Mental Health Awareness Week – Surviving or Thriving?

Read, learn and connect with us during this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week –

Libraries’ positive contribution to the mental well-being of the population is well documented – see the Arts Council’s publication on ‘The health and wellbeing benefits of public libraries.’ 

I say population and not just customers or residents as it has been said that living near a library and, indeed, just walking past a library has a positive effect on one’s emotional and mental well-being.

Of course we in libraries are keen to invite people to come through the doors and experience the well-being benefits first hand. The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘Surviving or Thriving’ which encourages us to look at our physical and mental well-being.

Some of our offers are more obviously health focused, our health information displays encourage us to feed our brains with the right food and suggest ways to be more active, as well as giving information on managing and living well with chronic conditions.  Poor physical health can be a drain on our mental and emotional strength and poor mental health can lead to inactivity, poor diet and so the cycle continues.

One way to break cycles of unhelpful thoughts and behaviours is cognitive behavioural therapy and in the West London Clinical Commissioning Group area there is Time to Talk, a free psychological therapy service.

In order to help people decide whether this service is for them or for support while waiting for a referral, or during, or after therapy, the libraries’ Reading Well Books on Prescription collections are recommended by GPs and health promotion specialists. A new collection put together to support those living with chronic conditions will be launched in July this year.

The Reading Well Books on Prescription initiative is part of our Bibliotherapy offer. Our libraries host read aloud groups in partnership with The Reader Organisation. These facilitator led Book Break groups meet every week and give members the opportunity to join in reading aloud from good literature and discuss what has been read over a cup of tea or coffee or just sit back, listen and enjoy the company.

It is encouraging to look at how we in libraries contribute to what is called ‘the wider determinants of health’  All the things in our lives that support us, family, work, employment, housing, finances, education, lifelong learning, English classes, coffee mornings, knitting groups, activities for children and teenagers, employment advice, business information points for entrepreneurs old and young, all these available in libraries.

Libraries have always been inspirational and aspirational encouraging us to ask for more learning and knowledge and skills to create meaningful lives for ourselves and our families.

There are also some very good enjoyable fiction books available free to borrow hard copy or online! See our new book displays or see what eBooks and eMagazines we have. Did you know that reading for as little as six minutes can improve mental well-being?

See what you can do this Mental Health Awareness week to look after your own mental well-being, eat well, sleep well, go for a walk in one of our gorgeous parks and yes, visit your local library.

Kate Gielgud
Health Information Co-ordinator

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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”

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

 

Bringing Books to Life at Brompton’s Chatterbooks

Brompton Librarian, Steph, writes…

As you all know, Chatterbooks is the monthly reading group for 8 to 12 yr olds and is a forum for young book lovers to discuss and discover authors and titles they have enjoyed.

At this week’s session we concentrated on the “discovering” as we explored the weird but decidedly wonderful world of augmented reality books. For those who haven’t a clue what I’m talking about, with the help of a tablet and a free downloadable app the books come to life. Thanks to the stock team we had one book on dinosaurs and another on the solar system. In the iDinosaur book we watched a dinosaur hatch from its egg, another one walked out of the book, onto the carpet and under the table, roaring as it went.

Cover of iDinosaur book
This ferocious book cover hides some amazing 3D surprises…

With the help of the solar system app (iSolarSystemAR) all the planets were orbiting around the sun in (Learning) Space! The children and parents were suitably impressed and amazed and were all keen to have a go with the library iPads. Many thanks to Sally from the Stock Team, and Fiora for helping me with the two books shared between 6 children!

Picture of 3D dinosaur springing from idinosaur book
Download the free app and, using your smartphone, see dinosaurs come to life!

After exhausting the possibilities of the books, they had time to write a few lines about what they had just seen and start on a dinosaur and solar system word search.

So, it wasn’t a typical Chatterbooks session but I think our eyes were opened not only to the subjects of dinosaurs and the planets but also to new ways of learning and interacting with new technology. Now we’re buying more books and exploring more opportunities for showing them off to our users, young and old!

Picture of iSolarSytem App in action, with moons rotating around a planet
You can download the iSolarSystemAR app and try this at home!

If you’d like to see the books in action with ipads, give Brompton a ring and we’ll arrange a mutually convenient time for you to come along and try them out. Alternatively, you can borrow an augmented reality book and use your smart device to bring them to life.

Find the apps on the Apple Store/ Google Play.

Some titles you can borrow to begin with:

iDinosaur

iSolarSystem

iStorm

Book Award round up

Sally Connew-Volpe, Triborough Stock Librarian, writes:

The Miniaturist by Jessie BurtonHave you seen our Book Awards page?

We’ve gathered all the contenders and winners of the UK’s most popular literary awards in one place! So if you’re keen to read a whole shortlist, want to know what all the fuss is about a particular winner, or are just looking for a great book to read – take a look. All our book lists link straight in to the library catalogue, so you can find out which libraries hold copies of the book you’re after and whether they’re available (you can reserve from here too).

