Swish and Flick!

Duelling

Leanne Bellot, Customer Service Assistant at North Kensington Library, writes:

Time, like the Firebolt, flies. An entire year has already passed since I first wrote about our Harry Potter Book Night hi-jinks. On 4th February 2016, North Kensington Library once again joined the thousands of fans across the globe in celebrating Harry Potter Book Night 2016. The theme, A Night of Spells, opened up a galaxy of ideas, the most ambitious being the creation of Harry Potter Week. Here is a recap of all the mischief we managed!

Harry Potter and Notting Hill Preparatory School: January 20th

The Harry Potter festivities kicked off on January 20th with a year six class visit by Notting Hill Preparatory School. The main theme of the visit was Friends and Foes. Supported by carefully selected extracts from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the children explored the relationships between the main characters, bullying, and Neville’s bravery when he stood up to his friends. Five students were chosen to role play a scene from the book and we would not be surprised if they went on to become thespians!  The following discussions were engaging and lively. The children were all incredibly passionate and shared some really interesting insights into the characters and their behaviours.

Wizard VFX: February 2nd

We were incredibly lucky to host Klaudija Cermak for a second year in a row. If you don’t remember, Klaudija is a visual specialist and worked on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I. I admit, I don’t know much about special effects but I think most would agree with me when I say that the effects used in the Harry Potter movies were brilliant. They look real, and they enhance the magical feel of the films – it’s easy to believe that there is a Wizarding world!  Klaudija was as charismatic as ever and an engaging speaker.

VFX 1

 

Craft Activity: February 3rd

Children were able to create their own diaries,  and make a part of our Diagon alley. No Horcrux in sight!

HP_diaries

 

Harry Potter Book Night: February 4th

I have one word to describe Harry Potter Book Night this year – WOAH!

Firstly, thank you to Chris for assisting me in making everything and to Claudia and Ria for waging (and eventually winning) the battle against the walls and windows to get everything up and looking fabulous – couldn’t have done it without you!

We wanted to create the Hogwarts experience, so we introduced three magical classes: Duelling, Potions, and Transfiguration. All three classes proved to be a huge success and surprisingly, minimally messy! Our Have You Seen This Wizard? photo booth was also a huge hit!

 

Following proper duelling etiquette, each participant respectfully bowed to their opponent before turning back to back and awaiting the countdown from the moderator (I was reminded of those classic draws found in old Westerns). It was good fun, the duellers were serious and enthusiastic – I’m pretty sure we witnessed the birth of a few new actors and the supporters were great sports. And if some children happened to confuse the effects of ‘Expelliarmus’ with ‘Crucio’, no one pointed it out as their overacting was quite a hilarious site to behold.

Duelling

There was a real fear that potions would be a complete disaster but I’m happy to report that it wasn’t (Nadira Chaoui was the biggest reason why)! Nadira and I ‘brewed’ three example potions: the challenge was to recreate these potions using the different ingredients provided, in under five minutes. The children were diligent students and it proved to be no challenge as the majority made excellent replicas and bounced away with their house points. I found myself humbled when a young Gryffindor asked if I had ‘Essence of Dittany’ and had no idea what he was talking about. I’m still ashamed and currently re-reading the series!

Potions 2Potions 1

The Harry Potter scavenger hunt was equal parts hilarious and chaos. (I’ve included the questions at the end of this piece for you to test your own Harry Potter knowledge, please let us know how you do in the comments section!) I am certain that I had hidden all the clues in visible places but it seemed that the greatest challenge for our young witches and wizards was finding question 7. Apart from that, they seemingly breezed through the answers – I’ll definitely make it harder next year. To make sure everyone had a chance of winning a prize, we randomly drew winners from the correctly completed entries over the course of the evening. Time for a funny story – an indignant young witch pointed out two devious Gryffindor’s who had snuck into the submission box to correct a few answers on their already submitted ballots and resubmit when we weren’t looking.  20 points from Gryffindor, tut tut.

