Throughout the year, RBKC libraries welcome a number of volunteers and work experience students from neighbouring secondary schools. For many, it can be their first introduction to the world of work and for us, it’s a great opportunity to reintroduce them to the library service and the vast range of services we now offer.
Alongside Learning Nexus, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has recently invested in a fantastic new online resource for library users interested in the pursuit of lifelong learning!
Universal Class is a real treasure trove of online learning, with over 500 free courses to choose from, in almost any subject area you can think of. All you need to do is join the library (if you are not already a member) and sign-up online.
Subjects range from ‘Office Skills’ and ‘Psychology’ to ‘Performing Arts’ and ‘Finance.’ Each course comes with dedicated instructors, module based lessons, assignments and tests. You can sign-up and look for the course you are interested in anywhere, anytime: among the many benefits of Universal Class is the ability to learn at your own pace, and in your own time. This flexible approach is especially useful for those of us juggling multiple priorities in our day to day lives!
Of particular interest to existing customers of Kensington Central’s Business Information Point will be the online business courses, which are available to anyone wanting to study business, start a small business or need help with their existing business.
So – whether your interest lies in Mindfulness, Web Development or Creative Writing – visit our Universal Class information page and take the plunge! The service is completely free for library users. A whole world of knowledge awaits you…
Whether you are looking for practical advice on setting up a business, seeking new contacts to help develop your company, creating a mailing list or swotting up on the latest information for your next job interview, Business Information Point at Kensington Reference Library can help.
You can get free access to a wide range of books on the subject of business and finance and related subjects. We also stock a good collection of business-related journals and online resources, expertly selected to offer quality information covering business and trade in the UK and beyond.
Our online database subscriptions include MINT UK and Keynote Market Research. Both these databases are available from inside the library. There is also COBRA, the complete business reference adviser, which is available in the library or remotely, from your home PC using your library card number. A selection of Keynote reports is available in hard copy as well.
Events and Workshops: The library is also hosting free workshops and networking events specifically for people looking to set up or grow their own business. These events offer a fantastic opportunity to learn from those in the industry who successfully run businesses and understand current risks, challenges and possibilities.
Hello to you all from the staff at Kensington Central Library and if it’s not too late to wish this on the last day of January- Happy New Year from us all! Despite January being a bit of a grim month – we’ve been busy and February will be even busier!
From Princess Louise to smart cookery to stopping smoking
We’ve had some amazing events for adults and children this month. On a very cold night Lucinda Hawksley gave a very entertaining and informative talk about one of Queen Victoria’s daughters, Princess Louise. She was a remarkable woman who seemed to be ahead of her time. Lucinda is an excellent writer and speaker – we’re always happy to have her at the library as her events are excellent – entertaining, amusing and educational.
It’s been a healthy month for us too – Ooberkids Republic came to speak to a group of children about healthy eating, cooking, recipes and where our food comes from. Smokefree, the stop smoking service also had a stall in the library this month – a perfect time to help people keep their New Year’s Resolution perhaps?
From martial arts to fashion to Health Trainers
Don’t worry if you missed any of these events – we’ve got lots to offer you in February too!
On Tuesday 4 February at 6.30pm we’ve Spirit of the Martial Arts with Goran Powell. Goran is a martial arts author who holds a 5th Dan in karate. His first book Waking Dragons tells of his own mental, physical and spiritual preparation for the brutal 30 Man Kumite, one of karate’s toughest tests. His award-winning novels A Sudden Dawn and Chojun revolve around Zen and the traditional martial arts of Kung Fu and Karate. He will talk about and read from his new novel Matryoshka which touches on the fascinating link between Christianity and the newly-popular Russian martial arts. There are still a few tickets left so come along if you can.
To celebrate London Fashion Week in February for the Autumn /Winter 2014 collections, expert fashion management consultant David Jones and guest speakers will be speaking about the fashion industry. This is ideal for those that are thinking of starting a fashion business as a designer, retailer, importer or exporter. David Joneshas worked in the clothing and fashion industry for 40 years and for the last 15 years has run his own consultancy, David Jones Fashion Management Services, specialising in fashion. This session is in partnership with Colin Rutt, Consultant and Business Advisor from Portobello Business Centre. This will take place on Thursday 27 February, 6 to 8pm, tickets are £10 and can be booked on Eventbrite.
