Escape the tinsel, mince pies and mulled wine madness with a good book- tell the family you’re off to wrap some presents, disappear into the spare room with a cup of tea (or g&t) for a couple of hours, and let them get on with Christmas while you lose yourself in a bit of reading…
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!
And in honour of Science Week Britannica Online have created a special microsite to celebrate some of the scientists who have made remarkable inventions and discoveries, leading to major advances in the field of science.
You will find links to articles about a variety of people who have made contributions to the scientific community. These articles will help you complete the quiz, word search and crossword.
Britannica Online have also created a diagram that shows well known scientific fields and their notable scientists; many scientists fall into more than one field!
Take a look and try the quiz! You’ll also find lesson plans, activities, biographies and other media to entertain and inform.
Natasha, Senior Customer Services Assistant at Kensal library, writes…
It’s been a busy six months at Kensal Library, with a packed program of events for our young users. Below, we share pictures from some of the stand out sessions.
March: African Dance Session
We had an African Dance Session in March. As you can tell from the photos, it was a great experience and everyone had a lot of fun and enjoyed the music.
Mother’s Day Craft
We made wonderful Mother’s Day rosettes in March and the children couldn’t wait to give them to their mums.
Bear Hunt in the Library!
We had the bear hunt in conjunction with Go Golborne in May. The children wore great bear hats and the hunt around the library proved to be as adventurous as any real bear hunt! All of this was followed by tasty, healthy snacks.
A stall in front of the library about healthy eating also proved to be very popular.
Mini Beasts & Creepy Crawlies:
In June we had a Minibeast workshop hosted by Holland Park Ecology Centre. The children had a chance to hold and examine a hissing cockroach or a giant Madagascan millipede. Lots of interesting questions and observations were made and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the workshop.
Now it’s finally summer and we are looking forward to this year’s Summer Reading Challenge – Record Breakers – which starts on 11 July. Come along and register for great incentives and a super gold medal if you complete the challenge.
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…
“Good afternoon. My name’s Peter Grant, I’m from the police and this is my colleague Beverley Brook, who’s a river in south London.”
Rivers of London, p146
April in Libraries means CityRead, a London-wide book club, and this year’s book is the aptly named ‘Rivers of London.’ Part police procedural, part high fantasy complete with wizards, ghosts and vampires, Rivers of London is above all grounded in its setting – the grand, gritty, sprawling mass of London.
On Monday, author Ben Aaronovitch visited Kensington Central library as part of his tour of ALL the London boroughs (do check out his highly entertaining blog, wherein he charts this heroic journey). The event was a roaring success and it was followed later in the evening by the Central Library Reading group, who met to discuss the book.
It’s still not too late to pick up a copy at your local library – we even have some free copies to give away – and join the biggest book club in London. If you missed your local reading group, you can always share your thoughts about the book with us in the comments below.
I canvassed my colleagues – many of whom read and loved Rivers of London – for their quick reviews and thoughts.
Mike, Director of Libraries, wrote:
Harry Potter grows up and joins The Bill. Subterranean excitement, with murder and supernatural goings on along London’s lost rivers… whilst Rivers of London isn’t something I’d have chosen for myself I was very glad I read it and can also see exactly why it works so well as a CityRead title.
Librarian Sandeep, said:
A gripping series of books with great touches of London which you must get round to reading. Surely the TV series cannot be far away where Peter Grant and co would be brought to life! Also, look out for the graphic novel, which Ben is drip-feeding via his blog and Twitter.
Community Development Manager Chris, said:
It’s the best fiction book I have read in a long time. Ben’s love of the West End, where a lot of the book is set, and of London generally underpins the book and sets the scene, but the main joy of the story is the fascinating characters he has created and who develop as the books progress through a series of supernatural mysteries. When I first heard of the books I was doubtful I would enjoy them (I never liked Harry Potter for instance) but once you try them you are hooked!
Stock Librarian Sally said,
What I loved the most about Rivers of London was how, as a Londoner, I recognised so many of the places the story takes us – from Covent Garden to Wapping; the old school glamour of J. Sheekey Oyster Bar to the Bow Magistrates Court – but all with added little nuggets of history I never knew or suspected. This is a great book for Londoners; it made me love and appreciate my home city a little bit more.
And lastly, Adewale wrote:
A misleading title! I thought it was going to be a about the rivers of London! Was disappointed that neither the Rivers Quaggy nor Ravensbourne were mentioned – very good read, though!
Click here for more information about what’s on this month at your local library.
The Cityread London website has more information about what’s going on around London, and how you can get involved.
Have you ever had that sinking feeling – perhaps in the middle of a holiday – as you realise you’ve forgotten to renew your library books? Do you find yourself wondering if the interesting-yet-obscure book you just discovered at a friend’s house, or in a shop, is in stock at your local library?
All this could be a thing of the past with the “Library Anywhere” mobile app! Library Anywhere – free from the App Store and Google Play – gives you access to your library account information, opening times and much more. Search for items on the Library Catalogue, place holds and renew your borrowed items wherever you are. The app comes with a handy option for scanning barcodes so you can easily check to see if that cool looking book is indeed available at your local branch.
Katie Collis, Brompton Library, writes: Here at Brompton Library we thought it would be fitting to celebrate the life of Sir Terry Pratchett, whose books were loved by millions of people all over the world.
I asked the staff at Brompton which books they particularly liked and, not surprisingly, I had very different responses.
Christian: “As a kid I loved comedy shows on TV, everything from Fry and Laurieto Red Dwarfand The Detectives but when it came to reading, I was only interested in dark horror books by Stephen King and James Herbert or science fiction comics. Terry Pratchett changed all of that for me.
When a friend introduced me to the Discworld novels I became addicted to the series, as it seemed to capture the kind of Monty Python humour that I loved, but in a fantasy novel setting. I really connected with the sarcasm and humour of the characters, especially Rincewind the Wizard and Death who seemed to possess very human qualities despite such a fantastical setting. Terry Pratchett should rightly be remembered as a national treasure, whose quintessentially British wit and incredible imagination will be enjoyed by young and older readers for a very long time to come. RIP Sir.”
Elisabeth: “There is nobody quite like Terry Pratchett. His books could be sly and tongue-in-cheek, but always witty and warm too. The first book I read was ‘Guards! Guards!’ after which I wanted to read more about this fantastic world he had created. There were so many enjoyable characters: Captain Vimes and Constable Carrot – and not forgetting the Librarian!”
Katie: “At school, I watched lots of children devouring Pratchett’s books but it wasn’t until my early twenties that I randomly picked up ‘Good Omens’(which he co-wrote with Neil Gaiman) and instantly loved the world and characters they both created. I really enjoyed the TV productions of ‘The Colour of Magic’ and other Discworld programmes which led me onto reading his books. I really admired his unflinching and unsentimental approach to his illness and his contributions to developing treatments for Alzheimer’s and dementia. In this he has left a legacy and a legion of books that will be loved again and again.”