Transfiguration was headed by Professor McGonagall (Lynn Terrell) and that was a hoot. Students were tasked with recreating one of three items – Nagini, a Golden Snitch, or Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup. Points were awarded based on the successful creation of one of these items from magical modelling clay and the likeliness to the examples provided. My personal highlight from this activity was the parent who made a beautiful Golden Snitch, she even included the engraved markings and bartered for 100 points instead of her awarded 30 points (the maximum number for a snitch)!

Lastly, Slytherin house claimed the House Cup Quiz Trophy! Last year’s winners, Gryffindor narrowly missed retaining the crown by five points, with Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw finishing in that order. There were so many great moments from the night but I really would be here for another year if I tried to include them all!

Slytherin House Cup Winners

 

Harry Potter Knitting: Saturday 6 January

Our week concluded with a very special Harry Potter knitting session. Ran by Ms Tuula Petitlo, participants were taught the basic knitting stitches, given helpful pointers and guiding in beginning their very own Hogwarts scarf. It was a successful family workshop and we have some great pictures.

If you are interested in either crocheting or knitting, Tuula runs the ‘Crochet and Knitting’ group at Kensal Library, every Monday 1-3PM.

Knitting 1

While it was a very busy week at North Ken, it was also a very successful week. Beyond celebrating Harry Potter, this week served as a reminder of the incredible power of literature and its ability to bring people together. As a fan, it’s great to share my passion with younger readers and as library staff, it’s incredibly rewarding to see so many children enamoured with the books. At the heart of it all was our library service, offering the community a welcoming space where they were encouraged to make great memories, meet new people, learn, explore and most importantly, enjoy our facilities. And although it’s taken me nearly a month to fully recover, it was definitely worth it.

A huge thank you to all the people that assisted in delivering Harry Potter Week, it would not have been possible without you.

Mischief managed!

P.S. At your next North Kensington visit, take a look at ‘Harry Potter: Page to Screen’ by Bob McCabe and ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Illustrated Edition) by J.K. Rowling – they are both too beautiful not to look at!  

Time to test your HP knowledge…

  1. What is the name of Dumbledore’s Pet Phoenix?
  2. What type of animal is fluffy?
  3. What do Ron and Harry fly into the whopping willow?
  4. What position does Ron play on the Gryffindor Quidditch team?
  5. What is the name of the sixth Harry Potter book?
  6. How many children do Arthur and Molly Weasley have?
  7. What country wins the Quidditch world cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire?
  8. How many Hogwarts houses are there?
  9. From what platform can you catch the Hogwarts Express?
  10. What is the name of Harry’s pet owl?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Local History Week at North Kensington Library

North Kensington Library
North Kensington Library

North Kensington Library is having a Local History Week later this month from Monday 23 to Saturday 28 September. So if you’re interested in knowing more about the local area then come along – we’ve events for all ages and they’re all free.

Local History Exhibition

141-143 Ladbroke Grove in 1969
141-143 Ladbroke Grove in 1969

Monday 23 to Saturday 28 September

Notting Hill Caribbean Culture – Past and Present

Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill Carnival

Monday 23 September, 6 to 8pm

A talk by John David. Places are limited – book your free place to this at North Kensington Library.

Carnival 73, 58 Riot Tour and Grove Roots – Film Screenings

Tom Vague
Tom Vague

Tuesday 24 September, 5 to 8pm

Carnival 73 features Leslie Palmer. The screenings will be followed by a Q and A with Tony Auguste and Tom Vague. Places are limited – book your free place to this event at North Kensington Library.

Meet author Blanche Girouard

Blanche Girouard
Blanche Girouard

Thursday 26 September, 6 to 8pm

Blanche Girouard is a local author. She will talk about her latest book ‘Portobello Voices’ which is on the relevance of Portobello Market today. Places are limited – book your free place to this talk at North Kensington Library.

Carnival Mask Making workshop for children

Carnival mask
Carnival mask

Saturday 28 September, 1 to 4pm

There’s no need to book a place to this session – just come along to North Kensington Children’s Library.

Silva Memic

Customer Services Manager, North Kensington Library

Blog post from the North – May 2013

North Kensington Library
North Kensington Library

Welcome to our May blog post from our libraries in the North.

Notting Hill Gate Library

Walk to Work Week, 13 to 17 May 2013

Notting Hill Gate Library celebrated Walk to Work Week earlier this month.

