During Saturday’s craft session we made these very cute Valentine Bears. Aren’t they lovable?
Natasha Chaoui, SCSA at Kensal Library
During Saturday’s craft session we made these very cute Valentine Bears. Aren’t they lovable?
Natasha Chaoui, SCSA at Kensal Library
The third annual Harry Potter Book Night has been and gone but we here at Kensington Central Library are still buzzing from the excitement from last week’s Harry Potter Extravaganza event.
Regretfully, the professors of Hogwarts were unable to find time in their busy schedules to come along to the event but did entrust us with some of their best prefects.
There was a lot of magical fun to be had, take a look and see what we got up to.
On a drizzly, wet afternoon after school last week Brompton Library was pleased to welcome our friend Matthew from the Ecology Centre who brightened everyone’s day with the promise of growth and renewal by the planting of a pea!
Matthew was inundated with keen kids and their carers who were shown how to make an environmentally friendly plant pot with newspaper and a wooden press. They then added some compost and the seed and Hey Presto! – they had a seed to nurture at home.
In this part of the borough most of the housing is in flats, whether they’re in mansion blocks with their own garden squares or social housing with a local park, so many kids won’t be used to getting their hands stuck in to garden soil or watching their own plant grow from a seed to an edible vegetable.
Let’s hope that at least some survive (though I have my doubts!)
Many thanks to the Ecology Centre – the plant potters event is new to libraries this academic year and I hope it’s as well received at other libraries as it was here. See our latest events listing or ask in your nearest RBKC library for the next Plant Potters event.
This event was the perfect craft for Harry Potter fans.
We kicked off Harry Potter Book Night 2017 by making trunks like the one Harry uses during his stay at Hogwarts.
Here are seventeen books we recommend you read this year!
1. The Humans by Matt Haig
This book is about an alien’s trip to earth, but it’s also about what it means to be human. It’s funny and uplifting and it explains the difficulties and the joys of being alive.
2. Slade House by David Mitchell
This is a clever ghost story about a paranormal house. You never know whether you can trust what you’re reading.
3. The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
A dramatic family saga full of secrets and lies. Gripping! Continue reading “17 Books for 2017”
Merry Christmas and a Happy New 2017 Year !
I am sure that now and then we all come across a new picture book in our libraries that bursts out with that special WOW! factor when your fingers and your heart just itch to make your own picture book, make illustrations just like those, retell the story to all the children in library, at home or in nursery.
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…
Yes, we have got the odd Christmas Romance…
And some familiar faces
But if you want to get away from the whole yuletide thing, try something different…
Or how about learning a few words of Japanese, Greek or Italian to wow everyone over the turkey?
We’ve got plenty of eBooks if that’s your thing!
Classics are always a comfort in times of stress
And if all else fails –
Merry Christmas everyone!
It might not quite feel like winter yet with the warm weather but the great drifts of brown leaves on the surrounding steps and the library packed with good natured East European revellers writing postcards home tells us it’s time to strap on our red noses and pass round the Winter Warmer.
We try and keep the good cheer on tap all year around with the Chelsea coffee morning where a group of twenty plus regulars meet every Wednesday at 10.30am to share homemade cake, traditionally prepared Croatian sausage and gossip about the human condition. Among them an expert Musicologist, a financial whizz investing in a new post-Brexit currency, QuikCoin, and a mysterious lady who hands out fortune cookies in the lending library.
In November we had busy craft events using some of those huge yellow leaves that look so much like abandoned kippers. They were turned by Diane into bushy squirrel tails. The mini-beasts were back in the children’s library- the slinky black millipede made a break for the air conditioning vent but the quick thinking of new staff member Atlas, using an old copy of Biffer and Chips, prevented the escapee making the children’s library his permanent home.
One of our recommended reads this month is Charles Beaumont’s Perchance to Dream, the collected stories from the Twilight Zone scriptwriter and spinner of fantastic tales. Beaumont is great at unpicking the dreams and fears of 1950s America, the killers and the recurring dreams of a beautiful unchaperoned woman on a rollercoaster .
Find out more about one of Kensington and Chelsea’s community groups, Kensington Mums (who have blogged for us before), a support network for local mums and mums-to-be, and join them at their Family Christmas Fair on the 27th November. Over to our guest blogger, Dina…
Award winning ‘Mummy group’ and parenting support network, Kensington Mums, has reached its 5th blog anniversary and to celebrate has announced its second Family Christmas Fair which will be taking place this month on 27th November 2016 at the stylish Kensington Close Hotel from 10am to 5pm in support of the charity Best Beginnings.
Throughout the fair there will be lots going on to keep little ones entertained: arts and crafts, face painting, hair braiding and nail stamping to name but a few of the day’s activities and surprises. Parents, in the meantime, can enjoy festive shopping, with various exhibitors at the fair, including Bambini and Me, Club Petit Pierrot, Hesper Fox and Finns of Chelsea. The exhibitors at the fair are also mums in business, and Kensington Mums use the fair as a way of supporting and financially empowering these entrepreneurial mothers.
How did Kensington Mums start?
Kensington Mums founder, Dina Maktabi, first created the group when she found herself living in Kensington as a new mum. She was two thousand miles from her Beirut homeland with just her husband for support and the challenge of new motherhood hit hard and she struggled in isolation for months with Post Natal Depression.
More than eight years ago, with her new born in her hands, she recalls grabbing handfuls of outfits in high-street stores in the pretence of shopping, and retreating to the changing rooms to breastfeed, as the high-street had yet to cater to mothers and babies effectively.
