Living Knowledge blog

07 October 2020

Something for curious minds, wherever you are

Stephen Fry talking to Shappi Khorsandi
Stephen Fry talking to Shappi Khorsandi

When we closed our doors in March it wasn’t just our Reading Rooms and galleries that fell silent. Our events and courses were put on pause too. But now we’re back, reimagined for the world we live in at the moment.

Our first season of digital events has kicked off with inspiring speakers and world-class talent streamed straight to your living room. And a brand new programme of online courses starts in October, with a vibrant range of subjects and new formats so you can study wherever suits you.

But how do you make a busy season of events and courses work online?

“By watching, listening and learning from the online events happening every day.” says Adult Courses Manager Katy Jackson, “We wanted to take a moment to reflect on the courses programme and develop something new. We’re really excited to be able to beam expert tutors into homes all around the world with our autumn programme.”

Monks studying texts

We have two types of online courses. Learn Live courses are 90 minute sessions with expert tutors and just 35 participants, and they’ve been designed to work well together, so you can take as many Learn Live courses as you like. There are also study mornings (or afternoons!) where you can kick back and soak up the knowledge with three expert speakers. All the sessions have opportunity for Q&As with the tutors, so you can delve even deeper.

“I’m working with tutors I’ve known for a long time and welcoming some brand new ones to the Library, who have all been dynamic and adaptable with the new programme.” says Katy. “We’re also working with StageText so all the sessions will be captioned. We’re keeping the cost down too – our Study sessions will be £10 and you can Learn Live for £20.”

And our events programme is also making the most of being virtual this season by streaming from exciting new locations around the country. Last month we were in Dorset to join Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall at River Cottage, we visited the beautiful Union Chapel in North London for Stephen Fry in conversation and we’ll close the Food Season with another cakescapade to Tom Kerridge’s pub The Hand and Flowers.

“It’s been a real treat to take the cultural events season on the road, as well as being able to discuss these essential, timely food topics with a wider audience online. We’ve had people join our events from all over the world, which wouldn’t have been possible before. We may not have the bright lights of the theatre or the buzz of a crowd but it’s felt fantastic to tell the stories of the Library to audiences again. Especially as we all need a bit of escapism right now.” Jon Fawcett, Head of Events.

What’s more, if you book a ticket to one of our online events, you can also watch it back for 48 hours after it’s happened. So you’ve got more flexibility to tune in when it works for you.

Screenshots of online events.

So grab a front row seat for upcoming online events or pick up your pencil and book for an online course.

As part of the gradual reopening of our spaces we’re also able to welcome you back for a beginners or intermediate bookbinding course on site. We’ve made some changes to keep everyone safe, like small class sizes, enhanced classroom and equipment cleans, and everyone wears a face covering. Find out more and book your place.

We’re really looking forward to seeing you soon, wherever you are.