The book awards we feature include the Man Booker, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Specsavers National Book Award and many more!

Book Awards page - part of the RBKC library catalogue
Book Awards page – part of the RBKC library catalogue

Why not try The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (above) – winner of the 2014 Waterstones Book of the Year, winner of Book of the Year and Best New Writer in the 2014 Specsavers National Book Awards. This is a wonderful read set in 1686 Amsterdam. It follows eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman as she arrives from a small village to the Amsterdam household of merchant trader Johannes Brand, her new husband. A gripping story unfolds as she is given a cabinet by her husband containing an exact replica of their house.

The Paying Guests by Sarah WatersTake a look too through the excellent shortlist for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, including the latest book by Sarah Waters: The Paying Guests. The winner will be announced in just a couple of weeks!

Each time a new shortlist is announced, the lists are refreshed – but we are gradually building a ’round up’ list of past prizewinners, so you can always be sure to find some great quality reading.

Borrow one today!

 

The Brompton roundup- January 2014

A Belated Happy New Year to all our friends and readers!

We hope you all had wonderful holidays and are ready to face the joys and challenges of 2014. If you are new to this blog, it is an insight into some of the great activities and events that have taken place recently or will be happening soon. It also allows our staff to share their thoughts and experiences of working in our library. Enjoy!

Resident pop-culture geek Christian Stevens writes: Every week Brompton receives new stock that is tailored to suit the demands of our readers and local residents. Some of our new titles that I would recommend for fans of adventure books are popular titles such as Clive Cussler’s Mirage and The Tombs, as well as Chris Ryan’s Extreme Most Wanted. I have also ordered in some new graphic novels including Crecy and Fell, two great books from one of my all-time favourite writers – the legendary Warren Ellis, and the first three volumes of Ghostbusters by IDW -a stylish comic adaptation of the original movies including fantastically ghoulish artwork and amusing storylines that really captures the feel of the 1984 classic movie. I would also recommend checking out the new thriller movie Jack Reacher (based on popular Lee Child novel One Shot), in which Tom Cruise is surprisingly watchable as the eponymous former military police officer called in to deal with a mass-murdering sniper. Sports fans can now also rent a copy of Rush starring Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt, whose fierce rivalry with Niki Lauda during the 1976 Formula One season is legendary.

They say the greatest wealth is health, well now you can get some free advice from a health trainer on the second Wednesday of every month between 2-4pm. This is a chance for anyone over 18 to get a free health-check, diet advice and healthy lifestyle information to help you reach your personal goals.

Our Health Trainer
Our Health Trainer

 

Our Communities, Our Stories

Stephanie Webb Librarian, writes: Here at Brompton we’re half way through a really exciting project bringing together older residents with young local school children. We’re working with the lovely “Celebrate My Library” (Hilary and Victoria) and our new partners, the Kensington and Chelsea Older Residents Forum.

Planning the sessions
Planning the sessions

We had a planning meeting with our older residents at the beginning of January and then mid-month we had the first event giving our 2 groups time to compare life as a child during and after WW2 with life as a child now. The kids couldn’t believe the older residents didn’t eat pizza when they were young and but our young Philippina could chat away quite happily with the older Trinidadian resident who was brought up among fruit trees and farm animals!

Our Community, Our Stories
Our Community, Our Stories. The dress you can see hanging up is the blue silk wedding dress that belonged to the mother of one of our residents.

 

Working at the clothes table our young volunteer works on a mood board to convey fashion of the rich and famous of the time.
Working at the clothes table our young volunteer works on a mood board to convey fashion of the rich and famous of the time.

At the end of the session each young person read out their creative writing which Celebrate My Library have taken away to craft into a fantastic book. At the beginning of March we’ll all get to together again for the book to be revealed and to celebrate a fantastic experience all round.

We had great feedback from young and old alike who all thought it was an excellent idea and the older residents especially said how much they’d enjoyed it!

Hieroglyphics Workshop at Brompton Chatterbooks

Think like an Egyptian!

This month the Chatterbooks reading group explored one of the most ancient languages and created their own words and phrases out of the symbols.

Children learnt about hieroglyphs by writing and reading, using a worksheet and a number of games. The group focused on hieroglyphs related to pharaohs or to gods.

They also wrote their names in the beautiful ancient Egyptian script.

By Babita Sinha; Senior Customer Services Assistant

Love Music, Love Reading

David Bushell; resident rock-star and graphic designer, writes: One of the best things about working in the library is constantly coming across the hidden gems on the shelves. I’m always surprised by how many items I see where I think “oh, I want to read that!” or in the case of the CD collection, “oh I want to listen to that!” Coming across the critically acclaimed Neil Young autobiography, I thought the same, and again when sorting through the ‘Y’ section in the music catalogue. This gave me the idea of the current display, where you can choose from a wide range of music related biographies, and in some cases, issue the CD to listen to as well. Perhaps, if you’re in the mood, you can give yourself a sound track while you read! If you love music and reading as much as I do, this can be for you.

New books and music at Brompton
New books and music at Brompton