Gaynor, Lending Librarian at North Kensington library, writes…
On Sunday 19 July, Sandeep, Margaret, Natasha, Leanne , Nina and myself manned a market stall at the Golborne Street Festival. The day did not begin well: rain and extreme wind made setting up the stall with bunting and posters very interesting! By the time the festival started, however, the sun had broken out and we were taking shelter under the stall canopy. We took turns to staff the stall and leaflet the crowds.
There was a fantastic atmosphere with representatives from a variety of organisations and community groups, food and craft stalls, plus the obligatory bouncy castle, face painting and live music. For us it was a unique opportunity to reach a wide cross-section of the community we don’t normally see in the library and tell them about all the resources, activities and services libraries have to offer. Lots of people did not realise that the library service is not just about books; they were pleased and interested to hear about Zinio, Universal Class, e-books and events.
Nina completely exploded the myth of the traditional reference librarian by dancing down the street and completely raiding the police and food stalls. She ran a gang of street urchins (also known as her friend’s children), whom she bribed to help us distribute Summer Reading Challenge leaflets.
We had a great day, distributing more than 200 Summer Reading Challenge leaflets and, over the course of the day, spoke to many hundreds of adults and children about our wonderful libraries!
Adult Learners’ Week is the UK’s largest annual festival of learning, inspiring thousands of people to discover how learning can change their lives.
It is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits learning can bring, and to inspire adults of all ages to try something new. We have events in five of our libraries during Adult Learners’ Week -we hope to see you there!
What makes people happy?
Sharing the practical lessons from well-being research – Birkbeck academics have put together a series free of workshops which unpack cutting-edge research from a range of disciplines to help you better understand the science behind the smile, as well as giving you practical tips to increase your well-being.
Please book your free place for these sessions on Eventbrite.
How to be happy: some quick wins (and losses)
Saturday 18 May, 10 to 11.30am, Brompton Library
This workshop will focus on what psychologists have learnt about the science of happiness, in particular the characteristics that allow people to remain hopeful and optimistic in the face of challenging and busy lives. We will also explore how this knowledge has been translated into practical interventions that increase hope and optimism. Participants should leave with ideas around how to translate this information into small and meaningful improvements to their own levels of hope and optimism and those in their care.
Using positive psychology to stay healthy and happy in your work
Monday 20 May, 10 to 11.30am, Brompton Library
Find out how to safeguard and improve your happiness and well-being in professional settings. This workshop will help you better understand the science behind the smile, as well as giving you practical tips and strategies to increase your well-being.
Saturday 18 May, 10.30am to 1pm, Notting Hill Gate Library
Friday 24 May, 12 noon to 1.30pm, Brompton Library
Learn, chat and make with the Crocheting Divas. All materials and equipment will be provided – all you need to bring is your enthusiasm and creativity. There’s no need to book a place – just come along.
Online taster sessions
Want to do more online? Please book your free place for any of these sessions at Chelsea Reference Library.
Social media: how to make the most of Facebook, Twitter and more
Tuesday 21 May, 2 to 4pm, Chelsea Reference Library
Beyond Google: high quality learning materials available free from your library
Wednesday 22 May, 10am to 12 noon, Chelsea Reference Library
Career information online: finding the best career and training information for you
Thursday 23 May, 12 noon to 2pm, Chelsea Reference Library
Colville Community History slideshow and talk
Tuesday 21 May, 5.30 to 7.30pm, North Kensington Library
Colville Community History Project’s Tom Vague presents a slideshow and talk about the history of the area. Come along to join in the discussion, share your experiences and find out more about the Colville Community History Project. Please book a free place for this event at North Kensington Library.
Writing Creatively in Kensington – a creative writing workshop
Wednesday 22 May, 1.30 to 4.30pm, Kensington Central Library
Using photos and other artefacts from our Local Studies Library to inspire creativity participants will be encouraged to write their own pieces. Please book a free place for this event at Kensington Central Library.
Deep Recording Studios – information stall
Wednesday 22 May, 12 noon to 4.30pm, Chelsea Library
Want to find out more about music technology or sound engineering? Then come along to our information stall run by Deep Recording Studios in West London. They run Levels 1,2 and 3 City and Guilds accredited Music Technology and Sound Engineering Courses (no qualifications required). Deep has a fully operational recording studio facility near Ladbroke Grove tube station in West London, running Logic Pro and Pro Tools music software .
