Blog post from the North – October 2013

North Kensington Library
North Kensington Library

Hello to you all from our three libraries in the north.

Everyone’s a winner at North Kensington Library

The Summer Reading Challenge came to an end 14 September 2013 and this was our most successful challenge yet. Between the three libraries of Kensal, North Kensington and Notting Hill Gate we had nearly 150 children complete the challenge. To do this they had to read 6 books over the summer holiday period. To celebrate the children’s success we organised a party at North Kensington Library on Saturday 5 October. 47 children and 21 adults attended.

More Creepy House characters!
More Creepy House characters!

We opened the party with a Creepy House Story and spooky music. There were some warm up games and then the children completed a Creepy House Treasure Hunt where they had to find all the Creepy House characters which were hidden all around the library.  To make it more interesting I had one over my ID card. It took a long time before anyone noticed and then I was swamped by children as the message got out.

Yet more Creepy House characters!
Yet more Creepy House characters!

Ishwari, one of our Senior Customer Services Assistants led a pairs game where the children were given the name of a famous personality or character and then had to introduce themselves to the other children until they found their partner – e.g. Wallace & Grommit, Batman & Robin, Dennis the Menace and Gnasher. It was great fun.

All the children received  prizes, sweets and refreshments were presented with a signed Creepy House completers certificate. I’m not sure who had the most fun, whether it was the children or the staff who threw themselves into the party with much energy and enthusiasm. Even some of the parents joined in the fun.

Gaynor Lynch
Gaynor Lynch

Gaynor Lynch

Lending Librarian

Messy but fun at Notting Hill Gate Library!

The Notting Hill Gate Library’s story and craft session this month was fun and messy. The kids dressed up in their favourite characters and then had loads of fun playing with our games. We had a cowboy who wasn’t feeling very well and had to pay a visit to the nurse…

A poorly cowboy gets a check-up at Notting Hill Gate Library!
A poorly cowboy gets a check-up at Notting Hill Gate Library!

The kids then made some super flying aeroplanes which they flew all over the library, A few times we had to duck so we didn’t get hit :$

Fancy dress and games are available at Notting Hill Gate Library every school holiday where the kids can come in and let their imagination lead them.

Ihssan Dhimi
Ihssan Dhimi

Ihssan Dhimi

Senior Customer Services Assistant

October has been a busy month for Kensal.  We celebrated Black History Month and had some great displays as well as lots of customer interest.

 Scary spiders at Kensal Library

I had prepared a wonderful Halloween session for our Chatterbooks reading group (for kids aged 8 to 12. The children who came loved the spooky stories and activities and there were plenty of treats to go around, I think I might play some tricks on the children who missed this months meeting!

We have some spooky displays around the library for Halloween and already lots of books have gone from them, we are constantly topping up!

On Thursday 31st October we are having a half term event and I have prepared a great activity to go with our story.  We will be attempting to make pom pom spiders and younger members can make their own scary pumpkin faces.  So be warned…there will be lots of scary spiders in the North Kensington area!

Natasha Chaoui

Senior Customer Services Assistant

A creepy party!

Creepy House banner
Creepy House banner

Saturday 14 September 2013 was the day the Creepy House Summer Reading Challenge officially came to an end in our libraries. To mark what has been an extremely successful Creepy House Challenge, a party was held in Kensington Central Library. Selected children – who had completed the challenge by reading a minimum of six books over the summer holidays – were nominated by staff in our six libraries to receive personally addressed party invitations. We could tell how eagerly children wanted to come due to the prompt replies by email and phone saying how thrilled children were to have been chosen to attend the party.

Creepy House characters
Creepy House characters

Admittance to the party was through a special entrance, where we were waiting to welcome guests with a Creepy House sticker and a goodie bag and to direct them downstairs to the Lecture Theatre. We were touched to see so many of the children proudly wearing their completer’s medals and clutching their invitations. One guest couldn’t wait to let us know that her mummy had opened her invitation by mistake! The same guest agreed that it’s nice to receive letters in the post.

