Opening Hours


Tuesday              10am to 6pm

Wednesday         10am to 6pm

Thursday             10am to 7pm

Friday                  10am to 7pm

Saturday              12 noon to 4pm

Sunday                12 noon to 4pm


Tuesday               10am to 5 pm

Wednesday          10am to 5pm

Friday                   10am to 5pm

Saturday:              12 noon to 4pm

Children's books and DVDs are available during all Main Library Hours.

Monday and Bank Holidays : LIBRARY CLOSED


Frequently Asked Questions

How is  the library funded?

In short, by YOU: The individuals in the Community and by local charities. Camden do not support any of our running costs and unlike most other community libriaries, we have to pay a substantial fee for the use of the building to the City of London Corporation who are the Trustee of Keats House Charity.

We need to raise at least £60,000 EVERY year to use the building  and provide the services such as  the technology, paid agency staff and of course books.  Our funding comes from donations and from income at events we hold through the year.

Most of our regular services are free to all with contributions requested for events such Rhyme Time and Chess Classes where we pay the moderator.

Every pound you give will go towards the library's running costs.

Please consider regular support with a standing order. We have over 9000 card holders so if only 10% of you gave us £5 a month we would have enough!  As far fewer than this do donate , we need more from those that do!

It has been challenging to change the mind set of a right to a  "free library" to one you need to support. Without that support, we close.

I love the library - How can I help?

We welcome all help - we need (practical!) ideas, volunteers, books and money to continue delivering the service free to the community. The Library is not static nor confined to a small group of people.

To offer help please just get in touch by email to or next time you visit the library. Ask to contact a Trustee, we are all local.

What are the plans for events and literary evenings?

We have an average of one event every month over the year with a concentration in Autumn.  They are very popular, often sold out in advance.  See our News & Events section for the next evenings in our programme.

Join our newlsetter to be sure to be told about events - send us an email or ask at the library.

The tradtional staple for library evenings was authors presenting their books with a reading. We have moved on from this partly as several other excellent local venues such as Daunts, Burgh House and the Festivals are doing much the same, often with the same authors and we did not want to compete for the same market. 

We have added music, plays with professional actors and celebrity evenings, all of which have been very well received. The generosity of the wonderful performers, who are unpaid, has been wonderful and we thank them so much for this.

We also offer a  variety of events for children ranging from Chess classes , to Creative Writing sessions to Art Classes to Puppet Shows. These are usually on Saturday afternoons.

We hope that you like our programme - details are on the website and mailed to those on our lists.  It is for you so please suggest anything that you have seen and liked for us to try out.

Can I organise an event in the Nightingale Room?

We are often asked to host events such as a book launch.

Simply, because we have to hire the space at market rates, we need to be sure that we will receive at least £250 in income in order to pay the room hire and cover other costs such as wine and a present to the speaker.

Can I hire theNightingale Room for a private event, such as a children's party?

The Nightingale Room is used for the children’s library all day on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday  and also Saturday afternoon, and is not available to rent at those times.   

Other times may be available but have to be booked with our landlord, the City of London Corporation through Keats House. The room costs vary depending on the time of day, but think about  £100 -250 per hour  with a minimum.

NOTES: 1) The library receives no income or other benefit from any such rental.

            2) There is no kitchen meaning that food and drink must be brought in and there are rules on this

            3) Toilets are located outside the building in the garden. 

For more information please contact the team at Keats House on 0207 332 3868 or email,

What is your relationship with  the City of London Corporation?

The City is the Sole Trustee of The Keats House Charity which owns the building as well as Keats House next door.  We have a Licence from them to run our library in their building for specific hours.  On the days and evenings when the library is not open, the City may use the building for other activities such as events related to Keats House.  We have to pay the City a substantial licence fee and they maintain the building.  We do not receive financial support from them.

We share  the use of the Nightingale Room for the Children's dedicated space with the City. "Our KCL days" are Tuesday, Friday and Saturday under our licence. On other days the books are in the main library and, by concession from the City, we can use the Nightingale room if it is not otherwise needed.

We are running events in common with them given the overlap in charitable and community objectives.

Why do I need a KCL  library card?

The Library is independant of Camden with different library management system. To borrow books , audiobooks  or DVDs  you'll need a KCL library card and we need to register your details.  You also need a Library Card to benefit from free use of the Public Computers.

Library Cards are issued while you wait in the Library. You need to come in person with a proof of address.  There will be a one-off admin charge of £5/household to go towards the costs of issuing your card.

You do not need a KCL library card to use other services such as WiFi, study tables, read publications or browse generally. Printing and coping services as well as hot drinks are available to all  - fees apply.

What about library's collection of books?

We constantly renew the collection of books. Since opening in 2012, we have added or replaced most of the stock of about 20,000!  This is thanks to so many in the Community who have donated and also to our suppiers who help with discounts and clever buying.

We pride ourselves on having the latest publications - for example, the Booker Long list is on the shelves within a few days of being announced. The stock is also looking generally cleaner and newer with we hope a more relevant choice than used to be the case "under previous managment"!   We are finding many visitors from further out in Camden have discovered this and now come to KCL. 

Thanks to donations and the interests of our community, the non-fiction book collection has particular depth in areas such travel,  photography, cooking, history, biography and philosophy,

The layout of books has also been changed in a radical (for librarians anyway!) departure from Dewy Decimal. The non-fiction collection is labelled and arranged by interest sections, modelled on a book shop. The idea to to make books easier to find for the reader.  We do not pretend to be a research library as other excellent and far larger  libraries such as the British Library are avaliable.

We are keen to hear from you about ideas for books you'd also like us to stock and buy.  Just write in the comments book provided by the desk and please include your contact details so we can reply!

We also manage the stock by market demand, removing books which our community no longer reads.

Relationship with Camden Librairies:

What do I do with  books that are on my Camden Library card?  As we are no longer on the Camden Library system, we cannot accept Camden owned books. When these books are due for return you will need to go to a Camden Library.  The nearest Camden libraries are Swiss Cottage and Queen's Crescent.

Equally, you can only return KCL books to us in Keats Grove. Returning them to Camden libraries may result in them being lost (although the Camden librarians kindly try to send them back) in which case there may be a charge to replace the book in addtion to any fines.

Can I order a Camden library book from Keats Community Library?

Again as we are not part of the Camden system we could not offer this service. We can meet all requests either by buying the book for KCL (sometimes even on the same day!)  or directing the reader elswhere when it was a more specialised book. We remain open to new ideas on this.  First ask us!