Monday 4 November 2019

Witchcraft on a Shoestring: Make Use of Libraries

Someone who came to one of my courses suggested I should do more for witches who are strapped for cash, with the title Witchcraft on a Shoestring. I think that's a great idea and a great title, so here's the first of a series of posts on that theme.

Libraries are absolutely the best free resource for physical books about witchcraft or anything else. Whether you are just starting out and want to learn the very basics of witchcraft or are an experienced practitioner who needs information on a specific aspect of the craft, do have a look at your local library catalogue.

You can usually do a search online to see what they have. Even if they don't have the book you want on the shelves, librarians can usually get it in for you from another branch. Admittedly, there might be a small reservation fee if they do have to get it from elsewhere, but in my borough that is only 80p. You can also usually renew books free of charge if you need them for more than a few weeks.

If you live in or near London and want to study more academic or hard-to-find books, then I strongly recommend getting a reader's ticket for the British Library. That is completely free of charge. It is also free to use the library's reading rooms, and free to reserve in advance what you want to look at. You can't take the books away with you, however, so the best bet is to reserve things online beforehand, then spend a whole day there reading. You can take notes on a laptop or with a notebook and pencil, and you can even scan pages for free using the BL scanners, then email the pdfs to yourself.

Take a flask of tea or coffee and a packed lunch if you want to save money on food while you are there. Although food and drink - and coats - aren't allowed in the actual reading rooms, you can put your bag and coat in a locker to keep them safe, then take a break from study to have your lunch in one of the comfy rest areas inside, or outside in nice weather.

You can find out more about the British Library here:


Peakie said...

This is an eye-opener, Lucya. My only experience of the British Library was in an episode of New Tricks, and watching that it just didn't occur to me that the place is real and open to all. This is something a group of over-60 witches could do, using their Freedom passes - a day of group study at the British Library and a picnic outside. You're an inspiration. Thanks.

Unknown said...

If anyone lives near, or plans on visiting, Glastonbury, check out the Library of Avalon, the public-access esoteric library. The collection is over 20,000 books on a wide range of occult and spiritual topics, and all are welcome to sit and read each afternoon Monday - Saturday. Local residents can become members for £24 per year (£12 unwaged) and borrow up to six books at a time.

Badwitch said...

Peakie - I'm looking forward to getting my 60+ TFL Oyster card when I'm 60 :)

And indeed the Library of Avalon is great. I have popped in when I've visited Glastonbury in the past. The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Cornwall also has a superb library of esoteric books that you can visit for free.