At the beginning of the year Brompton library began another collaboration with Celebrate My Library for an inter-generational project called Our Communities, Our Stories. The project aimed to bring together local schoolchildren (largely from our Chatterbooks reading group) and older volunteers (from the Kensington and Chelsea Older Residents Forum) to discuss the differences between being a child now compared with the memories of childhood of their older “buddies”.
In the middle of January we all got together for a supremely well-organised session which had to find time for the discussions to take place, the children to do their creative writing and create the fashion mood-board and then for Hilary and Victoria (who are Celebrate my Library!) to gather it all up so they could produce another of their beautiful books. They discussed six different topics – At Home, Hobbies, Entertainment, Food, Fashion, Days Out and School – then the children drew pictures and wrote about the lives of the buddies when they were young, but I could see it was a learning experience for both groups.
After that session came a nail-biting break of 6 weeks while Hilary and Victoria pulled all the material together (plus some of their own) to create the book.
On March 1st we met up again for the “great reveal” of the book “written by children at Brompton Library inspired by the stories from the residents of Kensington and Chelsea”. The children were shown the book first and loved seeing their names in print! Then they wrapped it in beautiful wrapping paper to present to the buddies. The children read out their work as a performance while the buddies, parents and friends who had also come along enjoyed tea, coffee, juice and choccy biscuits.
Working with Celebrate My Library is always a pleasure. They are passionate about libraries, are wonderfully creative and produce beautiful books but also have an eye for the nitty gritty detail and organisation it takes for the sessions to run smoothly – and all this in their spare time!
Brompton has one copy of the book but you can browse it here. I’m so proud of our Chatterbooks kids and the volunteers from the Kensington and Chelsea Older Residents Forum who gave up three Saturday afternoons for this.
Hello and a warm welcome to the August edition of our monthly blog post. The lovely sunshine has finally arrived and despite scorching temperatures, our library has remained a popular destination for tourists, students and residents over these last few weeks. Our biggest success story is the Summer Reading Challenge (you can read more about this in our Summer Reading Challenge blog post). Well, we hate to boast, but so far 183 kids have signed up here for the challenge, of which 54 have successfully read all 6 books and received their stickers, medals and certificates with more children joining in every day. So a big well done to all those young boys and girls who have risen to the challenge!! Do you have children and are running out of ideas to keep them busy over the holiday? Pop into our library and pick up one of the Summer in the City booklets or download the digital version. Also we are approaching that time of the year when over 700 of London’s most interesting buildings are opened to the public over a weekend in September for the Open House London. We have copies of the booklet now available to collect for free for anyone interested.
Celebrate My Library at Brompton Library
To celebrate the start of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge Brompton Library teamed up with Celebrate my Library who presented a fantastic story writing workshop based on the Creepy House theme. Check out their website to find out more about Celebrate My Library. The aim of the workshop was to stimulate their creativity to the max in the context of the library. The kids collectively created the main story (with a little help from their friends, Hilary and Victoria, from Celebrate My Library and their graphic artist friend, Lisa).
The kids then each came up with their own individual ending to the story, so the story will have seven different endings and then they rolled up their sleeves and got messily creative with paper, glue, glitter and scissors to make models and pictures to illustrate the story. All the while Lisa was story boarding the results of the brainstorming on the windows of our meeting room.
We are now eagerly awaiting the published results of all this creativity! We have a second event next month (Saturday 7 September) when the children and their families will get to see all their names in print with the story and their own endings. Over the summer holiday Celebrate My Library will have been beavering away to put the book together and even I am looking forward to seeing the result!
Over the school summer holidays Brompton Library has had its own piano tutor-in-residence! Rosario approached us to offer his services for free so for a morning and an afternoon each week people have been taking up the 40-minute slots. Nearly all these sessions were booked up, mostly by children. Rosario did get some adult students too- my colleague Babita gave it a go and was very impressed. She said he had given her the confidence to know that she could continue if she wanted to. I’m very pleased to think that these tasters at Brompton Library may have encouraged a few people to take up a real musical instrument – libraries are about music as well as books!
Our reading group
We are very proud to be discussing a novel that comes from one of our very own group! Rheagan Greene is the author of The Samurai Revival trilogy. Last year we read the first volume, Bitter Truths and Rheagan came to Brompton Library to speak to us about it.
The second volume, Bitter Justice follows the fortunes (and misfortunes) of heroine Tess, who in her role as a Peacekeeper (an international group who help maintain world order) keep in check the volatile Calver Cats, run by Tess’s brother, Beauchamp. After her intensive training Tess is issued with a series of missions to overset this violent group and also to avenge her friend Penny and loved ones. Pain, anger and fear are at every step for her and it becomes more difficult to find her inner-self and equate it to what she is developing into. Rheagan’s book was warmly received by the group – for me it felt like an Indiana Jones story, with exotic locations, sinister characters and overall adventure. One member felt that the plot was brilliant: slick and pacey and she felt glad about an opportunity to read something that she normally doesn’t! We all loved the concept of the peacekeepers and their international mission – something very science fiction and yet all very familiar somehow. Overall we all thoroughly enjoyed the book and we eagerly anticipate the third and final part!
The next reading group will be meeting on Tuesday 3 September, 6.30pm and will be discussing the novel The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson – please do come along.