On Thursday, there was a very special event at Kensal Library – over to the staff there to tell us more –
We had so much fun at Kensal Library’s Winter Fair. There was a lot to keep everyone busy from decorating gingerbread men, having your photo taken via the photo booth, arts and crafts, guessing which stocking had the prize, drinking some tasty hot chocolate from the hot chocolate bar, a lucky dip and writing letters to Father Christmas.
The lucky dip proved to be very popular and we’re going through the letters to Father Christmas before posting them to the North Pole to find the best one which will win a prize.
We believe we made a few new friends and we hope to see you all again throughout the new year!
Thanks to all our helpers: Ayoub, David, Kate, Eve, Isabelle and Sundus.
Merry Christmas from all the staff at Kensal Library!
This year’s Silver Sunday programme launches in the borough on Sunday 1 October.
Kensington and Chelsea residents who are 65 years of age or over are invited to participate in an amazing week long programme of mostly free activities and events to celebrate their contribution to community life.
The aim is to increase health and well-being by reducing social isolation through introducing older residents to new activities, meeting new people and staying active and involved in their communities. Some activities are held regularly throughout the year and others are one-off events delivered specifically for Silver Sunday.
If you are not able to get out and about due to physical limitations or ill health, and want to join in from the comfort of your own home, the Phone Club is a free and friendly activity that you can take part in on Monday and Thursday during Silver Sunday week and throughout the year too. Topics include: current affairs, health, food and culture.On 1 October why not join in and –
take the opportunity of visiting the Design Museum, the world’s leading museum devoted to contemporary design, at its new location in Kensington High Street and explore your creative side with a range of design briefs (tea, coffee and cake provided)
grab your dancing shoes and join in the Open Age dance-a-thon with fantastic music and instructors
discover what goes on behind the scenes at the English National Ballet and take part in their artistic dance activity which improves physical and mental health and well-being through creative expression
join a tour of Lord’s Cricket Ground and then relax with an afternoon tea and watch a cricket match
add a little colour to your windowsill or balcony by planting up winter pansies and spring bulbs at Sybil Thorndike House in Earl’s Court (planter, compost and flowers/bulbs provided as well as refreshments)
visit 18 Stafford Terrace (the preserved Victorian family home of Punch cartoonist Linley Sambourne) and discover what life was like back then
These are just some of the events that you can choose from and you don’t have to go on your own – why not invite a friend, family member or carer to join you.
You can find the full programme of events on the borough’s website – most activities and events are free of charge, some have limited space and others need to be booked in advance.
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.
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:
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!
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”→
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…
For July’s session (Thursday 7th, 6pm), we will be discussing the graphic novel behemoth that is ‘WATCHMEN’ by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons:
“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:
20th century Boys
Diary of a Teenage Girl
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!
Customer Services Assistant
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