We’re really pleased to announce that we’ll have Health Trainers at the library once a month. So whether you’d like to be fitter, change your eating habits, give up smoking or just feel a bit better about yourself, the Health Trainers can offer you guidance and information, in private, in person and for free. These drop-in sessions are the first Wednesday of every month, 11am to 1pm and the first session will be this Wednesday 5 February.
…And not forgetting the kids!
It’ll be half term in February so we’ve planned lots of exciting events to keep the kids entertained!
On Monday 17 February, 2 to 4pm we have a Fashion Design Workshop for children aged 10+. This workshop delivers a unique experience for budding fashionistas.
Take a crash course in the fashion design process
Experiment with drawing
Develop a colour palette
Select fabrics for your designs
Formulate ideas through illustration
Sessions are led by Jennifer Sturrock, a graduate of London College of Fashion, who has worked in London-based fashion studios, gained experience in knitwear design with DKNY in New York City and developed sample designs for a luxury Parisian label. All materials will be provided. Places are free but strictly limited so do book a place soon so you’re not disappointed!
For younger kids (4 to 10) we’ll have a half term story and craft session Thursday 20 February, 3 to 4pm. These are great sessions – a chance to listen to a good story & then get crafty. No need to book a place – just turn up!
Oh and last but not least we’re really lucky to have Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea at the library on Wednesday 19 February, 1 to 1.30pm. This will be a fun interactive performing arts session which will include storytelling, puppetry, singing and movement. It’ll be suitable for children 0 to 7 years.
Hello to you all from the staff at Kensington Central Library. We’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you’re planning on visiting us over the holidays please check our Christmas and New Year opening hours first.
We’ve had another busy month so read on to find out what’s been happening.
To see what other events we have check out our What’s On page on our website.
Tri-borough Reference Librarian
New signage at Kensington Central Library
It’s been a long time coming but we finally have some new signage in the adult lending and children’s libraries. I really enjoyed working with the borough’s designer and the graphics company to ensure we got the signage we needed. It was fascinating learning about fonts, types of signs and even staying late to supervise the installation. We really hope our customers find the library easier to use.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..
The staff have done an excellent job at decorating the library for this special time – hope you like our decorations!
We also had a very special visitor on Friday 20 December – Father Christmas made time in his busy schedule to attend our baby rhyme time. Kids and adults alike very pleased to see him and he felt like a celebrity with all the photos that were taken!
At our last story and craft session on Saturday 21 December – the children had great fun making Christmas wreaths using paper plates, green paper and red glitter.
Adult Learners’ Week is the UK’s largest annual festival of learning, inspiring thousands of people to discover how learning can change their lives.
It is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits learning can bring, and to inspire adults of all ages to try something new. We have events in five of our libraries during Adult Learners’ Week -we hope to see you there!
What makes people happy?
Sharing the practical lessons from well-being research – Birkbeck academics have put together a series free of workshops which unpack cutting-edge research from a range of disciplines to help you better understand the science behind the smile, as well as giving you practical tips to increase your well-being.
Please book your free place for these sessions on Eventbrite.
How to be happy: some quick wins (and losses)
Saturday 18 May, 10 to 11.30am, Brompton Library
This workshop will focus on what psychologists have learnt about the science of happiness, in particular the characteristics that allow people to remain hopeful and optimistic in the face of challenging and busy lives. We will also explore how this knowledge has been translated into practical interventions that increase hope and optimism. Participants should leave with ideas around how to translate this information into small and meaningful improvements to their own levels of hope and optimism and those in their care.
Using positive psychology to stay healthy and happy in your work
Monday 20 May, 10 to 11.30am, Brompton Library
Find out how to safeguard and improve your happiness and well-being in professional settings. This workshop will help you better understand the science behind the smile, as well as giving you practical tips and strategies to increase your well-being.
Saturday 18 May, 10.30am to 1pm, Notting Hill Gate Library
Friday 24 May, 12 noon to 1.30pm, Brompton Library
Learn, chat and make with the Crocheting Divas. All materials and equipment will be provided – all you need to bring is your enthusiasm and creativity. There’s no need to book a place – just come along.
Online taster sessions
Want to do more online? Please book your free place for any of these sessions at Chelsea Reference Library.
Social media: how to make the most of Facebook, Twitter and more
Tuesday 21 May, 2 to 4pm, Chelsea Reference Library
Beyond Google: high quality learning materials available free from your library
Wednesday 22 May, 10am to 12 noon, Chelsea Reference Library
Career information online: finding the best career and training information for you
Thursday 23 May, 12 noon to 2pm, Chelsea Reference Library
Colville Community History slideshow and talk
Tuesday 21 May, 5.30 to 7.30pm, North Kensington Library
Colville Community History Project’s Tom Vague presents a slideshow and talk about the history of the area. Come along to join in the discussion, share your experiences and find out more about the Colville Community History Project. Please book a free place for this event at North Kensington Library.
