The Inner Temple Library is a library located inside Inner Temple itself, which is an old quarter in London where lawyers have over the years, lived and worked. It is a breathtaking law library, which houses not only invaluable legal resources but rare works too.
The architecture of the building itself, which is stunning, is a masterpiece of engineering and design. This Library is home to 70,000 volumes, 90 reader places (cosy nooks and crannies perfect for reading and reflecting), and blends old world wisdom with state of the art technology. It is also home to an award winning Library Team.
Now, the Executive Committee are recommending structural changes to the Library, which would mean the upper floor being converted into meeting and training rooms (do we really need more of those in the City?), resulting in a drastic loss of space and books.
The reaction to the proposed changes has already been marked on social media platforms like Twitter. A petition which has been launched to stop the proposal, has already garnered over 1,270 signatures. Poignant in itself because this Library is not just seen as a practical resource, but a place which levels unequal battle fields, and engenders sentimental attachment, too.
For our part, Inner Temple is our Inn, our legal home and its Library also happens to be the best around for Family Law materials. This makes the Library very special for us, and a place we want to preserve.
It is true that the Library is not open to the public as of right, and we feel this is a shame, as it should be, but it is still a piece of history worth saving in its current state. Books in this Library have helped save lives, protect the vulnerable and shed light on often forgotten yet fundamental principles of justice. It is a national treasure, and should be preserved, not torn down for profit.
If you feel the same way, please consider doing as we did, and sign the petition. A world filled with conference rooms and polystyrene cups is a world without soul. Let’s preserve what little meaning is left, one cornerstone at a time.