Black History Month event at Chelsea Library

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Caged bird by Maya Angelou

Black History Month did not pass unnoticed at Chelsea Library. We were well prepared with a rich collection of books for children, teenagers and adults – and we had information displays throughout the library.

On Saturday 21 October, the library held a very successful Black History Month story and craft session. I invited Ade Akinbi, a teacher from a local primary school to be our special guest. As our events are free, and families can just come along – you never know how many will come, how old the children will be, and whether the planned activities will be appropriate for them. Therefore, I prepared for all possibilities – and hoped for the best!

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After my short introduction, Ade read ‘Caged bird’, Maya Angelou’s famous poem.

I then read Julia Donaldson’s ‘The ugly five’. This story is such a great fun and a fantastic introduction to our craft session – making animal masks. Tigers were absolutely the favourite choice, as you can see. Monkeys, lions, hippos, giraffes and cows (acting as wildebeests) could not compete with them.

After the first fifteen minutes of hubbub and excitement, everybody gradually got quiet and listened to songs from The Lion King in the background. (By the way – this is a guaranteed recipe for home-family-art-craft-workshop: talking book playing in the background and all sorts of craft materials on the kitchen table.)

The children and adults seemed content in designing, colouring and cutting, and I seized the moment for Ade to read another story – ‘When the rains come’ by Tom Pow and Malika Favre, set in a village in Malawi. We all enjoyed it, even learnt how to say “Hello, how are you?” “Moni. Muli bwanji.”

Six year old Christina made three masks – all tigers! Agynes (8), twins Phillip and Luke (7), Camilla (6) and Victoria (4) and many others, who had to leave earlier, spent a dynamic and creative afternoon with us.

Zvezdana, Chelsea Library

Kensington Central Library – March 2013

Kensington Central Library
Kensington Central Library

Hello and welcome to our third blog post of the year. This month we thought we’d tell you about how new monthly story and craft session for children is going, some new displays and lastly something completely different….!

Story and crafts

Story and craft sessions
Story and craft sessions

Our new monthly story and craft sessions started in February – over to Haider and Gemma to tell you more….

The first session started off with great success, after finishing the short story ‘The Rhyming Rabbit’ by Julia Donaldson, we started with the crafts section of the hour. Both parents and children seemed to be thrilled by the idea of making their own rabbit ears, some parents more than their kids.

Haider wearing his rabbit ears!
Haider wearing his rabbit ears!

Gradually as the crafts section continued we had more and more kids and parents coming along to make their own set of ears, I personally believe my rabbit ears were by far the best, but then again a certain little chap seemed to have been the next Neil Buchanan. However all petty competition aside, the first story and craft session seemed to have gone off with a bang, having gotten back some really good feedback from the participators as well as ideas of what they want from the next sessions.

Our second session in March had a football theme – we read ‘Harry and the Dinosaurs United’ by Ian Whybrow and made footballers.

Haider and Gemma at our second session
Haider and Gemma at our second session

Our sessions are the second Saturday of the month, 2 to 3pm. Check our website for dates – we’d love to see you!

Haider Ali, Customer Services Assistant

Gemma Baker, Senior Customer Services Assistant

New displays

We’re really lucky to have so much space to display our books at this library. I thought you’d like to see some of the displays we’ve had to celebrate various things such as St Patrick’s Day, International Book Week and the 150 year anniversary of the London Underground. If you’ve got an idea for a display – please let us know via the comments section below.

London Underground 150 year anniversary
London Underground 150 year anniversary
St Patrick's Day books on display
St Patrick’s Day
International Book Week, 18 to 22 March 2013
International Book Week, 18 to 22 March 2013
National Science and Engineering Week, 15 to 24 March 2013 books on display
National Science and Engineering Week, 15 to 24 March 2013

And now for something completely different….

To celebrate Red Nose Day and to support Comic Relief, Kensington and Chelsea staff were asked if they’d like to take part in a RBKC Harlem Shake. We’d thought you’d like to see what our colleagues did:

[youtube.com/watch?v=mg7xwixPY8M]

Even funnier (in my opinion) is the making of video:

[youtube.com/watch?v=4hY3yDKg7v8]

Hope you enjoy them too!

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green

Lending Librarian

The Brompton Blog March 2013

Brompton Library
Brompton Library

Hello blog-fans and library enthusiasts. We hope you are well despite the recent return of the wintry conditions which seem to be the causing mass outbreaks of cold and sniffles across the capital. Fear not! Our library is well stocked with health and wellbeing books that can help you to beat these seasonal maladies.

