British Library tech failure nine days after cyber-attack

Limited services available on-site while recovery efforts continue

The British Library is experiencing a major technology failure caused by a cyber-attack. Getty Images
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The British Library is continuing to experience a major technology failure caused by a cyber-attack that occurred nine days ago.

The attack, on October 31, has led to widespread disruption of the library's online systems and services, including its website and certain on-site services such as Wi-Fi connectivity. The building remained open as usual.

A spokesperson for the British Library said that they are actively working with the National Cyber Security Centre and cyber security specialists to address the situation and to restore services as soon as possible.

However, the disruption is expected to last for several weeks.

What services are available

Despite the digital challenges, the British Library's buildings remain open to the public.

The Reading Rooms are open for personal study.

Access to collection items that were ordered into the Reading Rooms on or before October 28 is still possible.

A very limited manual ordering process for collection items is available in London using printed catalogues for items located in St Pancras.

Reader Registration is ongoing, with the issuance of temporary passes which may offer different levels of access for new or previous readers.

The library's cafes, restaurant and shops are operating normally, with the cafes and restaurant accepting card and cash payments. The shop and bookshop are currently accepting cash only, although card transactions can still be processed through the online shop.

Additionally, all scheduled public events are proceeding, including a scheduled exhibition “Fantasy: Realms of Imagination”. Tickets for this exhibition can be bought on-site with cash.

The Family Station and educational courses and events will continue as planned.

For business support, the Business and IP Centre at St Pancras is open, with services and events still available online and in-person at regional libraries throughout the UK.

While the investigation into the cyber-attack is ongoing, the British Library is not able to provide more detailed information at this time.

Updated: November 09, 2023, 10:39 AM