A fearsome giant!
A fearsome giant!

When the guests had arrived and were seated, the entertainment began. A storyteller from The Freshwater Theatre Company entertained everyone present for an hour with his lively and interactive performances of ‘The Fearsome Giant’, ‘The Cedar Tree’ and ‘The Cracked Pot’. Children were chosen to participate in the different stories by climbing onto the stage and becoming one of a variety of characters; we had knights, archers, wrestlers and a variety of trees. The children had props to help bring their characters to life, and some children even contributed actions e.g. shaking knees when the Fearsome Giant roared!

It was heart-warming to see parents with a mixture of love, pleasure and amazement on their faces while watching their child happily performing. After an enthralling hour and a rapturous round of applause, it was time to welcome The Deputy Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Councillor Sam Mackover to the stage. The Deputy Mayor was pleased to show his support for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge by giving a short speech in which he congratulated the children for completing the challenge, and led everyone in a round of applause to thank all library staff and the team of wonderful volunteers who all contributed to the success of Creepy House Challenge. There was also a round of applause for staff and the volunteer who worked together to create such a successful party.

After such a memorable afternoon, the party ended with guests being given a limited edition Creepy House bag, a bear and book of their choice on leaving. We were pleased that the party, which turned into a real family affair, was a success. It was lovely to receive positive feedback from parents about how their child had reached a milestone by participating and completing the challenge and now have a love of reading.

Hopefully children who completed the challenge this year will continue to enjoy reading and may even join Chatterbooks, our monthly book group for children!

The Creepy House party team

Blog post from the North – August 2013

North Kensington Library
North Kensington Library

Hello to you all from our libraries in the North!

Summer reading and a missing model at North Kensington Library

Summer Reading Challenge display at North Kensington Library
Summer Reading Challenge display at North Kensington Library

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge has been fantastic.  We have had over 150 children start the challenge in the North in the first week alone. The first child to finish at North Kensington Library was an 11 year old from Thomas Jones School. It has been such a success that we have had to order additional supplies to meet the demand.

Creepy crafts on display at North Kensington Library
Creepy crafts on display at North Kensington Library

Children are enjoying Creepy House craft and story Sessions at all our libraries – examples of the children’s craft work are on display on the wall in the children’s library at North Kensington. Pop in and take a look at how creative our young readers are!

What ever happened to the KALC model?

I don’t know, I go away for a couple of weeks and when you get back something is missing. The KALC (Kensington Academy and Leisure Centre) model had been with us for so long it had become part of the fittings. On the plus side its removal has brought back much needed space to the adult lending library (on the ground floor) which has allowed us to improve the layout and display of stock, particularly the Skills for Life collection and the books in community languages.

Skills for Life and books in other languages at North Kensington Library
Skills for Life and books in other languages at North Kensington Library

If you didn’t get an opportunity to examine the KALC model you can still pick up copies of the newsletter from North Kensington Library. There’s also more information about the project on the KALC web page – you can even watch the construction works live!

Information about the new Kensington Aldridge Academy, which is due to open September 2014 creating much needed secondary school places in the north of the borough, can be found on the Aldridge Foundation website.

Gaynor Lynch
Gaynor Lynch

Gaynor Lynch

Lending Librarian

North Kensington Library

Mr Wiz the Wizard at Notting Hill Gate Library

At Notting Hill Gate Library we were visited by Mr Wiz the Wizard! He helped the children build a Creepy House in the library. It was a very entertaining session and many thanks to Mr Wizard for staying longer than he supposed to do because kids enjoyed the event so much.

Nahid Mojhated

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Notting Hill Gate Library

Kensington Central Library – August 2013

Kensington Central Library
Kensington Central Library

Hello from us all at Kensington Central Library! Our blog post this month has a pieces from our lending and reference libraries which perfectly illustrates we have something for everyone.

