Anyone for tennis?

To get us in the mood for next month’s Wimbledon Tennis Championships, our Biography Collection display for June (in the foyer of the Lending Library at Kensington Central Library) features stars of the Wimbledon courts from the distant and more recent past.

One of the most interesting features of our unique collection is that its huge breadth and scope (over 80,000 volumes spanning more than two centuries) allows the opportunity to rediscover names that have receded over the decades, as well as those we grew up with (who in the 50-ish age group can forget the flowing hairstyles and theatrical tantrums of Wimbledon in the 70s?!) and those we’ll be hearing a lot of again over the next few weeks.

So, we’ll be displaying a fascinating book on Maud Watson, who was the first ever Ladies’ Singles champion in 1884 (though the MBE she eventually received was not for her tennis glory but for her work as a nurse during the First World War).  Victorian modesty prevailed even on the courts, and it is difficult to imagine how she played at all in a floor length skirt over corset and petticoats. Alongside her will be much more recent, glossily illustrated books on the likes of Andy Murray and Serena Williams.

I have to admit my knowledge of tennis could be written on a ticket for Centre Court, but the stories in these books cover universal themes of ambition, glory, struggle and how emotions and relationships are managed in the glare of publicity and the rigour of remorseless training from a very young age.  And that thwack of ball on racket, against the cheers and groans of the crowd, must be one of the most evocative sounds of this time of year.

If you would like to learn more about our special collection of biographies, we will be having an event on Wednesday 14 June, from 2 to 3pm as part of the Festival of Learning. We will be giving an introduction to the collection and then a chance to look at some of our most interesting books.  Book a free place at your nearest Kensington and Chelsea library.

And we have more info here about our other Festival of Learning events.

The Biography Store Team at Kensington Central Library

Dementia Awareness Week 2017

 

Hot on the winged heels of Mental Health Awareness week (thank you to all colleagues and partners who helped get that information out there) we are promoting Dementia Awareness Week (14 to 21 May 2017), an Alzheimer’s Society initiative, in our libraries.  There are so many myths around Dementia and that is why we recommend the Reading Well books on prescription dementia list.

This is a varied carefully chosen collection consisting of evidenced and researched information books, alongside fascinating and moving personal histories. It also includes a children’s picture book to help younger readers understand beloved members of their families who have been diagnosed with one of 100 conditions that come under the umbrella of Dementia.  Check out the craft book for creative ways of engaging those living well with Dementia.  It is a helpful and uplifting collection.

The second initiative I want tell you about is the Dementia Friends sessions happening this week which are run by a trained Dementia champion. They are relaxed and informative sessions that engage us in such a way that unhelpful fears and misinformation around the subject can be openly discussed and real facts and practical tips on creating Dementia friendly services and how to reach out and support those living well with Dementia come to light.

There are Dementia Friends sessions later this week  at two libraries in our neighbouring borough, Westminster.  These sessions are open to everyone and I urge you to recommend them or even come along yourself:

◾Tuesday 16 May, 1pm at Pimlico Library
◾Friday 19 May, 11am at Church Street Library

Kate Gielgud
Health Information Co-ordinator

#MondayMotivation – Learning Online

Your library membership is access to a world of information.

We are encouraging you to get the most from your local libraries, by making use of our great range of free online learning courses. Getting access to quality training materials can be expensive – but you can get them for free from us and once registered, you can have access to these materials whenever and wherever you want.

Let me introduce you to Learning Nexus, Universal Class, Go Citizen, and Driving Theory Test Pro!

Continue reading “#MondayMotivation – Learning Online”

New books for August

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Girl on the Train

YOU DON’T KNOW HER. BUT SHE KNOWS YOU.

Rear Window meets Gone Girl, in this exceptional and startling psychological thriller
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same s even started to feel like she she calls them. Their
life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on,
but it’s enough.
Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives
she’s only watched from afar.
Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train … Continue reading “New books for August”

Brompton Library Graphic Novel Reading Group

Hello and welcome to the Brompton Library Graphic Novel Reading Group. We talk about comics, graphic novels, web-comics and pop culture.

For August’s session (Thursday 4th, 6pm), we will be discussing cult classic ‘GHOST WORLD’ by Daniel Clowes. The book was made into a film featuring Scarlett Johansson, Thora Birch and Steve Buscemi in 2001. Continue reading “Brompton Library Graphic Novel Reading Group”

Welcome to the RBKC Libraries blog…

Kensington Central Reference Library
Kensington Central Reference Library

Welcome to our new blog, where we hope to entertain and inform you about everything to do with Kensington and Chelsea’s libraries! Sign up for posts about fun things that that we do, events that we’ve organised, what our bookclubs think about their current read, and more. We’ll also be posting regularly about our special collections, so you can find out more about the treasures we have on our shelves…

Brompton Library Graphic Novel Reading Group – July

For July’s session (Thursday 7th, 6pm), we will be discussing the graphic novel behemoth that is ‘WATCHMEN’ by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons:

WatchmenGN

“In an alternate world where the mere presence of American superheroes changed history, the US won the Vietnam War, Nixon is still president, and the cold war is in full effect. ”

Watchmen begins as a murder-mystery, but soon unfolds into a planet-altering conspiracy.

In the mid-eighties, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons created Watchmen, changing the course of comic history and essentially remaking how popular culture perceived the genre. Popularly cited as the point where comics came of age, Watchmen’s sophisticated take on superheroes has been universally acclaimed for its psychological depth and realism.”

If you have any other suggestions for the reading list then please let me know and we’ll try our best to accommodate.

