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.
Our latest project Trellick Tales brings to life the heritage of Grade II listed building Trellick Tower. This year-long programme of free weekly drama and heritage sessions will develop your skills in research, oral history interviews, curating and performance, which will all be accredited.
The first Trellick Tales session of 2016 is on 16th January. We will be having a Welcome Party for young people aged 13-25 years who want to come along and join in!
Creative workshop sessions run every Saturday 12-5pm from the 16th of January and it is a great chance for young people to learn new skills, gain an Arts Award and have fun! The opportunity leads into the creation of an interactive exhibition and performance project.
If you are, did you know that you can borrow e-books from the library – free? We have a great selection and all you need to do is be a library member and then sign up for the e-book service. It’s that simple (unless you have a Kindle… read more below).
Here’s what David, a recently retired library member, thinks of the service:
I love books and reading, sometimes as an alternative to TV and video, sometimes inspired by a TV show, but usually in addition to the TV programmes I choose to watch. I have discovered that I can cope easily with multiple formats! And while I still borrow and buy physical books, I now regularly download and read e-books. With my ipad I can see the news, watch TV or video, listen to music, send emails, and READ BOOKS! I no longer have to carry books around with me when on the move, or even from one room to the next. I can have lots of books with no extra weight. I can read a few pages wherever I am.
Now not all books are available in a e-format, and the joy of browsing the physical shelves is removed. But how about this – without having to leave the comfort of your home, you can go online to the Kensington & Chelsea Libraries ebooks service, find titles or authors that suit your taste and download them to your device absolutely free of charge. After two weeks, the items automatically delete themselves so there’s no risk of overdue charges, and an incentive to get to the last page before the two weeks are up! There are lots of titles to choose from, and new ones are regularly added. The process is straightforward, and you can create wishlists and reserve titles, and have a reminder of what you have previously read. All in all another great aspect of our library service.
So if you’re giving someone an e-reader for Christmas, pop into the library and pick up one of the cards about the e-book service so you can wrap it up with the present – and your loved one can download loads of free books on Christmas Day!
We’ve struck gold this week: a guest blog by our Local Studies Librarian, Dave Walker, with some personal- and local- reflections of WWI.
Like many of the people who work in libraries, archives and museums I’ve spent time this year getting ready for the commemoration of the start of the First World War, looking through archive material, going to meetings and workshops, working on exhibitions and events and answering the first flurry of enquiries on the subject. I’ve never experienced any preparation for a centenary like it. Raising awareness of a profoundly significant historical event and getting people interested in history is never a bad thing. But the First World War is not like other historical events. It’s definitely not like the Second World War.
World War 2 was an unambiguous struggle against evil. We may have had some allies we felt dubious about afterwards, and we may feel regret about some of the methods and weapons used by the Allies but it was a necessary war. That seems to be the general consensus. And I know it from my own family. Both my father and my mother were in the armed forces and believed in the cause for which they were fighting.
But World War 1 is less clear cut. We fought an aggressor who was determined on the domination of Europe (and elsewhere). But the origins of the war are caught up in diplomatic machinations and expediency. And there are many areas of disagreement about the conduct of the war. Were our troops “lions led by donkeys” as Allan Clarke famously put it? Or were the allied commanders as competent as could have been expected given that the technology of warfare was changing so rapidly? Was the Great War a just war against an enemy of civilisation? Or simply the result of one gang of would be imperialists attempting unsuccessfully to supplant another? It wasn’t as it turned out “the war to end wars”. But was it just an accidental outbreak of unjustifiable blood-letting?
It’s harder when the event being remembered is reaching the point of being almost past living memory. As far as my own family is concerned there are a few photos of men in uniform seen in old photo albums and I know about my great uncle John James Williamson who died towards the end of the war too late to travel home on compassionate leave when his mother died. (His brother George made it home and survived the war.)
When it comes to what is being commemorated we can agree that it was the courage and sacrifice of ordinary men and women that we want to remember and the details of ordinary lives. The historians and politicians can argue over the rest.
There is no doubt about the suffering and trauma which ended the long Edwardian summer and propelled us into the 20th century. But if it feels disheartening to contemplate pain, misery and injustice we can remember that this is history. We have the whole span of the war to examine, which is why I have chosen these pictures.
This was the Peace Parade of 1919. Men and women who served in the armed forces or in auxiliary forces are seen marching down Sloane Street (just a part of the whole route) to commemorate the end of the war.
We’re rightly avoiding the word celebration this year. But I think it is right to say that these men and women were celebrating one thing – their own survival. They marched in front of cheering crowds to celebrate the peace, proud of what they had done but glad it was finished.
This is a guest blog, in honour of Mother’s Day (March 30th), written by Kensington Mums, a local network that offers support, advice and information for Kensington parents:
‘Everything I owe, I owe to my mother’. This is one of my favourite quotes. To me motherhood is a dream come true. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a Mum, to be called Mama and to have children of my own. It’s a true blessing. Motherhood comes with a source of responsibility and a sense of fulfilment.
The day I became a Mother was the day I said goodbye to freedom, and solo bathroom trips. There’s no instruction booklet for being the best Mum, you just have to trust your instinct. Teaching your little ones and letting them be the best they can be is a real challenge in life and something every mother will go through. Worry is inevitable, but it’s a learning process and with every challenge along the way there will be amazing ones to come. Its always good to remember that we brought our children to this world and it is our children that help us be the best we can be and help us make memories from the little things in our everyday ordinary lives.
At times, mums will feel alone, confused and loose their true identity as a women in the process. Motherhood has so many different roles and each motherhood journey is unique in its own way. During our Kensington Mums Motherhood exhibition which took place in June 2013, I met many Mums from all walks of life who shared their personal motherhood journey. This day should be celebrated because so many Mother’s work super hard all year round and rarely get the merit they deserve. So although I’m a bit biased, I’m down for it one million percent.
As a Kensington Mum myself, I feel I have so many different roles in my family. Mothers are multi-taskers. Nurturing and celebrating ourselves is the first step towards nurturing and bringing joy to others. We are not just Mums, we are more than a Mum.
A mother is ‘A woman who realizes that no matter what she achieves in life her child is the only unique achievement that marks her life’.
Kensington Mums aims to engage with local Mums to let them know they are not alone while raising their little ones. The best thing a Mum can do is to live the example of a happy, loving relationship, understanding that as mothers they are moulding their children’s views and beliefs about love, relationships, self-worth and the world around them. Off courses fathers also play an important role.
I hope you can all join me and other Mums to put the mmmm into motherhood.
Kensington Mums is an award nominated social media website which supports Mums in their journey to motherhood. Our readers enjoy receiving the weekly scoop keeping them in the loop with local activities, latest trends and family outings. Kensington Mums also organises bespoke events for Mums and their little ones ranging from coffee mornings to mums night out, pamper events and much more…For more information please visit www.kensingtonmums.co.uk You can also find Kensington Mums on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterst, and Youtube.