Past, present & future of CYM Library


The Library began more than a century ago when the London County Council became responsible for education in London. It was taken over by the Inner London Education Authority and, when ILEA was abolished in 1990, it became the CYM Library (CYM was short for the Centre for Young Musicians, based at Morley College in south-east London). From 1995 to March 2010, it was housed by Trinity College of Music, while retaining its CYM title. The Library has continued to grow in recent years, incorporating sets of music donated from other collections.

With generous support from the Wates Foundation, the Library was transferred to a charitable company, the Community & Youth Music Library – so it is still known as the CYM Library. It is now located in much more suitable premises at Haringey Council’s Hornsey Library, Haringey Park, London N8 9JA.

Who do we lend music to?

We lend to amateur groups of all kinds, in all parts of the UK. In view of the Library’s origins, we’re particularly keen on lending to schools.

Who runs the CYM Library?

The CYM Library company has three directors: Jeremy Jackman and Michael Ashcroft (both with long experience of conducting choirs in London and elsewhere) and Ruth Hellen (experienced music librarian and former president of IAML UK & Ireland).

The day-to-day work of the Library is done by our music librarian/administrator, Ceri Mann, assisted by Peter Smith and other volunteers.

Our patrons

The company has five very distinguished patrons:

  • Howard Goodall CBE, award-winning composer, campaigner for music education and England’s first Singing Ambassador;
  • Diana Burrell, composer of orchestral, choral, organ and chamber music;
  • Sir Mark Elder CBE, principal conductor of the Hallé Orchestra;
  • Cecilia McDowall, award winning composer; and
  • Jonathan Dove, whose compositions include opera, choral works, film, theatre, orchestral and chamber music.

Where to from here for the CYM Library?

Our top priority is to publicise the Library and encourage more groups to use it. The resulting increased revenue from hire charges will help us to renew our stocks, fill gaps in our collection and provide an even better service to our users.

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