A love of reading

You’re never too young to enjoy a good story, and at your local library children are welcome to join from birth. It’s absolutely free and for children there aren’t any fines for returning books late.

Did you know that all families with babies aged 0-12 months are eligible for a free Bookstart baby pack?  Each pack contains two books, a rhyme sheet and a booklet of tips and ideas for sharing stories with your child. Pop into your local library to pick yours up today.

If you’re interested in getting involved in your local reading community, check out the fun under-fives activities on offer at your local library.

And remember, we understand that children can be noisy (and sometimes messy!) so don’t worry too much about being quiet; we love to see young children enjoying our libraries and welcome their enthusiasm!

By taking out books and reading with your child every day you can help their physical, mental and emotional development as well as language and listening skills. Plus, you get to enjoy some fantastic stories!

“A love of reading is more important in academic achievement than a child’s social or economic background.” –Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ‘Reading for change’ 2001

Happy reading!

Harriet Skinner

Libraries Children’s Officer


Exploring other worlds with our children – it’s National Bookstart Week 2017

This week (Monday 5 to Sunday 11 June 2017), is National Bookstart Week and this year is an extra special celebration as Bookstart is 25 years old!

BookTrust, the organisation that administers the Bookstart programme, encourages children and families to read more. Over these 25 years, they have gifted more than 34 million books to children.

Bookstart currently gives free books and resources to every child in England and Wales, at two key ages before school, to help inspire a love of books and encourage shared reading.

This year’s special National Bookstart Week book is Ellie Sandall’s Everybunny Dance and many libraries will be reading this story and special rhymes to do with the great outdoors and we have many copies of this book to give away. Check out the times of the toddler mornings at your nearest Kensington and Chelsea library.

It’s never too young to share a story or a rhyme with your young ones so come along have some fun and start or continue your child’s journey to a life of reading for pleasure. Sharing stories is of huge benefit to children, particularly when done from an early age.

Children who regularly have books shared with them benefit in lots of ways:

  • better emotional health
  • children develop longer attention spans and wider vocabularies
  • it builds their language skills
  • and in the long term helps them to be better readers and learners.

All this by sharing a book together for a few minutes each day. Just 10 minutes spent sharing a story with a child each day can have a lasting impact.

You can hear Lauren Laverne read Everybunny Dance on the Bookstart website.

Nick Fuller
Tri-borough Libraries Children’s Services Manager

Blog post from the North – July 2013

A very warm welcome (to match the weather!) from our three libraries in the North.

Gingerbread men, crime and creepy houses at Kensal Library

National Bookstart Week at Kensal Library
National Bookstart Week at Kensal Library

We celebrated National Bookstart Week with a special baby rhyme time at Kensal Library.  After reading ‘The Ugly Duckling’ we read ‘The Gingerbread Man’, sang a few songs and then had a craft session where the children coloured in little gingerbread men cut them out and stuck them onto lolly sticks. Then the children made the gingerbread men run as fast as they could. Also we handed out the gingerbread man recipe from Bookstart and we’re hoping to try any that baked! If you’d like the recipe it’s on the Bookstart website.

Malorie Blackman display at Kensal Library
Malorie Blackman display at Kensal Library

As Malorie Blackman has been named as the Children’s Laureate for 2013-2015 we decided to display our lovely new copies of some of her titles.  Leanne Bellot our Customer Services Assistant at Kensal Library helped put together the display.

We love the Creepy House theme for the Summer Reading Challenge and Ruth and I have set up the dump bin in readiness.  We are putting aside lots of great titles and are gearing up for the expected rush of children!

Natasha Chaoui, Senior Customer Services Assistant

Kensal Library

Crime and creepy houses at North Kensington Library

Crime on display at North Kensington Library
Crime on display at North Kensington Library

This month we celebrated the National Crime Writing Month with displays of crime fiction in all our libraries. Pictured here is the crime book display at North Kensington Library complied by Customer Services Assistant, Irani Singh. We have excellent crime fiction collections which include:

  • Classic crime e.g. Agatha Christie mysteries
  • Modern European crime and nordic Noir e.g. Henning Mankell’s Wallender and Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series
  • Spooky crime e.g. Ben Aaronovitch’s  Peter Grant Series
  • Celtic crime and tartan noir e.g. Ian Rankin’s inspector Rebus
  • Medieval crime e.g. Ellis Peters’ Cadfael mysteries
  • Light humorous crime e.g.  M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin and Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody Series

In fact we have something to suit all tastes. Even if you are not a hard core crime aficionado you will find something that will interest you. For more information visit the Crime Writing Month website

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge got off to a sprint start in our libraries and already we have lots of names on our progression boards. Enroll your children now  and pick up a leaflet about  our programme of Creepy Craft activities and events at your local library.

Children get prizes for reading library books and can engage in lots of fun activities and games on the Creepy House website. There is even an amazing, interactive book sorter to help your child choose books to read. If you don’t have a computer at home they can book time on one of the library computers.

Gaynor Lynch
Gaynor Lynch

Gaynor Lynch, Lending Librarian

North Kensington Library

Bookstart Bear Club at Notting Hill Gate Library

Notting Hill Gate Library's first Bookstart Bear Club completer!
Notting Hill Gate Library’s first Bookstart Bear Club completer!
A big congratulations to our first Bookstart Bear Club Completer!!
Bookstart Bear Club is a free membership scheme for babies, toddlers and preschoolers that opens up an exciting world for parent and child to explore stories, books and rhymes together.
Bookstart Bear Club logo
Bookstart Bear Club logo
Children will receive a free membership pack when they are registered at the library, the pack will contain a membership certificate, bookmark, door hanger and a Bookstart Bear Club passport.
Every time a child visits the library to attend a baby rhyme time, storytime or borrow books, they will get rewarded. Some of the rewards are stickers, stamps, certificates and exclusive to Notting Hill Gate Library, three different teddy bears.
Ihssan Dhimi
Ihssan Dhimi

Ihssan Dhimi, Senior Customer Services Assistant

Notting Hill Gate Library