Hand Sewing Workshop – make a felt badge with Eithne Farry
Thursday 23 May, 2 to 4pm, Kensington Central Library
Are you passionate about clothes and accessories? Would love to create something of your own, but are unsure of how to get started? Then come along to our hand sewing workshop with Eithne Farry, where you will create your own badge out of felt.
Please book your free place for this workshop at Kensington Central Library.
How to Use Skype – over 50s session with Open Age
Friday 24 May, 10am to 12 noon, North Kensington Library
Are you over 50? Have you heard about Skype? Skype allows people to talk for free to friends and family around the world via a computer using the internet. Come along to this session to learn how to use Skype. Places are strictly limited for this class, so please book your place early at North Kensington Library.
Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
When April with his showers sweet with fruit
The drought of March has pierced unto the root
And bathed each vein with liquor that has power
To generate therein and sire the flower;
(Chaucer – Prologue to the Canterbury tales)
We could have done with some more gentle weather over Easter for our Cityread London story and craft session at North Kensington Library. A handful of children braved the wind and snow to attend the session at on Thursday 8 April. Senior Customer Service Assistant, Adisa led the transport themed session.
Children coloured and cut out models of buses, taxis, trains etc and completed transport themed puzzles and quizzes. Eventually the snow stopped, the session ended and then scores more children were blown in through the doors so we left the craft materials out so the late arrivals could continue.
The following week, Thursday 11 April, the weather faired much better. No snow so plenty of children arrived for the football themed session led by Senior Customer Service Assistant, Zvezdena. The children coloured and cut out an ingenious dodecahedron template, demonstrated by Zvezdana, to create their own personalised footballs.
Chatterbooks at Kensal Library
Chatterbooks is held one Thursday a month from 4 to 5pm. The group are very lively but welcoming and often make me laugh. We always have room for new members – so do come along!
To find out more about Chatterbooks and when our next meeting is – check out the Chatterbooks page on the library’s website.
Senior Customer Services Assistant
Reading Group at North Kensington Library
Our reading group meets every first Monday of the month at 6.30pm, in the Learning Space at North Kensington Library. We are a small and very friendly group, always open to new members if you would like to come along and try it.
Some of the things members have said about the group are:
I like coming because it makes me read something completely different than what I normally read, and I have discovered some new authors that I love
It’s great fun to talk with other people about a book we’ve all read
I get fantastic book recommendations from other book club members
We read a broad range of fiction, a different book each month, so there is something for everyone. Recently the group has read ‘Mary Barton’ by Elizabeth Gaskell, ‘My Name is Red’ by Orhan Pamuk, ‘This Book Will Change Your Life by A.M. Holmes and we read the Cityread London book ‘A Week in December’ by Sebastian Faulks.
The group will meet next on Monday 13 May at 6.30pm and we’ll be discussing ‘Sweet Tooth’ by Ian McEwan. If you would like more information about the reading group, or would like to join and borrow a copy of the book for next month, contact me at North Kensington Library.
Senior Customer Services Assistant
Craft session at Notting Hill Gate
Today we had our second Craft session at Notting Hill Gate Library. We made and decorated paper aeroplanes, then flew them around the library!
We also decorated pictures of flying dragons. Parents and staff joined in on the fun, flying, collecting and trying to find aeroplanes around the library when they would land in the wrong target zone.
Happy New Year to you from us all at Chelsea. Welcome to our second blog post – hope you don’t think we’re crazy to write about Christmas in January but we wanted to share with you some amazing pictures.
Christmas at Chelsea Library
We had a very successful Christmas baby rhyme time with the children anticipating a special visitor.
We played jingle bells, with the children helping, by shaking their sleigh harness bells, all the while getting more and more excited. It looked as if the special vistor was delayed. When finally a staff member received a mobile call from his toboggan and told the waiting children that Father Christmas was stranded in traffic near Fulham Broadway. While the gathered crowd, which included nannies and carers were anxiously looking at watches, the double doors from the Walker Room were burst open and in came Father Christmas with a huge white beard and a sack of gifts! The children were delighted and were handed small gifts wrapped in red tissue paper. Many thanks to Senior Customer Services Assistant, Huriy Ghirmai for dressing up!
