Following on from last year’s strategic review of library services, and the input of library users to that review, we have now set up a permanent Library Users’ Group to provide feedback on current library services and to help us plan for the future.The first meeting took place on 20th November 2014. The main focus for discussions during 2015 has been the Project Pegasus building proposals and their effect on the Library. The Group made a written submission to Benchers on this subject.
The Group’s membership comprises students, pupils, barristers and judges.
The weekend of 19th-20th September was a major event, organised jointly by the Inner Temple and Middle Temple, and a highlight of the Inner Temple’s 2015 programme of events to mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta.
Over these two days, both Inns opened their doors to welcome around 20,000 members of the wider public to the Temple. Visitors were able to visit the Temple Church and the Halls, Treasury buildings, Libraries and Gardens of both Inns, accompanied by volunteer and professional guides. A number of sets of Chambers, some with significant historical connections, were also open to visitors, and the Education & Training teams of both Inns ran a full schedule of events at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The Inner Temple Library had 2,300 visitors over Open House Weekend. We ran an exhibition of some our important historical manuscripts, including the illuminations of the four courts at Westminster c.1460 and royal letters from the Tudor and Stuart period, as well as mounting displays about Magna Carta, Sir Edward Marshall Hall, the Murder in the Temple of 1733, Library history and the process of researching legal cases. A History of the Library booklet was available for visitors to take away.
We were saddened to hear the news that Rikki Breem died on 12th August.
Rikki worked in public libraries and Harrods Subscription Library before joining the Inn in 1961. She worked in the Inner Temple Library for over 30 years and was the Deputy Librarian for most of that time. Rikki was married to the former Librarian, Wallace Breem, and they were both founder members of the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians.
The current Library has benefited greatly from all the careful conservation, cataloguing and bibliographical work carried out by Wallace and Rikki.
The strategic review group’s report on library services was finalised in September 2013 and adopted by the Library Committee in October 2013. The report was the subject of an in-depth review at the December meeting of the Executive Committee when it was decided that the Inn should continue to allocate sufficient funding to the Library to allow the present level of service to be maintained and should give priority to exploring options which might permit members outside London and those whose practice base is not within convenient reach of the Inns of Court to access electronic services remotely.