In addition to the usual events and classes taking place at Brompton Library we have had some additional activities and recommendations that you may find interesting while our resident culture aficionado and reading group leader, Katie Collis talks about one of her favourite authors.

World Book Day at Brompton Library

World Book Day logo
World Book Day logo

Thursday 7 March was World Book Day and it started at  Brompton Library with storytime at 10am. We read ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ by Julia Donaldson and sang songs and read out other stories and rhymes.

What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson
What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson

I had put up posters in the library and I wondered whether any children would be dressing up. Then a little girl came dressed in a ladybird costume. I printed off some photos of authors and made them into masks.

The day carried on with a class visit at 2pm from a local school. I wondered if the author masks looked scary but the children laughed and some of them could match the author’s names to the faces.

Elisabeth with her author masks
Elisabeth with her author masks

Helen East was our visiting storyteller; she entertained us all very well and made the children promise to retell the story to help them remember it.

A lot of children visit Brompton Library after school; they played with the masks and told me whether they had done anything for World Book Day at school and what they were planning to buy with their World Book Day voucher. There’s more  information about this day on the World Book Day website.

Elisabeth Brown
Elisabeth Brown

Elisabeth Brown

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Calling all film buffs!

This month we have a selection of foreign language films in the library. Included are such gems as the Hebrew/Israeli film Waltz with Bashir, a stunning animation about a man trying to understand his nightmares and experiences as a soldier in the 1982 Lebanon war, and Perspolis, (also a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi), a modern cult classic telling the experiences of the author struggling with her Iranian identity in Europe. Please see the display by the entrance for these and other great films you may love but have yet to discover! All titles have English subtitles.

DVDs on display at Brompton Library
DVDs on display at Brompton Library

In addition to these world cinema titles we also have a great selection of new films to borrow. This includes Argo, Ben Affleck’s latest thriller which scooped three Oscars at this year’s award ceremony including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Picture. There’s a complete list of this year’s winners on the Oscars website.

Other less high-brow new release films on offer include Skyfall the latest James Bond adventure and Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Part 2. In addition to these titles here are some DVD recommendations that are available within the RBKC library service:

Moonrise Kingdom: Wes Anderson’s latest quirky comedy features a fantastic cast including Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand and Edward Norton.

Beasts of the Southern Wild: A beautiful and poignant realist-fantasy featuring a stunning performance from Quvenzhane Wallis the nine year old girl who is the youngest person ever to be nominated for an academy award.

Christian Stevens
Christian Stevens

Christian Stevens

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Katie’s Corner

Authors we love: David Sedaris

David Sedaris
David Sedaris

Like the road trips that I alluded to last month with my husband whilst listening to audio books, the same author keeps popping into my mind – David Sedaris. I first came across this chap on Radio 4, his beguiling voice entertaining the audience with stories of his family, his childhood and his meanderings. Born in New York he had a very unconventional childhood and his writings did not provoke the interest of many until he was asked to host a radio show in Chicago. Once regular essays of his started appearing in the press the New York Times established him as a ‘minor icon’ and he started publishing his books. His 8th book, Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls is coming out in April.

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

What I like about Sedaris is that he is entirely unsentimental but he writes and speaks in a way that cannot fail to touch you, he sums up relationships with his partner, parents and siblings which are hilarious and thought-provoking. Of them in particular he writes:

We were not a hugging people. In terms of emotional comfort it was our belief that no amount of physical contact could match the healing powers of a well made cocktail.

We have a number of his books in our collection so check him out! A teensy little taster of Sedaris can also be heard currently on Radio 4’s Ramblings with Clare Balding. That can be found on the BBC Radio 4 website.

Katie Collis

Senior Customer Services Assistant

A London Quiz

A Week In December by Sebastian Faulks
A Week In December by Sebastian Faulks

Want to test your knowledge about London? To celebrate our involvement with the Cityread London campaign, library staff have put together a quiz sheet that highlights the locations which appear in A Week in December  by Sebastian Faulks (this year’s Cityread London title).

You can collect a copy of the quiz from us and our other libraries – there aren’t any prizes but we hope you enjoy testing yourself!

There’s  more information about the campaign on Cityread London’s website and we’ve lots of events happening in our libraries during April 2013 too- full details on our Cityread London webpage.