Walk to Work display at Notting Hill Gate Library
Walk to Work display at Notting Hill Gate Library

Here are some walking facts:

  • On average, every minute of walking can extend your life by 1.5 to 2 minutes
  • Longer, moderately-paced daily walks are best for losing weight
  • Shorter, faster walks are best for conditioning your heart and lungs
  • Walking burns body fat, increases energy, slows ageing, reduces the risk of cancer and elevates your mood.

For more information about this campaign, visit the Walk to Work Week website.

Crocheting Divas

Learning how to crochet
Learning how to crochet

On Saturday 18 May the Crocheting Divas came to show us how to crochet like a Diva! This was part of our Adult Learners’ Week events.

They taught us to crochet flowers, brooches and hats. Crocheting relaxes the mind and is good for the emotional wellbeing.

Crocheting flowers
Crocheting flowers

If you would like to crochet (like a diva!) they will be at Kensal Library every Monday, 1.15pm to 3pm.

The Crocheting Divas!
The Crocheting Divas!

The DIVAS provide the wool and refreshments. Bring your own crochet hooks (size 3 and 4) and a £1 donation.

Ihssan Dhimi
Ihssan Dhimi

Ihssan Dhimi

Senior Customer Services Assistant, Notting Hill Gate Library

Kensal Library

New baby rhyme time

Baby rhyme time
Baby rhyme time

We have recently changed our storytime session to a baby rhyme time session every Friday at 10.30 to 11.00am.  We have a regular nursery group attending who are very enthusiastic and love hearing a few stories before we embark on a round of nursery rhymes ending with the very popular ‘Jumping Bean’ song.

Butterfly crowns

A beautiful butterfly!
A beautiful butterfly!

We will be having a half term craft event on Friday 31st May at 3 to 4pm.  We will be making butterfly crowns so keep a look out for any children wearing them in the north of the borough!

Chatterbooks

Chatterbooks
Chatterbooks

We had an interesting Chatterbooks session this month.  The group read a fairytale (Rapunzel) and then we wrote our own fairytales but we wrote one paragraph then passed it on to the person sitting to the left of us and carried on until the story was finished.  We ended up with some very wacky and funny tales!

Natasha Chaoui,

Senior Customer Services Assistant, Kensal Library

North Kensington Library

Chatterbooks 

On Thursday 25 April our Chatterbooks group met at our usual time of 4 pm in children’s library.  As this was part of our Cityread London events we chose London and the London Underground as themes for this meeting.  Nine children attended the session; most of them were eight years old. We had one participant who was only four years old but he desperately wanted to join us and with his mother’s assistance he enjoyed every minute of it!

One of our Chatterbooks members
One of our Chatterbooks members

First we read one story from ‘London Stories’ book written by Jim Eldrige.  The stories describe London through its history up to today as seen through the eyes of the city’s children.  We read the first story which gave us some facts about London in Roman times.  Four children participated in reading and then we had short discussion about the historic facts in the story we read.

Cutting out some London Underground images
Cutting out some London Underground images

The second part of the session was the most enjoyable for the children as they used their creativity and imagination in creating futuristic posters for the London Underground.  They cut some images and did drawings and at the end we got a few lovely posters for our display. 

Creating some London Underground posters
Creating some London Underground posters

After successful work they all deserved quick refreshment with Jaffa Cakes.  Before leaving the children wanted to know when the next meeting was going to be and they were told that our next Chatterbooks meeting is held on the last Thursday in a month – which is 30 May next time.  Goodbye till then!

Adisa Behmen- Kreso
Adisa Behmen- Kreso

Adisa Behmen-Kreso

Senior Customer Services Assistant, North Kensington Library

 Words about the World  – travel writing book display

Words about the World book display at North Kensington Library
Words about the World book display at North Kensington Library

Summer is coming and for the adventurous and even the armchair traveller we have we have a display of travel writing and travel guides. We also have readers’ wall inviting you to recommend your favourite book about travel or holiday destination.  Contributions so far include destinations Brazil and Venice  recommended travel books  Brazil by Michael Palin, Lonely planet guide to Croatia and Eye witness travel guide to Vienna.