Writing Creatively in Kensington – a creative writing workshop
Wednesday 22 May, 1.30 to 4.30pm, Kensington Central Library
Using photos and other artefacts from our Local Studies Library to inspire creativity participants will be encouraged to write their own pieces. Please book a free place for this event at Kensington Central Library.
Deep Recording Studios – information stall
Wednesday 22 May, 12 noon to 4.30pm, Chelsea Library
Want to find out more about music technology or sound engineering? Then come along to our information stall run by Deep Recording Studios in West London. They run Levels 1,2 and 3 City and Guilds accredited Music Technology and Sound Engineering Courses (no qualifications required). Deep has a fully operational recording studio facility near Ladbroke Grove tube station in West London, running Logic Pro and Pro Tools music software .
Hand Sewing Workshop – make a felt badge with Eithne Farry
Thursday 23 May, 2 to 4pm, Kensington Central Library
Are you passionate about clothes and accessories? Would love to create something of your own, but are unsure of how to get started? Then come along to our hand sewing workshop with Eithne Farry, where you will create your own badge out of felt.
Please book your free place for this workshop at Kensington Central Library.
How to Use Skype – over 50s session with Open Age
Friday 24 May, 10am to 12 noon, North Kensington Library
Are you over 50? Have you heard about Skype? Skype allows people to talk for free to friends and family around the world via a computer using the internet. Come along to this session to learn how to use Skype. Places are strictly limited for this class, so please book your place early at North Kensington Library.
Welcome to our first blog post of 2013 and let me wish Happy New Year to you from all the staff at Kensington Central Library.
I’m aware that our last post didn’t contain anything from our reference library so this month we have two members of the reference team introducing themselves and telling us a little more about what they do. First up is Colin Clare who tells us about the borough’s A to Z Director, followed by Nina Risoli who tells us about her job as a reference librarian.
Make the most of your local community – the RBKC A to Z Directory
I work in our reference libraries at Kensington Central and Chelsea libraries. I am part of a small team that maintains and update all the entries in the borough’s A to Z directory.
Need to find a local doctor or dentist or perhaps find out about your local leisure centre, Councillor or school? Well you can, by logging onto the local information database for the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, www.rbkc.gov.uk and look for the A to Z Directory. This is a valuable source of information containing details about clubs, organisations and Council services as well as charities, youth organisations, voluntary organisations, sports clubs and much more.
It is the definitive source that will enable you to get the most out of living in the Kensington & Chelsea area and to find instant details about your community. The database receives over 65,000 visits each month making it one of the most popular sections of the website.
When they hear I work as a librarian people often say to me: “How lovely, you must read a lot at work!”, and I try to explain that reading is not really a major part of my working day.
I am a reference librarian in Kensington Central Reference library and my main duties include answering enquiries from visitors to the library and those that arrive via post, email or telephone. This is the interesting part of my job as people come with a huge variety of questions and requests. I am also responsible for managing stock, making sure we have the right books on the shelves, that they are in good condition, in date and relevant to our users. I also spend a lot of time promoting library services and our online resources, as well as training staff and public to use these resources – I’ve recently written for the blog about some of our online resources. I also organise tours of the library and events to promote special collections such as Chelsea’s fashion and costume collection for library staff, students and visitors.
Although in truth there is rarely time to do any reading at work, I do love my job for the variety it offers and the opportunity to learn something new each day.
If you’re interested to see more of our biography collection then book a place on one of our tours. They are on the following days and times:
Tuesday 15 January, 2 to 3pm
Thursday 17 January, 6.30 to 7.30pm
Friday 18 January, 2 to 3pm
To book a place please call 020 7361 3010.
More information about these tours and our other upcoming events can be found on our website.
How to make a robin out of paper plates
We were very lucky to have a local story teller, Laura Collins come to the children’s library on 2 January. She told a group of children the story how the robin got his red breast – the children really enjoyed this tale. They enjoyed too making their very own robins out of two paper plates with a red breast out of tissue paper!
Me and my colleague, Gemma Baker made a robin each to show the children what to do. The ones the children made were much better!
We have story and craft sessions during every school holiday – look out for posters in the children’s library for the next session and on our website.