Golborne Street Festival

Gaynor, Lending Librarian at North Kensington library, writes…

The library stall
Library stall at the Golborne Street Festival

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.

Sandeep and Gaynor take shelter
Sandeep and Gaynor take shelter

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.Golborne Festival - staff

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!

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Adult Learners’ Week 2013

Adult Learners’ Week – 18 to 24 May 2013

Adult Learners' Week 2013
Adult Learners’ Week 2013

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?

Birkbeck University of London
Birkbeck University of London

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.

Crocheting Divas

Crochet
Crochet
  • 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

Computer training sessions
Computer training 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

Tom Vague
Tom Vague
  • 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

Creative writing
Creative writing
  • 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

Deep Recording Studios
Deep Recording Studios
  • 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

Eithne Farry
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

Open Age
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.

More information

Blog post from the North – April 2013

North Kensington Library
North Kensington Library

Children’s events in the frozen North

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.

Making buses at North Kensington Library
Making buses at North Kensington Library

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.

Zvezdana with her dodecahedron!
Zvezdana with her dodecahedron!

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.

Colouring in footballs at North Kensington Library
Colouring in footballs at North Kensington Library
And yet more footballs being created at North Kensington Library
And yet more footballs being created at North Kensington Library

Gaynor Lynch

 Gaynor Lynch

Lending Librarian

Chatterbooks at Kensal Library

Chatterbooks
Chatterbooks

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.

Natasha Chaoui

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Reading Group at North Kensington Library

Reading group logo
Reading group logo

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.

Ishwari Prince
Ishwari Prince

Ishwari Prince

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Craft session at Notting Hill Gate

Father and child at Notting Hill Gate second craft session, with paper aeroplane
Father and child at Notting Hill Gate second craft session, with paper aeroplane

Today we had our second Craft session at Notting Hill Gate Library. We made and decorated paper aeroplanes, then flew them around the library!

Notting Hill Gate second craft session
Notting Hill Gate’s second craft session

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.

Join us at our next session on Saturday 25 May.

Ihssan Dhimi
Ihssan Dhimi

by Ihssan Dhimi

Senior Customer Services Assistant

The Chelsea Blog – January 2013

Chelsea Library
Chelsea Library

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.

Rhyme Time Father Christmas
Baby Rhyme Time with Father Christmas

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!

Huiry as Father Christmas
Huiry as Father Christmas

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……

Christmas tree card
Christmas tree card
Christmas card with angel
Christmas card with angel

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.

Child enjoying the Christmas craft event
This child made lots of Christmas crafts!
Christmas craft event - decorated star
Decorated star
Christmas craft - decorated man
Decorated gingerbread man

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.

Christmas craft events - Decorations
Christmas crafts in a row!
Christmas craft events - Children's drawings
Christmas drawings on display

Upcoming events

We are now planning our next events for children both with a Chinese New Year theme. On Saturday 9 February we have:

  • Our new Chatterbooks reading group for 8 to 12 year olds, 10am to 10.50am
  •  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? 

Rob Symmons, Lending Librarian

Daniel Jeffreys, Customer Services Assistant

Kensington Central Library – January 2013

Kensington Central Library in winter
Kensington Central Library

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.

If you would your organisation added to this database please email us at information@rbkc.gov.uk

Colin Clare
Colin Clare

Colin Clare

 Triborough Reference Senior Customer Services Assistant

Kensington Reference Library

What does a reference librarian do?

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.  

Nina Risoli
Nina Risoli

Nina Risoli

Triborough Reference Librarian

Kensington Reference Library

Hollywood glamour in the library

This month the books we have on display from our biography collection are stars from Hollywood.

Hollwood stars on display
Hollywood stars on display
More Hollywood stars on display
More Hollywood stars on display

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!

Paper plate robins!
Paper plate robins!

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.

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green

Lending Librarian

Kensington Central Library