Major technology outage at British Library continues as ‘cyber incident’ investigated

02 Nov 2023 News

Newton, the British Library. Credit: Sam Lane

The British Library is experiencing a major technology outage for a fifth day, the charity has said, as it investigates a “cyber incident” which caused the disruption.

Over the weekend, the charity posted on X that it had some technical issues affecting all its technology services, including its website and phone lines and on-site services in London and Yorkshire.

The charity said that while its buildings remain open, it can only accept cash payment on site.

It would not confirm to Civil Society whether the continued outage has resulted in income losses.

‘We’re investigating the incident’

A spokesperson said: “The British Library is experiencing a major technology outage, as a result of a cyber incident.

“This is affecting online systems and services, our website, and onsite services including our reading rooms. We’re investigating the incident with the support of the National Cyber Security Centre and cybersecurity specialists.
“We’re very grateful for the support and understanding we have had from our users, staff and partners.”

‘Sites remain fully open to the public’

The charity said that its buildings continue to “remain fully open, while the following services are available onsite”:

•    Reading rooms (for personal study).
•    Any collection items ordered to view in the reading rooms on or before 30 October.
•    Very limited, manual collection item ordering in London via our printed catalogues, for items stored in St Pancras only.
•    Reader registration – however, we’re currently only able to issue temporary passes. The levels of access these provide may differ depending on whether you are a lapsed or new reader.

“Thank you for bearing with us while we gather more information. We’ll update again when we have more information,” it said.

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