A wizard and ghosts in the children’s library!

As the school holidays are in full swing we’ve had some amazing events for kids in our children’s library to support this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Mr Wiz the Wizard came to see us last week – he needed help building his creepy house in the children’s library.  He had plenty of dinosaur eggs (Haribo eggs thankfully!) and balloon animals which he gave out to the children that helped him. The children had a great time as they also had the chance to spin plates, burst bubbles and sing songs.

We’ve been having a story and craft session every Thursday afternoon at 2pm since the start of the summer holidays. We’ve been reading some scary stories and creating some scary things which the children have loved. Last Thursday the children made ghosts by drawing round their hands and spiders from fingerprints. They also came up with some great names for their spiders – Vegeta and Ushar being two of them!

We’ve another story and craft session this Thursday (15 August) & we’ll be making witches – bring the kids along!

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green

Lending Librarian

Headlines and back issues

Newspapers
Newspapers

Did you know that we keep a range of current newspapers and magazines in our libraries? We also have a treasure trove in our historical and special collections of back issues of not only current titles but also newspapers and magazines that have long since gone out of print.

Magazines
Magazines

Our most popular titles include:

  • Illustrated London News – going back to 1842
  • Microfiche of The Times – 1785 – 1997
  • Punch – going back to 1841
  • Harpers Bazaar – going back to 1950
  • Vanity Fair  – going back to 1956
  • Vogue  – going back to 1923

A full list of all the newspapers and magazines that we have and how far back we keep them can be found on our ‘Reference and information and special collections’ web page. If you want to check we have issue – do phone us on 020 7361 3010 so we can confirm that the newspaper or magazine you need is available.

Did you know we have newspapers and magazines for children and young adults too? We have reorganised the young adult magazines in the young adult library at Kensington Central Library so that the current issues are in some sturdy green folders and the back issues are now kept in box files on the shelves just behind where the current issues are.  They now look a  lot tidier and more importantly are more accessible.

Sandeep Dhaliwal

Triborough Reference Librarian

The Brompton Blog – July 2013

Brompton Library
Brompton Library

Hello, hola, ciao, as-salām ‘alaykum, cześć

My name is Christian and I work at as a Senior Customer Services Assistant at Brompton Library. On behalf of all the staff here we welcome all our customers and readers from around the world to the latest edition of The Brompton Blog.

For those of you who don’t know Brompton Library, we are a medium-sized library eight minutes walk from Earls Court tube station. Local residents, people who work nearby, students and tourists all use Brompton Library – we have something for everyone.

Christian Stevens
Christian Stevens

Christian Stevens

Senior Customer Services Assistant

The Summer Reading Challenge and Chatterbooks

Creepy House banner
Creepy House banner

We’ve had a great start to the Summer Reading Challenge this year –  over sixty children have already signed up to take part and three children have already finished. This means they have read and talked about six books with library staff. More information about this summer reading scheme ( as well as lots of exciting summer events) can be found on our Summer Reading Challenge webpage.

Chatterbooks
Chatterbooks

I told the children who came to our last Chatterbooks reading group all about the Summer Reading Challenge and I encouraged them all to take part.  The children like the ‘creepy’ theme and really enjoyed doing a Creepy House word search.

Our next Chatterbooks meeting will be on Monday 16 September. If you’d like your child to to come along please speak to a  member of library staff. There’s also more information on our Chatterbooks webpage.

Babita Sinha
Babita Sinha

Babita Sinha

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Premier League Reading Stars at Brompton Library

Premier League Reading Stars logo
Premier League Reading Stars logo

In our May 2013 blog post I wrote about the Premier League Reading Stars (PLRS) scheme we’ve been hosting at Brompton Library with children from one of our local schools, St Cuthbert with St Matthias. We’ve had a “fixture” every Tuesday after school for the last ten weeks.

