The Brompton Blog – October 2013

Welcome to the Brompton Blog.

Brompton Library
Brompton Library

The last few weeks have been really busy here, as students return to start a new academic year and sign up for library cards while families and schoolchildren come to make use of our great junior section, browse the study guides and participate in our children’s activity sessions. We have also noticed a surge in visitors borrowing and returning books, possibly boosted by the upcoming Booker Prize competition and perhaps the return of cold weather. As they say in Game of Thrones: Brace yourself, Winter is coming… As we say at Brompton: Brace yourself, Winter is coming…So stock up on library books!

In addition to our usual services we have had some interesting events taking place. Our weekly computer classes for beginners take place on the first floor in the learning centre and we are also currently hosting private piano lessons that are available to anyone of any ability. If you are interested in these services either phone libraries line on 020 7361 3010 or pop into our branch and speak to a member of staff.

This month RBKC history buff Dave Walker and resident Librarian Stephanie Webb hosted a local history event in the Brompton meeting room:

Silver Sunday event

Earl's Court Road
Earl’s Court Road

On a Wednesday afternoon in the week leading up to Silver Sunday, Brompton hosted a local history event concentrating on Earl’s Court Rd at the turn of the 20th century and some of the highlights of Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre long before it became home to the Ideal Home Exhibition and stadium style rock concerts. Dave Walker (Local Studies Librarian) brought along some fantastic photographs and original postcards and answered questions from interested locals. We were very happy to welcome Councillor Mills to Brompton as she was the lead Councillor for Silver Sunday in this borough. After having a good look at the exhibits every one sat down and had a good chat about more recent changes to the area and, inevitably, how much property prices had changed!

Displays

One of our most popular displays recently has been our “Haven’t you read…?” pod display. It started off as a means to promote our Reading Groups Book Collection which usually languishes in our first floor office but contains some classic titles.

October 2013 display

We went on to use it to display modern classics which often appear on student’s reading lists (To Kill a Mocking Bird, Catcher in the Rye etc) and were surprised at how popular it turned out to be, however, it had to make way for our Mood Boosting Books display to support World Mental Health day.

Chatterbooks:

This summer it was great fun for the children to create a book at Brompton Library in collaboration with an organisation called Celebrate My Library. They are a -not for profit- project created by library lovers Hilary and Victoria. They celebrate libraries and everything they do by speaking to people who love them most and through this show people who don’t yet use libraries just how great they can be. They collaborate with councils to inspire the widest variety of library lovers possible.

The children took part in two workshops in the library during Summer Reading Challenge and created the book, Creepy Library. This is a result of fun packed story writing workshops inspired by the children and illustrated by up coming illustrators. The children enjoyed every bit of it and so did the parents. They are proud to see their names as the authors of the book.

Creepy Library
Creepy Library

The children who attended our weekly Saturday Storyland and craft session read a crocodile story and got a chance to make some crocodile-puppets!

Earls Court Fete

The Library Service participated in a local street fete in Earls Court in late September. The fete gave opportunity for local businesses and services to showcase their activities. Penny Girling from Central Library and I (see photo) staffed a stall, where we promoted our services, activities and events. We engaged with over 200 local residents and were able to register many, as new library members.

Earls Court Street Fete
Earls Court Street Fete

As well as promoting our quarterly events calendar and the forthcoming London History events, I was able to engage with locals about our Earls Court and Brompton Local History Event on Wednesday 02 October. I had displayed some very interesting photographs of Earls Court in by-gone days, including the Great Ferris Wheel, built in the 1890’s on the site of the Exhibition Centre. These photographs attracted a lot of attention and inspired some to attend the local history event at Brompton.

It was a very enjoyable afternoon and wonderful to be part of a local community event. It would be great to do more.

As an aside, my daughter, Abigail, was also there, singing with a local jazz band. She was fabulous!

Earls Court Street Fete Jazz Band
Earls Court Street Fete Jazz Band

Finally

A reminder that books are not the only resource we have available. All the libraries across RBKC, Westminster and Fulham have a fantastic selection of audio books, music CDs and DVDs to borrow, as highlighted by resident creative guru and library assistant David Bushell:

Recently I was given the task of organising the CD collection at Brompton- my, what a selection of music we have!

All the pop is covered of course, plus an amazing diversity of other music- from Heavy Metal to the rhythms of the Congo, From Jazz to Country and Western, plus soundtracks for films and a selection of easy listening compilations. Then there are extensive classical recitals, famous composers and all the opera you’ll ever need.

At £1 for three weeks, it sure beats trawling the internet for that elusive download. You can admire the artwork and read the sleeve notes and lyrics while you listen, just like old times!

Also don’t forget that the Nour Festival of Arts runs from 1 October until the 30th November and the London history Festival will commence from 18th November with a range of fascinating talks from respected authors and speakers. Visit your local library for more information.

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