So far we have the following for consideration:

  • Ghost World
  • Transmetropolitan
  • Sandman
  • 20th century Boys
  • Promethia
  • Fight Club
  • Swamp Thing
  • Democracy
  • Trees
  • Diary of a Teenage Girl
  • Miracleman
  • Hip Hop Family Tree
  • Pride of Baghdad
  • The Bad Doctor
  • Y: The Last Man

The reading group takes place on the first Thursday evening of every month.

See you there! Bring snacks!

David Bushell
Customer Services Assistant
Brompton Library

Kensal Library’s weekly Crochet/Knit group

Kensal Library’s weekly Crochet/Knit group were delighted to be interviewed for our blog and very eager to show off their beautiful handiwork.

So amongst all the thread, needles, fabrics and the odd packet of biscuits we settled down to have a chat and examine the knitting and crochet work.

They all agreed that the best thing about the group was the friendships they had made and the social aspect, of meeting together and having a general chat, almost like receiving therapy! The entire group look forward to Mondays.

You can join the group at any level so you don’t need to be a pro or a beginner just come along and try it out and Tuula Petitlo the tutor will guide and assist you.

As one member Elizabeth said –“I learned how to cross stitch here and Tuula has been very good, teaching me how to progress”.

Tuula also took part in a successful family workshop at North Kensington Library in January; Harry Potter Hogwarts Scarf Knitting where Tuula taught some basic knitting stitches to some very excited children.

Faith Ndirangu who works with ‘Healthier life 4 you’ who help and administer the crochet and knit group explains that the sessions often include health visits from professionals e.g. Stop Smoking and Healthy Eating.

The group have also showcased their work at events like the Golborne Festival, the Portobello Christmas Fete, at St Charles Hospital and the Age UK Health Fair at Kensington Town Hall.

So if you want to join a fun friendly group and learn something new then this could be the one for you!

  • Crochet/Knit – Mondays 1pm to 3pm,  Kensal Library

We have lots of books at Kensal Library and in our catalogue, to help you learn or improve your crocheting and knitting techniques.

 

By Natasha Chaoui
Senior Customer Services Assistant, Kensal Library

Calling all comic fans!

Save the date – Saturday 7 May is free Comic Book Day! And libraries are taking part, courtesy of the lovely folks at Forbidden Planet who are providing the comics to us.

FCDRBKC

Across North America and around the world, comic shops will be giving away free comics.

Free Comic Book Day is the perfect occasion for newcomers to comics as well as those who have been reading them for years to celebrate comics and discover new titles that debut on the first Saturday in May,” said Free Comic Book Day spokesperson Dan Manser.

You can collect yours from your local library! Why not check out their graphic novel collections while you are there and see what else your library has to offer.

There is a Dr Who title, a Superhero Girls title and selected libraries will also have Suicide Squad (suitable for teens and over only).

Look for the posters in participating libraries, or see the list below. One title per customer, while stocks last.

Kensington Central, Notting Hill Gate, Kensal, Brompton, North Kensington

 

Top 10 giveaways for World Book Night

Just a quick update about World Book Night, where over 100 books were given away for free to happy customers! In case you missed the fun, these are the titles we gave away…and they’re available on our catalogue for all!

 

reasons_to_stay_aliveReasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. Aged 24, Matt Haig’s world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive…

 

now_you_see_meNow You See Me by Sharon Bolton. A savage murder on London’s streets, 120 years to the day since Jack the Ripper claimed his first victim. A crime with all the hallmarks of a copycat killer. Detective Constable Lacey Flint has never worked a murder case, until now. When another mutilated victim is found she agrees to be the bait to lure out the monster. But this killer is one step ahead, and already fixated on Lacey . . .

 

love_poemsLove Poems by Carol Ann Duffy. Whether writing of longing or adultery, seduction or simple homely acts of love, Carol Ann Duffy brings to her readers the truth of each experience. Her poetry speaks of tangled, heated passion; of erotic love; fierce and hungry love; unrequited love; and of the end of love.

 

rotters_clubThe Rotters’ Club by Jonathan Coe. Jonathan Coe’s widely acclaimed novel is set in the 1970s against a distant backdrop of strikes, terrorist attacks and growing racial tension. A group of young friends inherit the editorship of their school magazine and begin to put their own distinctive spin onto events in the wider world.

 

theodore_booneTheodore Boone by John Grisham. When it comes to giving advice on divorce issues and impounded pets, 13-year-old Theodore Boone is first choice with his teachers and classmates. Theo knows more about the law than most lawyers. But he also knows he has no business getting involved in his home town’s first murder trial in years…

 

10_daysaTen Days by Gillian Slovo. It’s 4 a.m. and Cathy Mason is watching dawn break over the Lovelace estate. By the end of the day, her community will be a crime scene. By the end of the week, her city will be on fire. (Also this year’s brilliant Cityread title)

 

 

pearl_earringGirl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. Griet, the young daughter of a tilemaker in 17th century Holland, obtains her first job as a servant in Vermeer’s household. She loves being drawn into his artistic life, but the cost to her own survival may be high.

 

 

private_peacefulPrivate Peaceful by Michael Morpurguo. Told in the voice of a young soldier, the story follows 24 hours in his life on the frontline during World War I, and captures his memories as he looks back over his life. Full of detail and engrossing atmosphere, the book leads to a dramatic and moving conclusion.

 

decemberA Week in December by Sebastian Faulks. London, the week before Christmas, 2007. Over seven days we follow the lives of seven major characters. With daring skill, the novel pieces together the complex patterns and crossings of modern urban life.

 

 

black_hills Black Hills by Nora Roberts. Lil Chance fell in love with Cooper Sullivan pretty much the first time she saw him. Each year, with Coop’s annual summer visit, their friendship deepens – but then abruptly ends. Now they must work together to unearth a killer of twisted and unnatural instincts who has singled them out as prey.