Thankfully there has been some progress in societal views around breastfeeding and its public acceptance, but the isolation which many new mothers experience remains, particularly for ex-pat mums who are without the support network of their own family to cushion them through the early stages of starting and raising a family.
Kensington Mums was birthed in 2011 out of Dina’s desire to reconnect with other women and create the support network she was missing, and has become a celebrated free support network open to mothers from all over London.
“The friends I began to make through the launch of Kensington Mums became my family and inspired my desire to reach and help other mothers who might be experiencing the same thing. It turned out that I was not the only one. In 2014 Nathalie Bernadotte came on board and now we are an unstoppable duo with a growing ‘family’” says Dina. Today the network command an audience of over 24,000 London based mothers, many of whom live outside of the Kensington area but tap into the community for its blend of events, advice and connectivity.
The group has many awards under its belt: winning the Mumpreneur UK’s bronze award for Best Website; shortlisted for the Brilliance in Blogging Awards; and was listed as a Top 100 winner of the Mumsclub Business Mum Award. Kensington Mums has also garnered support from celebrity mums Tamara Beckwith, Tamara Ecclestone, Caprice Bourret and HRH Marie Chantal and their vision is to expand their offering and reach mummy communities internationally. In 2014 sister site Mums in Beirut was launched in the Middle East, becoming an instant hit with mothers in the region, and is now viewed as Beirut’s answer to ‘Mumsnet’.
Keeping Mums in the loop with the latest trends and family outings, Kensington Mums provides everything from family friendly healthy and delicious recipes, to regular competitions giving families a chance to win prizes from a host of well-known brands. Kensington Mums has become a destination website for honest reviews of products and services for London families. The ‘mumthly’ events held in a host of desirable London venues, have ranged from inspiring mum get-togethers to nutrition coffee mornings with expert advice on the impact of diet on toddlers and expectant mothers. The brand’s online motherhood exhibition was included in New York’s Museum of Motherhood in 2013 after the success of their original exhibition in Chelsea.
“When the opportunity to team up with Dina came in 2014, I didn’t think about it twice. I wanted to help and be part of the community that once helped me so much. Not having family close by and being the first to have a baby within my close circle of friends, I often didn’t know who to talk to – about my labour and birth fears or who to ask advice and share tips on breastfeeding, burps and naps. I felt very lucky to have found Kensington Mums which brought me amazing friendships and helped me gain confidence in being a mother every day” says Nathalie.
In 2014 Kensington Mums launched a (free to download) KM App, meaning modern mums have instant access to the online magazine’s resources. The App is available on ITunes and GooglePlay.
Boasting an increasing group of ex-pat mothers who connect with the network before they have even made their move to London, the need for support and shared experience by like minds is evident. In an age where networking has become increasingly digital, Kensington Mums are successfully illustrating that the online landscape can be a fantastic resource for creating relationships, which cross over into ‘real’ life.
Look here for further information on Kensington Mums Christmas Fair on 27th November 2016, and here for Beirut Mums.
Dina Maktabi, Kenisngton Mums
We in RBKC libraries can’t understand why people aren’t falling over themselves to sign up for our free online courses! We know there are other online courses out there but all you need for ours is a library card and the inclination. Our offer extends from employment and personal development to leisure and personal interest courses. There’s also a specific course for passing the driving theory test and one for candidates preparing for the Life in the UK or British citizenship test.
If you’re in work and wanting to upskill or looking for work and wanting to ensure your skills are up to date then Learning Nexus is the suite for you. Below you can see their main menu so if you’re wanting to avoid the “not waving but drowning” feeling or looking to improve your skills on the quiet just ask a member of staff to log you in and you’ll see the full range of courses in each of the categories listed below.
Universal Class offers a broader range of classes aimed more, but not exclusively, at leisure and personal interest topics. Below are the categories available and within each of those there may be dozens of courses to choose from, for example, in the Arts, Crafts and Hobbies category there are 75 to choose from – from Cake decorating to Yoga! For each module of a course you submit your work to a real person who will give you personal feedback.
Accounting Alternative Medicine Arts, Crafts & Hobbies Business Career Training Computer Training Entrepreneurship Finance General Education Health & Medicine History Homeschooling How to / Do It Yourself Language Arts Law/Legal/Criminal Mathematics Office Skills Parenting and Family Personal Care Pet and Animal Psychology Real Estate Science Self-Help Social Work Special Education Spiritual Studies Teacher Resources Test Preparation Web Development Writing Skills
For Universal Class courses you can just register at home (or wherever you’d prefer) with your library card.
Go Citizen is the online version of the latest official study materials for the Life in the UK test, licensed from the Home Office, the people who write the handbook. It includes hundreds of practice test questions in the same format as the official test and has additional interactive learning resources and teaching aids to ensure you pass the Life in the UK test first time!
Just register for this with your library card.
Theory Test Pro should allow you to pass the Driving Theory Test on your first attempt!
It contains all the official test questions licensed from the DVSA ( the people who set the tests), gives you unlimited access to all the official questions from the DVSA in the same format as the official test and realistic hazard perception video simulations. So why pay for the official books and dvds when it’s all available for free with your library card?
All these online courses are free and can be accessed at www.rbkc.gov.uk/learningonline
The diary of Nathaniel Bryceson, 1846
Lunch time walks through the area
"More than a library..."
Curious recipes and hidden histories from Westminster City Archives
A world of information at your fingertips
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