ‘Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World’. We listened to her back story, how she got into writing and illustrating books and we even drew a picture of Junko Tabei (the first woman to climb Mt. Everest). Kate included Junko Tabei in her new book, specialising in how she (in 1975) took 6 months to get to the top and that she climbed the seven summits (the highest peak in every continent).

I would definitely persuade different schools to go to the British Library in Boston Spa because it could really help with education if you are struggling with reading or writing. If you are not struggling with your reading or writing I would still recommend going, it is a once in a lifetime experience and every part is enjoyable.

By Charles Year 7