Stephanie Webb, Lending Librarian at Brompton Library, writes:
The Chatterbooks session on Monday 9 March was both a happy and a sad occasion as it was the last one led by Babita Sinha. Babita is leaving at the end of March and has led Chatterbooks here at Brompton for five years and before that at Chelsea for three years. She has a devoted following of children who will be very sad to see her go.
However, she went out in style with a (slightly premature) Shakespeare Week event which had the kids searching the children’s area for Shakespearean clues, followed by word searches and other quizzes and some readings from the bard. All this was helped along with some naughty nibbles to mark Babita’s last session.
So, Babita is leaving (Boo-hoo!) but Katie Collis will be taking over (Hurrah!) in May.
There’s still room for a few more at our Chatterbooks reading group which is on the third Monday of each month at 3.45pm
Hello from us all at Chelsea Library! Chelsea Children’s Library has been very busy as we ran a number of successful children’s events over the school holidays. This month we’re starting a new mini series on The Chelsea Blog – some interesting facts about Chelsea Reference Library.
Our events this month tied in with the London wide Cityread London campaign. This year’s book is ‘A Week In December’ by Sebastian Faulks. We tailored our craft events to themes in the novel.
For our first event we prepared materials with a London Underground and football theme. Boys and girls relished making their very own designed bookmarks.
And as you can see the results were impressive! The children then gathered around for a Thomas the Tank engine story.
Our next event was on the lines of an Easter egg hunt only this time we used miniature chocolate footballs. First of all the children cut out a card template and then assembled with glue a little Easter basket . This was then filled with shredded paper to resemble straw.
We hid clues for the hunt throughout the children’s library and excitedly the boys and girls went off in search of the chocolate balls. We then read ‘Football crazy’ by Colin McNaughton.
Baby rhyme time was exciting this month as it had a London theme too – we all sang:
London Bridge is falling down
Oranges and lemons
Pussy cat, pussy cat where have you been?
Do you know the muffin man?
Everyone joined in and promised to come to storytime the next day where we continued the London theme – we adapted ‘Puss in Boots’ and to a London setting and the Marquis of Carabas became the Marquis of Sloane Square and the river in the story changed to the Thames.
Details of when our children’s events are can be found on the ‘What’s on page’ on our website.
Great facts about Chelsea Reference Library
#1.The Fashion Collection
Chelsea Reference Library has an extensive collection of fashion books as well as a large archive of fashion magazines dating back to 1924.
The book collection covers a wide range of subjects such as costume and fashion history, regional and national costumes, occupational attire, military uniforms and different types of accessories including jewellery, shoes, hats etcetera. Our fashion books are beautifully illustrated and have great content. The fashion and costume collection is widely used by students from Chelsea College of Art and Design based in Chelsea as well as other library users with a particular interest in fashion.
Our magazine archives include Vogue Magazine (1923 till present) Harper’s Bazaar (1950 till present, albeit with a small gap in the sequence) and L’Officiel (1947-2001). We also have a small collection of Manufacturing Clothier (1973-1988) and Vogue USA.
We’re starting to feel Christmassy at Kensington Central Library- hence the picture of the library in the snow!
The decorations are up in the library and we have Christmas books on display in the adult and children’s library. Pop in to take a look- they may help if you’re lacking in inspiration!
We’ve also had some Christmas events with the help of the fantastic staff from Kensington Palace.
On Saturday 10 December there was a Christmas event for our readers at Kensington Palace in Queen Victoria’s bedroom! Everyone had an excellent time listening to some classic Christmas poems and readings whilst munching on mince pies and Christmas cake.
On Monday 10 December the palace came to our children’s library to make Victorian Christmas cards and decorations. 25 children came along and had a fantastic time with ribbons, lace and Victorian pictures!
We thought for this month’s blog post we’d introduce you to some more of the staff at Kensington Central Library and what they do. Before I hand over to them let me wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at Kensington Central Library!
Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
All Change at Kensington Central Library
The recent re-opening of our children’s library now means that our customers, young and old, are now able to fully utilise the lending library once more.
Self service equipment has been installed across all service areas bringing us into line with all other Kensington and Chelsea libraries and it has proved a hit with the public, even self-confessed technophobes are being won round to the convenience of being able to issue and return books themselves.
The layout of the library is the most striking difference when you consider the ‘then’ and ‘now’ of the work that has gone into the refurbishment. Gone is the monolithic issue and return counter and the confusing maze of entrance and exit gates, instead Self service kiosks and a book sorter for returns are directly accessible as soon as you enter the library, flanked by attractive shelving for our new book stock as well as current displays.
Further in you can see the result of the restoration of the listed wooden shelving and pillars which literally gleam as a result of a bit much needed bit of TLC. Newer shelving snake along the middle of the library floor replacing the older, taller, metal stands used previously for our CD’s and DVD’s.
And, arguably, our pièce de résistance is the new Children’s and Young Persons space which looks so impressive! It truly is a more welcoming and brighter space for young kids and teens to enjoy.
So please pass it on, we are well and truly open for business.
Mike Green, Senior Customer Services Assistant
Our Young Readers Recommend….
We have some keen young readers returning a much enjoyed book, are invited to share their choice with others by filling in a short review. The book is then displayed with their review recommending it. These recommened reads are very popular- they fly off the display!
If you’re a teen and you’ve read a fantastic book (or you know a teen who has) then pop in and complete a card!
Penny Girling, Customer Services Assistant
The Biography Collection
As we’ve written about in a previous post, we’ve got an amazing collection of biography books at Kensington Central Library. One of our Customer Services Assistant, Lynn Terrell tells us why she enjoys working with these books:
I love working in the biography collection. There are such a lot of books, and such a variety. My own favourites are the books written by ordinary people – not politicians or celebrities, but stories about what it was like to grow up in a village during the Great War, or how it felt to have a grandmother who didn’t believe in self-indulgence (Grandma Called it Carnal by Bertha Damon).
Part of my job includes creating displays of books from the collection, so that the public have a chance to see some of what we’ve got. Sometimes I tie this in with other things that are going on, for example, in October, we had Black History Month, and at the moment we’ve got American Presidents, following the recent election. I try to change the display about once a month, and Childhood Reminiscences will be coming up in March. (Hollywood stars in January, and great lovers and love letters in February.) It will be interesting to see if others share my enthusiasm for these slightly more obscure but fascinating books.
Because a lot of the books are quite old, and difficult to replace, I have to try to make sure that they are kept in good condition, and sometimes that includes minor repairs. (Photographs in particular have a tendency to fall out, and need to be stuck back in.) Also, it’s very important that they are all labelled correctly, or they’d end up in the wrong place, and nobody would be able to find them. Everything that gets put in the biography collection has to be relabelled first, and that’s my job too.