The Excellent Adventure Ends

Alas, it's time to go home to the good ole' US of A. Best of luck to all my classmates in your future endeavors. It was definitely an adventure.

British Film Institute, London

My last visit while in London was to see the British Film Institute's offerings at the National Theatre. The BFI offers showing of films regularly at their 3 screen cinema at the National, with a wide variety of films that would rarely be seen on the big screen otherwise. I happened to catch a double feature of Marlon Brando's films, and became intrigued with the idea of the conservation efforts required to preserve old films and keep them accessible to audiences. The BFI operates a unique and invaluable service on the premises, which allows viewers to watch a huge selection of films from viewing stations, and free of charge, no less. I discovered that the BFI also has its own library and archives, as well. I plan to do my large reseach paper on the BFI, particularly on its conservation/preservation of film. More info is available on their extensive website at

Guildhall Library, London

The visit to the Guildhall library was interesting, in that our lecture explained the historical significance of the library and its current role in serving the city of London. As a library open to the public, it was helpful to learn what services they offer, such as free internet access to patrons. It was also fascinating to learn about the project they conducted which made their collection of prints available online, and downloadable for a fee. What a great idea!

Barbican Library, London

The tour of the Barbican library was a nice change, as it was the first public lending library that we visited. The librarians were very informative in explaining their day-to-day operations, and the issues and problems they face, and solutions they had found for those problems. The self-check out system was particularly interesting, as I had not seen technology like that used anywhere else.
I thought the music library was a great asset to patrons, offering a rare and valuable public service. The ability to check out recordings, sheet music, books and periodicals on music, as well as listening booths and even a practice piano for patron use was remarkable. However, I did find it rather unkind of the staff to mention that we had missed seeing Orlando Bloom by one day. ;-)