From Christian Stevens & David Bushell at Brompton Library:
On Thursday 3rd July Brompton Library hosted its first ever Graphic Novels reading group. We were discussing the frankly crazy yet genius fantasy graphic novel Saga (Volume 1) by Brian K Vaughan. The heat of the day was tempered by the special occasion refreshments and good company, some of whom we knew, along with some surprise visitors from elsewhere who shared our enthusiasm for the art form.
It was easy for the flow of conversation to get started as we laughed about the very adult themes in the book and the funny content, as well as a collective admiration for the artwork and storytelling within, along with our own personal stories of discovering the joys of graphic novels.
In the end it was all good fun and the feeling of something more regular and established was begun, with us looking forward to the next event – which is today, Thursday 6th August.
If you’re interested please come along! Don’t be shy. We will be discussing Chew by John Layman.
This was a bumper week for Brompton’s toddlers! As Katie (our Rhyme Time queen) had been laid low with a chest infection, on Monday we drafted in a support act in the shape of Daniel from Chelsea who gave us an “unplugged” Electric Babyland session backed up by Ashraf on tambourine and David on tablas – a new experience for both of them – and the kids (and the adults) loved it.
On Wednesday Monkey Music, well known in the borough, were kind enough to give us a free session and they took the children on a musical journey ending up under the sea. With their vast array of props and instruments for shaking, rattling and rolling on their tummies, again the kids had a very different and hugely enjoyable time.
On Thursday we were back to our own in-house Baby Rhyme Time with Elisabeth leading the singing. After two sessions of songs and movements that had been different and new the children enjoyed the familiarity of their old favourites.
Adult library users sometimes ask why we do events for toddlers that are so noisy and disturb the peace, but we all know that this type of stimulation is enormously beneficial to their brain function at such a formative age. They may also associate libraries with places where nice things happen. Long may it last!
Stephanie Webb, Librarian at Brompton Library, writes:
We were very happy to host Faith and Mary from Healthier Life 4 You last week for a feelgood session of African Dance. We knew we were in for a good time as feedback from other sessions at North Kensington and Kensington Central libraries had been very positive.
Faith and Mary deliver a gentle workout – you’d hardly know you’re exercising as you can’t help moving to the rhythm of the African music. The audience was on the young side and were a bit unsure to start with, but by the end – and with the help of their parents and carers – they were showing me their moves on the way out!
Highly recommended and we hope to see them again soon.
Celebrate and discover the amazing world of comics on Free Comic Book Day!
Taking place annually on the first Saturday in May, Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book specialist shops around the world give away comic books – and this year, for this first time, we are very pleased to have some free comics from Forbidden Planet to give away at some of our libraries.
Participating libraries will have a poster advertising they are taking part. It’s first come, first served, so if you are an avid comic fan, visit one of the participating libraries – Brompton, Kensington Central or North Kensington Library – on Saturday 2 May to pick up your special free copy.
What are we giving away? DC Comics: Divergence A first look at upcoming storylines, featuring three 8-page previews for the June releases of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman, as well as Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s launch of the “Darkseid War” within Justice League featuring the biggest villains in the DCU – Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor, and Gene Luen Yang’s DC Comics debut with celebrated artist John Romita, Jr on Superman.
Why not join the library and check out the graphic novel collection at the same time? All of RBKC’s lending libraries have a comics section, including great Manga titles at Brompton Library. If there’s something in particular you’re looking for, check the catalogue in advance to find out where it’s in stock. Once you’ve whetted your appetite, you should know that there will soon be a whole lot more for you to enjoy, as a recent big stock buy means that what you see on Saturday is just the start…
If you’ve suggestions for future stock, we’d love to hear your views – contact Customer Services Assistant David Bushell at Brompton Library. and Happy Free Comic Book Day!
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.”
It has been a busy month at Brompton library. We have noted a surge in new members and our books seem to be flying off the shelves as the frosty weather convinces borrowers to stock up on reading material for the festive period. Whether you need some ideas for Christmas recipes or fancy browsing through our brand new crime and romantic fiction titles, sports and celebrity biographies or a fantastic selection of new cookery books we have something for everyone. Why not browse some of our stock through the online catalogue?
Elisabeth impressed us all by making an Advent calendar which stands in the toddlers’ corner of the Children’s area. As someone who can’t cut a straight line, let alone a circle, I’m in awe of people who can do crafts!
On the first Saturday of each month from 10:30 to 11:30 our story and craft sessions allow young children to participate in reading and small art projects. With just over a week until Christmas, Brompton library has been getting into the spirit with a seasonal craft and story session. Library assistant Rahima and Lisa, our Saturday volunteer, had the kids making lots of Rockin’ Robins! They loved it, and for the tiny tots there are always colouring-in sheets.
The theme of our monthly craft session was based on a story about a generous robin who gave away his seven vests to keep all the other animals he met warm. This story inspired the children to create their own robin. Using paper plates which were folded in half to create a rocking robin; the children sat around the table, colouring pens poised on paper ready to colour. The choice of colour varied as one child confidently says to the other children, “maybe a thousand years ago, there were multicoloured robins”, so with those words of encouragement the children chose their favourite colours. When the power of imagination lets loose our creativity, the end results are that we produce things that are unique; this was evident in this craft session as there were multicoloured, stripy and flowery rocking robins.
Intergenerational project at Brompton
After the success of Brompton’s collaboration with Celebrate My Library on the “Creepy Library” book I‘m very pleased to be working with them again on a project called “Our Community, Our Stories”. This will bring together young people from our Chatterbooks group and older residents from the Kensington and Chelsea Older Residents Forum to explore the differences between life as a child now and life for a child as it was when our older volunteers were young. The children will then do some creative writing around the conversations they’ve had and this will be brought together in book form, again with everyone’s name in print. To get this going, Celebrate my Library (Hilary and Vicky) and I were an agenda item at the forum’s AGM where we explained the project.
The happy result was that we signed up at least half a dozen volunteers!
Mingling with residents over coffee and cakes – it’s a hard life!
We will keep you posted in January on how the project is going.
Library Volunteers Event at Kensington Town Hall – Tuesday 26 November
Volunteers and volunteer mentors met at the Mayor’s Parlour in the Town Hall to recognise and celebrate the wonderful people who help us across our library service. These types of volunteer roles are varied – IT sessions, homework club, summer reading challenge and story-time classes – to name but a few.
Sue Cornish, our Adult Learning Coordinator, did a sterling job in organising the whole event whilst two volunteers (Celia and Mark) and I were invited up to say a few words. Mark was one of the first volunteers to join us – his time with us stems from when he turned 40 and realised that he wanted to give something back to the community. Just as inspiring was Celia – like so many of us as a child spent many happy hours in the library and has for three years been helping us with our summer Reading Challenge at Brompton and Chelsea.
It was clear from everyone how much of a privilege it is to work with our volunteers and that they too get so much from volunteering their time and effort.
I would like to dedicate our blog to all of our wonderful volunteers: Celia, Jane, Lisa, Raed, Srishti, Megan, Gunjan and Mathilde – we at Brompton all love working with you!