Readers' wall
Readers’ wall

Books on display include old favourites such as Dervla Murphy’s ‘Full tilt: Ireland to India with a bicycle’ and Bill Bryson’s ‘Down Under’. My favourite new titles are Tom Fort’s ‘The A303: Highway to the sun’ and John Osborne’s ‘Don’t need the sunshine’. 

Travel books
Travel books

I have many treasured memories of travelling along the A303 in the 1960s to Devon and then on to Cornwall. And was there sunshine? I remember windy days playing cricket on the beach and clambering up the rocky cliffs to retrieve the ball. We had lots of fun and we didn’t need the sun.

Gaynor Lynch
Gaynor Lynch

Gaynor Lynch

Lending Librarian, North Kensington Library

Blog post from the North – April 2013

North Kensington Library
North Kensington Library

Children’s events in the frozen North

Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
When April with his showers sweet with fruit
The drought of March has pierced unto the root
And bathed each vein with liquor that has power
To generate therein and sire the flower;
(Chaucer – Prologue to the Canterbury tales)

We could have done with some more gentle weather over Easter for our Cityread London story and craft session at North Kensington Library.  A handful of children braved the wind and snow to attend the session at on Thursday 8 April. Senior Customer Service Assistant, Adisa led the transport themed session.

Making buses at North Kensington Library
Making buses at North Kensington Library

Children coloured and cut out models of buses, taxis, trains etc and completed transport themed puzzles and quizzes. Eventually the snow stopped, the session ended and then scores more children were blown in through the doors so we left the craft materials out so the late arrivals could continue.

Zvezdana with her dodecahedron!
Zvezdana with her dodecahedron!

The following week, Thursday 11 April, the weather faired much better. No snow so plenty of children arrived for the football themed session led by Senior Customer Service Assistant, Zvezdena. The children coloured and cut out an ingenious dodecahedron template, demonstrated by Zvezdana, to create their own personalised footballs.

Colouring in footballs at North Kensington Library
Colouring in footballs at North Kensington Library
And yet more footballs being created at North Kensington Library
And yet more footballs being created at North Kensington Library

Gaynor Lynch

 Gaynor Lynch

Lending Librarian

Chatterbooks at Kensal Library

Chatterbooks
Chatterbooks

Chatterbooks is held one Thursday a month from 4 to 5pm.  The group are very lively but welcoming and often make me laugh.  We always have room for new members – so do come along!

To find out more about Chatterbooks and when our next meeting is – check out the Chatterbooks page on the library’s website.

Natasha Chaoui

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Reading Group at North Kensington Library

Reading group logo
Reading group logo

Our reading group meets every first Monday of the month at 6.30pm, in the Learning Space at North Kensington Library.  We are a small and very friendly group, always open to new members if you would like to come along and try it.

Some of the things members have said about the group are:

I like coming because it makes me read something completely different than what I normally read, and I have discovered some new authors that I love
It’s great fun to talk with other people about a book we’ve all read
I get fantastic book recommendations from other book club members

We read a broad range of fiction, a different book each month, so there is something for everyone.   Recently the group has read ‘Mary Barton’ by Elizabeth Gaskell, ‘My Name is Red’ by Orhan Pamuk, ‘This Book Will Change Your Life by A.M. Holmes and we read the Cityread London book ‘A Week in December’  by Sebastian Faulks.

The group will meet next on Monday 13 May at 6.30pm and we’ll be discussing ‘Sweet Tooth’ by Ian McEwan. If you would like more information about the reading group, or would like to join and borrow a copy of the book for next month, contact me at North Kensington Library.

Ishwari Prince
Ishwari Prince

Ishwari Prince

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Craft session at Notting Hill Gate

Father and child at Notting Hill Gate second craft session, with paper aeroplane
Father and child at Notting Hill Gate second craft session, with paper aeroplane

Today we had our second Craft session at Notting Hill Gate Library. We made and decorated paper aeroplanes, then flew them around the library!

Notting Hill Gate second craft session
Notting Hill Gate’s second craft session

We also decorated pictures of flying dragons. Parents and staff joined in on the fun, flying, collecting and trying to find aeroplanes around the library when they would land in the wrong target zone.

