We were so busy in the last week of September with Local History Week at North Kensington Library. The Carnival Mas and Mayhem banners exhibition was very popular and it was good to see local residents gather in the hallway to read the testimonials from people reminiscing about late 1950s and the birth of Notting Hill Carnival.
On Monday there was a talk by our own member of staff and famous soca artist John David with his guests Pepe Francis – a man who has dedicated more than 50 years to the steel band art form and Symone Williams – the manager of the mas band Genesis whose late father Vernon Williams was one of the founding members of Notting Hill Carnival in 1964.They talked about history of steel bands, local community support of young people through own experience, costume and mask making and the importance of Notting Hill Carnival to the local community and wider.
I could have listened to them forever…
We had film screening Carnival 73 , featuring Leslie Palmer, the first organiser of Notting Hill Carnival as we know it today. 58 Riot Tour films by Tony Auguste followed by the discussion hat featured Sister Monica Tywang, who presented the Mas and Mayhem exhibition.
On Thursday, our guest was Local author Blanche Girouard whose latest book Portobello Voices was published in early September. She took us on an audio visual journey through hidden gems of Portobello Market. We listened to the recorded interviews with local traders who were talking about their experiences from the market from past and present.
The copy of the book is available to loam from all Kensington and Chelsea Libraries.
The last day of the North Kensington Local History week was fun, fun, fun!!! There was a carnival mask making workshop in North Kensington Children’s Library.
We had colourful paper, glitter and feathers and we created some beautiful masks (that can now be seen on display in North Kensington Children’s Library) while we chatted about the Carnival, colours, shapes and….oh…. ok…..and we had a bit of girly fashion chat as well…..
And here are some of our masks!
Customer Services Manager
North Kensington, Kensal and Notting Hill Gate Libraries
North Kensington Library is having a Local History Week later this month from Monday 23 to Saturday 28 September. So if you’re interested in knowing more about the local area then come along – we’ve events for all ages and they’re all free.
Local History Exhibition
Monday 23 to Saturday 28 September
Notting Hill Caribbean Culture – Past and Present
Monday 23 September, 6 to 8pm
A talk by John David. Places are limited – book your free place to this at North Kensington Library.
Carnival 73, 58 Riot Tour and Grove Roots – Film Screenings
Tuesday 24 September, 5 to 8pm
Carnival 73 features Leslie Palmer. The screenings will be followed by a Q and A with Tony Auguste and Tom Vague. Places are limited – book your free place to this event at North Kensington Library.
Meet author Blanche Girouard
Thursday 26 September, 6 to 8pm
Blanche Girouard is a local author. She will talk about her latest book ‘Portobello Voices’ which is on the relevance of Portobello Market today. Places are limited – book your free place to this talk at North Kensington Library.
Carnival Mask Making workshop for children
Saturday 28 September, 1 to 4pm
There’s no need to book a place to this session – just come along to North Kensington Children’s Library.
Customer Services Manager, North Kensington 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Senior Customer Services Assistant
Authors we love: 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.
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.
Senior Customer Services Assistant
A London Quiz
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.