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Date updated: 10/21/2021

See below listings for regular and recurring events and activities in City of London lending libraries including discussion groups, book clubs and much more. 

The libraries also have plenty of other one-off events, talks, workshops and more, both in the Library and on Zoom.

Please contact the relevant organisations for further information or if you would like to attend. 

Alcoholics Anonymous

Mondays, Wednesdays 12.30-1.30pm

Venue: Portsoken Community Centre (Green Box), 14-16 Little Somerset Street, London E1 8AH.

Alcoholism support group held three times a week. For more information on joining, contact AA directly or visit the Alcoholics Anonymous website.

Email Alcoholics Anonymous
0800 9177650

London Life Drawing

Saturdays Time TBC

Venue: Artizan Library

Drop in life drawing sessions from London Drawing. A general life drawing class with tuition for beginners and advice for those who are more experienced, all designed to encourage you to develop your own style and approach. Attendees must register with London Drawing in advance. Please contact London Drawing for further information. 

Email London Drawing

Metropolitan Chess Club

Thursdays 6-10pm

Venue: Artizan Library

The Metropolitan Chess Club is one of the oldest in London, founded in 1890. There are currently over 50 members and new members of all abilities are welcome. Anyone interested in joining must register with Metropolitan Chess Club in advance.

Email Metropolitan Chess Club

Reading Groups

Barbican Library runs popular reading groups which meet once a month to discuss a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction.

Please email Barbican Library or call the library on 020 7638 0569 for more information.

Reading Friends

In February 2021 we launched two new Reading Friends groups – relaxed sessions bringing people together to read, share stories and meet new friends. See PDF below for more information. 

Read and Relax

Second Thursday of the month 10am-12noon

Come along to Read and Relax – the antidote to book clubs. No preparation is required. Just come along and listen to great stories and share your thoughts over a cuppa.

Booking is not essential but it would be helpful to know if you are coming so that there are sufficient materials and refreshments.

Meetings take place at the Sir Ralph Perring Community Room, Golden Lane Leisure Centre.

Email Barbican Library or call the library on 020 7638 0569.

Games Club

Thursdays 5pm-7.15pm (currently on hold - date TBC)

Meet new friends, learn new strategies and have fun in our weekly games club.

Bring your own game to play or choose from one provided such as Chess and Scrabble.

Free – Just turn up

IT help drop-in

Tuesdays 5.30-7.00pm

If you’d like help using the internet, phones, tablets or laptops, or have a specific IT issue, you can drop in to our IT help group every Tuesday 5.30-7pm in Barbican Library. Get free help with issues such as: email, Zoom, managing photos and music, downloading/deleting apps, booking tickets, and online safety.

We may also be able to offer help to those unable to drop in on Tuesday evening. Contact Barbican Library on 0207 638 0569 or speak to staff at the desk.

Reading Groups

Lunchtime Reading Group: Third Thursday of the month at 1pm - 2pm

Evening Reading Group: Last Tuesday of the month at 5.30pm - 7pm

Contact Shoe Lane Library for more information.

Craft Group

Third Thursday of the month at 12pm - 1.30pm

Come along to practice, learn and work on your personal textiles projects, all while making friends and getting advice on everything from sewing to knitting, and crocheting to embroidery. All are welcome, from beginners to experts.

Contact Shoe Lane Library for more information.

Dragon Café in the City

Fortnightly on Wednesdays at 12pm - 7.30pm

Shoe Lane Library welcomes you to explore the world of mental health and wellbeing through Dragon Café in the City, our fortnightly pop-up. Through creative workshops and events, we offer engaging ways to practise mindfulness and stress relief here in the heart of the City. Every event is free of charge and open to all.

To find out more, including our programmes for each upcoming event, visit Dragon Café in the City or contact Shoe Lane Library.

Events Newsletter
We are pleased to announce that we have started an email newsletter service! Subscribe now, if you would like monthly information emailed to you about all our forthcoming one-off events and activities.


If you would like to sponsor our programmes for adults and children, please consider making a donation to our libraries. 100% of all monies received from donations comes to the Barbican and Community Libraries service.

Social media and Eventbrite
Many of our activities are also accessible via our social media platforms and you can also find many of our events listed on Eventbrite - follow the links below:

Barbican Library Eventbrite
Shoe Lane Eventbrite
Artizan Street Library Eventbrite

Reading Friends information PDF (350 KB)
Date submitted: 2/22/21

Bringing people together to read, share stories and meet new friends.

Barbican and Community Libraries Zoom Privacy Notice PDF (100KB)
Date submitted: 1/07/21

The Barbican & Community Libraries Zoom Privacy notice, relating to any of our online events held on Zoom.