Join us at our next session on Saturday 25 May.

Ihssan Dhimi
Ihssan Dhimi

by Ihssan Dhimi

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Blog post from the North – March 2013

North Kensington Library
North Kensington Library

Welcome to our blog post from the north! This month we thought we’d tell you about the exciting things that have been happening at all three of the libraries in the north – Kensal, Notting Hill Gate and North Kensington, libraries.

What’s been happening at North Kensington’s Children’s Library?

This past two months we have had a very busy time in North Kensington Children’s library and it continues to be so.

Ishwari Prince
Ishwari Prince

Saturday 9 February was National Libraries Day.  To celebrate this Senior Customer Services Assistant Ishwari Prince led a children’s craft and story session with ‘create your own book’.  This involved some origami type folding and cutting to make simple books, which the children filled with their own ideas, pictures and stories.  We were all very impressed with the creative and original ideas the children came up with, and everyone enjoyed themselves. Please visit the National Libraries Day website for more information about this day.

Valentine's Day crafts on display
Valentine’s Day crafts on display

Senior Customer Services Assistant, Zvezdana Popovic launched our new after school children’s story and craft Sessions (second Thursday of every month, 4pm to 5pm) on  Valentine’s Day  with appropriately themed crafts and romantic verse.

Spring books on display
Spring books on display

We are celebrating Spring Time with a display of books including fact books about animals, urban nature trails and nature guides, festivals such as Easter and Holi and stories for children of all ages.  We have lots of picture books and board books about spring animals.  For toddlers and babies we have I love rabbits, an interactive touch and feel book full of adorable fluffy rabbits.

My favourite fact books are Wild Town: Wildlife on your doorstep by Mike Dilger  and Usborne Spotter’s Guides: Urban Wildlife. You don’t have to visit the countryside or have a garden to enjoy nature. Both of these beautifully illustrated books introduce you to the secret world of wildlife in our cities and towns. They give useful tips on where to spot birds, animals, plants and creepy-crawlies in your local park, alongside rivers and canals and even on your doorstop or under your roof!

Gaynor Lynch
Gaynor Lynch

Gaynor Lynch

Lending Librarian, North Kensington Library

North Kensington Library’s Chatterbooks club

Chatterbooks
Chatterbooks

North Kensington Library’s Chatterbooks club is a reading group for children aged 8 to 12 years.   The club members meet on the last Thursday of the month at 4pm in North Kensington Children’s Library.  The club gives opportunity for children to share their reading experiences, discuss books, do fun activities including writing stories and poetry, quizzes and word search.  New members are welcome, so come and join us! Check out our Chatterbooks page for more information.

Adisa Behmen-Kreso

Senior Customer Services Assistant, North Kensington Library

New story and craft sessions at Notting Hill Gate Library

Story and craft sessions
Story and craft sessions

Notting Hill Gate Library will be holding monthly story and craft sessions on the last Saturday of every month. Come have fun with your children, give them a chance to explore their creativity, meet new friends and better yet it’s free!

The first session will be on Saturday 27 April, 11.30 am to 12.30pm. Hope to see you and your children there!

Ihssan Dhimi
Ihssan Dhimi

Ihssan Dhimi

Senior Customer Services Assistant, Notting Hill Gate Library

What’s been happening at Kensal Library?

Kensal Library
Kensal Library

Come along to hear wonderful stories read by engaging friendly staff at Kensal Library at our storytime sessions every Friday from 11am to 11.30am.   One Mum commented that her son and herself thought the staff were ‘amazing’.

We have a new collection of Portuguese and Arabic titles in stock which reflect the needs of our community here in the north of the borough. There’s more information about our this collection on our books in other languages page on our website.

Our first story and craft event was well attended and the children enjoyed the theme.  We read a fictional story about sharks and then looked at some non-fiction books and talked about sharks and why people are scared of them and how we can protect endangered species before making some spectacular shark jaws! The next session will be on Saturday 13 April from 3 to 4pm and will be tied in to our Cityread London events.

Natasha Chaoui

Senior Customer Services Assistant,  Kensal Library