Blog post from Kensington Central Library- November 2012

Kensington Central Library
Kensington Central Library

We were so impressed with the monthly blog post from our colleagues at Brompton Library that the staff at Kensington Central Library decided we just had to join in!

Each month we’ll tell you about the fantastic services on offer at the central library for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, such as any special events we’ll be holding and we’ll also introduce you to the staff. We hope you’ll enjoy finding out more about Kensington Central Library but please do let us know via the comments section if you’d like us to cover anything else.

Kensington Central Library’s New Lending Librarian

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

As part of the new Tri-Borough structure Kensington Central Library has a Lending Librarian, Jodie Green.

I look after all lending stock at Kensington Central Library – this means all the items you can borrow from the library such as books, CDs, DVDs, audio books and even eBooks! If we don’t have an item which you think we ought to have in stock, we have stock suggestion books in the adult and children’s libraries- please just speak to a member of staff & they’ll jot it down. Looking for something to read in a hurry? We always have a display of books recommended by our staff, it’s right by the new enquiry desk near the library entrance.

Staff suggestions display at Kensington Central Library in November 2012
Staff suggestions display at Kensington Central Library

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian

Kensington Central Library’s Reading Group

Our group at Kensington Central Library meets in the evening, on the third Monday of each month to discuss their latest read. At the moment, the group benefits from private use of the Local Studies area after it closes, where they can freely enjoy a round table discussion. Attendance averages between 8-11 members, with a good mix of age and gender, which makes for lively debate. It’s sometimes a shame that I have to remind them when the library is closing – whereas I’m sure they’d happily continue into the night! Each month, at the end of the session, the group hand me a list of titles that they wish to read. It’s my job to source as many copies as possible of their preference, in time for the group’s next meeting.

Kensington Central Library’s Reading Group is open to all and welcomes new members. This month (November) the group are reading ‘Cider with Rosie’, by Laurie Lee. It’s not necessary to register – so if you like to talk about books, why not pop along and join in?

Amal Sakr, Senior Customer Services Assistant

Halloween Story and Craft session- Thursday 1st November 2012

Although Halloween was the previous day, the children’s area in Kensington Central Library was home to spider-webs and spooky goings on for the half term story and craft session. A story about a witch’s cat grabbed the attention and imagination of the twenty or so children who attended, inspiring them to decorate a simple cat-shaped mask with spangles, fluff and colours of their choice. A great time was had by all, and with the promise of another story and craft session over the Christmas holidays many will be back again to hear a tale and make something lovely to take home! I was the storyteller and I was helped by 3 other members of library staff and various parents and guardians!

A witch reading a story at Kensington Central Library!
A witch reading a story at Kensington Central Library!

Gemma Baker, Senior Customer Services Assistant

Kensington Central Reference Library: Information Event

I will introduce myself and what I do at Kensington Central Reference Library in the next blog post but I wanted to tell you about a brilliant event that will be happening next week.

On Monday 12th November, 11.00am-6.30pm the Open University will be here. If you haven’t studied with The Open University before, or you have had a few years away from study, this event is for you! Come along for an informal conversation to get answers to your questions about qualifications and modules, study methods and other aspects of learning with The Open University. No appointment necessary- just drop in.

Nina Risoli, Reference Librarian

And a final word from the Customer Services Manager at Kensington Central Library:

I have been involved in the training of the library staff in using the self service kiosks that have recently been installed in the library. This means that staff are able to confidently support customers with the new technology. The new sorter machine which is used to return library items is proving particularly popular with children who are enjoying returning their books, CDs and DVDs this way. We have had lots of positive comments from customers about our new look lending library. The children’s and young people’s library is currently undergoing building works and both our customers and our staff are looking forward to the reopening of it before Christmas. Whilst this space is being made brighter and better, we are still offering a range of children’s stock in our temporary children’s area and continuing with our extremely popular baby rhyme time and storytime sessions.

Amanda Southern, Customer Services Manager
Amanda Southern, Customer Services Manager

Amanda Southern, Customer Services Manager

Halloween

Fire celebration
Fire celebration

As the nights draw and autumn  leaves begin to fall it is time once again to look at  some of the folklore surrounding this time of year.

In our previous folklore post we referred to Punkie night in late October and this time of year is rich in custom and tradition.

The most well know date in the calendar is of course the 31 October. This has a variety of names including Samhain, All Hallows Eve,  Apple and Candle Night, Nut Crack Night, Nos Calan Gaeaf (if you are a welsh speaker) more commonly known as Halloween.

In pagan tradition the date marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter, the time of the ending of one year and the beginning of the next. A time of celebrating the harvest, looking forward to the New Year, but also a time when the dead were honoured. Supernatural forces are thought to be stronger than normal and barriers between the living and  the dead begin to dissolve  and spirits walked abroad.

The date also became important in the Christian calendar as All Hallow’s Eve  with celebrations  continuing into the festival of All Saints Day (1 November).

Bobbing for apples
Bobbing for apples

Here are a few ideas for Halloween celebrations taken from books in our special collection.

Bob-Apple
One of the more well known games is to try to bite and get-a-hold of an apple floating in a tub of water or swung on cord in front of  the player, usingnothing but your teeth. Good fortune will follow in the coming year if one is caught.

Why not try the Scottish and north country variant by swinging a treacle smeared scone in front of the player instead?

Who will be your partner?
Some older games for  Halloween involve nuts and fruit. These often involved girls trying to find out who their future husband would be (although I expect it works for both sexes these days!!).  Why not try roasting  two chestnuts in the fire and give them the names of your potential parners, if they cook well all will be well in your relationship, but if they burst apart the signs are bad.

If you grow your own, pull up a cabbage to see how suitable you partner is –  taste the root to see if it indicates a sweet or bitter temperament, and lots of dirt implies they are wealthy.

Witch
Witch

Trick or Treat?
Nowadays this seems more like an American import but the tradition originates from England. In the nineteenth century in both Yorkshire and Scotland the 31 October was known as mischief night. It was customary for young men in the villages  to disguise themselves in fantastic costumes, wearing masks or darkening their faces and going from house to house collecting money or gifts of food.

All things spooky
On this night all things supernatural are supposed to occur and the night is chiefly associated with witches and the returning dead

Books and stories
Of course there are a number of books, poems and films which have Halloween as a theme, some of which can be found in our libraries. Search our library catalogue  for all things Halloween.

Halloween Party by Agatha Christie
Halloween Party by Agatha Christie
Halloween Trick or Treat book
Halloween Trick or Treat book
Halloween book by Dorling Kindersley
Halloween book by Dorling Kindersley

                    by Karen Ullersperger