Rob Symmons, from Chelsea library, and I have been delivering football-themed activities with the goal of improving the children’s literacy skills and embedding an enthusiasm for reading. It’s been an interesting learning experience for us as well as the kids with some yellow cards handed out along the way but, at the final whistle, we’re all over the moon that the season has now ended! (Apologies for the high number of footballing clichés in that last sentence!)

In mid-June we had an away fixture at Queens Park Rangers Football Club who supported PLRS for the second year running. Jesse Foyle, QPR’s Education Manager, gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of the ground and then sprang a quiz on our players. It was a big ask but they rose to the occasion.

Our final fixture allowed us to celebrate the children’s achievements with their proud parents and families – each child gets a certificate and we had party food and drinks. By the time you read this I can honestly say – they think it’s all over, it is now!

Stephanie Webb
Stephanie Webb

Stephanie Webb

Lending Librarian

Summer Reading Challenge 2013 – events

Creepy House characters
Creepy House characters

We blogged earlier in the week about this year’s Summer Reading Challenge for children in our libraries – what it is and how your child can get involved.

As promised here’s a selection of some of the amazing events we’ve got  for children in our libraries during the summer. A full list of our summer events can be found on our Summer Reading Challenge page.

Creepy House Challenge!

Creepy House logo
Creepy house logo

A spine tingling adventure for children aged seven to 11 years on:

  • Thursday 22nd August, 11am to 12pm at Kensal Library
  • Thursday 22nd August, 3pm  to 4pm at Brompton Library

Mr Wiz the Wizard – Let’s build a Creepy House!

Mr Wiz the Wizard
Mr Wiz the Wizard

Mr Wiz goes house hunting. When his broomstick breaks down, the children help him build his own creepy house. With cracks in the floorboard, bubbles in the bedroom, cobwebs in the cupboard and dinosaur eggs in the fridge, will the house be creepy enough? Suitable for children aged five to 11 on:

  • Tuesday 30 July, 10.30 to 11.30am at North Kensington Library
  • Tuesday 30 July, 1.30 to 2.30pm at Notting Hill Gate Library
  • Thursday 8 August, 11am to 12 noon at Kensington Central Library
  • Thursday 8 August, 2.30pm to to 3.30pm at Chelsea Library

Creepy Stories and Crafts!

We’ll be having lots of creepy story and craft sessions at our libraries – the children will be making haunted houses, skeletons, spiders, witches and more…!

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green

Lending Librarian

Summer Reading Challenge 2013

Creepy House logo
Creepy house logo

There’s a spine-tingling adventure waiting for children this summer at your local Kensington and Chelsea library. They can take part in the Summer Reading Challenge and face the Creepy House!

Creepy House characters
Creepy House characters

What is the Summer Reading Challenge?

It is the biggest national reading initiative that’s run by nearly every public library in the UK during July and August. The challenge is for children, aged 4 to 11 and it is simple: to read 6 or more library books over the summer. Taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge helps prevent the ‘summer reading dip’ – when children without reading opportunities at home over the long summer break from school can lose confidence in their reading.

Reading Rewards

Wolf Kid and Bunny Boy
Wolf Kid and Bunny Boy

By reading 6 books children can discover the secrets of Creepy House and meet some of the hair-raising residents. They’ll also have a chance to explore:

  • The Awful Upstairs!
  • The Gruesome Ground Floor!
  • The Spine-tingling Cellar!

There are stickers and rewards for the children  as they read their 6 books. And at the end of the summer there’s a certificate for children who read 3 or more books and a medal for those that complete the challenge of reading 6 books.

Twilight Tim, Summer Reading Challenge 2013
Twilight Tim

How can my child take part?

Skeleton Family Robinson, Summer Reading Challenge 2013
Skeleton Family Robinson

If you would like your child to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge please ask a member of staff in your local Kensington and Chelsea library.  It’s completely free! We’ll be having lots of exciting events in all our libraries during the summer – we’ll blog about those later this week.

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green Lending Librarian