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This Week in Idea Store


Members of Idea Store Staff who belong to Unison will be taking industrial action on 13th, 14th and 17th August. As a result of this our opening hours will change.

Idea Store Whitechapel will be CLOSED 13th, 14th and 17th August

Idea Store Chrisp Street will be OPEN 2pm to 7pm on Thursday 13th August and will be CLOSED on 14th and 17th August. 

Stores will open on Saturday and Sunday 12-4.



We've been working hard to ensure we have safe social distancing and good hygiene in place to keep our visitors and staff safe. A reduced number of services will initially start to reopen at Idea Stores Chrisp Street and Whitechapel, as we continue to assess all our sites.

Visitors will need to pre-book timeslots for choosing books or using computers, and we're working towards safe access for some drop-in visits too.

Opening hours

Idea Store Chrisp Street and Idea Store Whitechapel only: 

Monday to Friday: 2pm to 7pm
Saturday and Sunday: Midday to 4pm

Your Visit

Please familiarise yourself with our new Terms of Entry before your visit

If you are visiting the library you can use it for up to 15 minutes

If you are using a computer you can have access to it for 45 minutes

Click & collect!

Now that two of our stores are open you can use our click and collect service to order books.
Just go to our online catalogue and put in the details of the book you want. You can also order items using our app. When the book is ready we'll send you an email and you can make an appointment to pick it up.


This Week in Idea Store

If you can’t get to Idea Store Whitechapel or Chrisp Street please remember there is a great range of treats on our website. 

  • You can download eBooks and audiobooks for free 
  • You can read all the daily newspapers online for free
  • You can access a good range of magazines for free including Good Housekeeping, Elle Decoration, Grazia, Computer Active, BBC history magazine, FourFourTwo and many other titles-all free
  • We have a daily storytime for under 5’s online from Monday-Saturday
  • We have a fun Sunday afternoon art challenge running throughout the summer
  • We have lots of online groups for adults where you can meet like-minded people for a chat 
  • You can access Ancestry for free with your membership card to start your family history investigation

What else is open? These famous three local places have re-opened but please check their websites as they like us have put in a booking system before you go.

Museum of London Docklands    Tower of London    Whitechapel Gallery

galleries logos


bird in treeThere are also some great free open spaces to spend time in, in Tower Hamlets. 
The wonderful Victoria Park is well known of course but how about Mudchute City farm and park on the Isle of Dogs and the wildness of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park with some amazing wildlife walks. Check out their website at to see what activities they have on for all the family   


woman browsing shelvesHave you ever wanted to go to the Edinburgh book festival but haven’t been able to? Well excitingly this year you can do so from your sofa as they go virtual. 
The festival runs from the 15-30 August and all their events will be accessible online for free! With around 200 events it’s quite a spectacle. 



Don’t forget there is still time for your children to sign up for the summer reading challenge and be part of the silly squad. We are running free activities online Monday to Saturday and have a Sunday afternoon art club challenge. These will be until the end of August. So sign up and join in. There will be medals and certificates for your children to take into to school and show their teacher what they have been up to! Check out the silly squad page for full details.