The Christmas craft event combined story telling with making Christmas cards decorated with cut out collaged shapes and sequins. My colleague, Sue Couteux organized some fantastic shapes, Christmas trees, snowmen, fairies, stars, ginger bread men, reindeer……
We began the event by telling the Hans Christian Anderson story The Little Fir Tree about the tree’s endless desire to look towards a brighter future rather than live in the moment. I felt a bit uprooted after the story’s ending, waiting for the next big thing. Thank goodness we had the crafts to get stuck into, with glue flying everywhere, sticky fingers, children laughing, excited gleams in their eyes.
Some of the adults listening to the story had tears in their eyes – maybe The Little Fir Tree had reminded them of what Christmas is all about? Simple pleasures, snow, cold walks in the forest, log fires, log cabins, mothers at home baking, wolves. A world away from the hubbub of the Kings Road, running for buses and runny noses.
We are now planning our next events for children both with a Chinese New Year theme. On Saturday 9 February we have:
A craft event for younger children, 11am to 12 noon
What do ladybirds eat?
I was working in the library during Christmas and New Year. A little voice piped up behind the audio books: ‘Young man, I have been adopted by a ladybird.’ An elderly lady had spent her Christmas feeding a ladybird, black with red spots, discovered on her living room floor. ‘It has taken up with me and I want to know what to feed it. Her mouth is much too small for cake crumbs.’ There we were studying a book on greenfly, making meaningful human contact, talking about bug feeding habits on this wintry afternoon.
We often get suggestions from members of the public about how to improve our service. One interesting idea was about how to best harness the power of the totem display. Would it be possible with the heat and light being emitted from the mighty monolith that it could double up as a vertical tanning station?
Welcome to our first blog post of 2013 and let me wish Happy New Year to you from all the staff at Kensington Central Library.
I’m aware that our last post didn’t contain anything from our reference library so this month we have two members of the reference team introducing themselves and telling us a little more about what they do. First up is Colin Clare who tells us about the borough’s A to Z Director, followed by Nina Risoli who tells us about her job as a reference librarian.
Make the most of your local community – the RBKC A to Z Directory
I work in our reference libraries at Kensington Central and Chelsea libraries. I am part of a small team that maintains and update all the entries in the borough’s A to Z directory.
Need to find a local doctor or dentist or perhaps find out about your local leisure centre, Councillor or school? Well you can, by logging onto the local information database for the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, www.rbkc.gov.uk and look for the A to Z Directory. This is a valuable source of information containing details about clubs, organisations and Council services as well as charities, youth organisations, voluntary organisations, sports clubs and much more.
It is the definitive source that will enable you to get the most out of living in the Kensington & Chelsea area and to find instant details about your community. The database receives over 65,000 visits each month making it one of the most popular sections of the website.
When they hear I work as a librarian people often say to me: “How lovely, you must read a lot at work!”, and I try to explain that reading is not really a major part of my working day.
I am a reference librarian in Kensington Central Reference library and my main duties include answering enquiries from visitors to the library and those that arrive via post, email or telephone. This is the interesting part of my job as people come with a huge variety of questions and requests. I am also responsible for managing stock, making sure we have the right books on the shelves, that they are in good condition, in date and relevant to our users. I also spend a lot of time promoting library services and our online resources, as well as training staff and public to use these resources – I’ve recently written for the blog about some of our online resources. I also organise tours of the library and events to promote special collections such as Chelsea’s fashion and costume collection for library staff, students and visitors.
Although in truth there is rarely time to do any reading at work, I do love my job for the variety it offers and the opportunity to learn something new each day.
If you’re interested to see more of our biography collection then book a place on one of our tours. They are on the following days and times:
Tuesday 15 January, 2 to 3pm
Thursday 17 January, 6.30 to 7.30pm
Friday 18 January, 2 to 3pm
To book a place please call 020 7361 3010.
More information about these tours and our other upcoming events can be found on our website.
How to make a robin out of paper plates
We were very lucky to have a local story teller, Laura Collins come to the children’s library on 2 January. She told a group of children the story how the robin got his red breast – the children really enjoyed this tale. They enjoyed too making their very own robins out of two paper plates with a red breast out of tissue paper!
Me and my colleague, Gemma Baker made a robin each to show the children what to do. The ones the children made were much better!
We have story and craft sessions during every school holiday – look out for posters in the children’s library for the next session and on our website.