Harry Potter Moving Portraits at North Kensington Library

On Wednesday, 1st February and Saturday, 4th February North Kensington Library opened its doors to Harry Potter fans of all ages and invited them to take part in a series of special Harry Potter Book Night craft workshops.
Continue reading “Harry Potter Moving Portraits at North Kensington Library”


Free Comic Book Day in Kensington & Chelsea Libraries!

Celebrate and discover the amazing world of comics on Free Comic Book Day!

Free Comic Book Day 2015

Taking place annually on the first Saturday in May, Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book specialist shops around the world give away comic books – and this year, for this first time, we are very pleased to have some free comics from Forbidden Planet to give away at some of our libraries.

Participating libraries will have a poster advertising they are taking part. It’s first come, first served, so if you are an avid comic fan, visit one of the participating libraries – Brompton, Kensington Central or North Kensington Library – on Saturday 2 May to pick up your special free copy.

Free Comic Book Day 2015: DC Comics Divergence
Free Comic Book Day 2015: DC Comics Divergence available at Brompton, Kensington Central and North Kensington libraries.

What are we giving away? DC Comics: Divergence
A first look at upcoming storylines, featuring three 8-page previews for the June releases of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman, as well as Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s launch of the “Darkseid War” within Justice League featuring the biggest villains in the DCU – Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor, and Gene Luen Yang’s DC Comics debut with celebrated artist John Romita, Jr on Superman.

Rating: Teen

Why not join the library and check out the graphic novel collection at the same time? All of RBKC’s lending libraries have a comics section, including great Manga titles at Brompton Library. If there’s something in particular you’re looking for, check the catalogue in advance to find out where it’s in stock. Once you’ve whetted your appetite, you should know that there will soon be a whole lot more for you to enjoy, as a recent big stock buy means that what you see on Saturday is just the start…

If you’ve suggestions for future stock, we’d love to hear your views – contact Customer Services Assistant David Bushell at Brompton Library. and Happy Free Comic Book Day!


Blog Post From the North – November 2012

North Kensington Library
North Kensington Library

Each month we’ll tell you about the fantastic library services on offer at the three libraries in the north of  the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea:

  • North Kensington Library
  • Notting Hill Gate Library
  • Kensal Library

As with the blog posts from our other branches we’ll tell you about 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 our libraries in the north but please do let us know via the comments section if you’d like us to cover anything else.

News From the North by North Kensington Library’s Lending Librarian

Autumn has brought a flurry of activity to the north of the borough.

On Friday 2 November a bumper crowd of 32 children plus their carers attended an Autumn/Halloween themed story and craft session in North Kensington’s Children’s Library led by Customer Services Assistant, Ellen Pankhurst and myself. The children helped create a magnificent, frieze with autumnal trees, witches and spooky houses. It is amazing how children let their imaginations run wild with a few bits of coloured paper, glue and pencils. There is even a Nemo up a tree! If you don’t know who Nemo is you will have to come and take a look.

Halloween and Autumn Crafts
Halloween and Autumn Crafts on display at North Kensington Library

If you are ever stuck for ideas of what to do with your children on a horrible wet weekend, all the libraries have plenty of fun activity books which you can borrow. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive craft materials. Often old boxes, packaging and pictures cut out from magazines and a little imagination is all you need for hours of fun activity.

Strictly Come Dancing visited  North Kensington Library on  Wednesday 14 November  to film for a broadcast on  Saturday 17 November. Fans were treated to a view of Flavia Cacace looking at the book shelves while Louis Smith (yes an Olympic medalist was in our library!) performed press-ups on the floor.  If you’ve been inspired by Strictly Come Dancing – books, CDs and DVDs on ball room dancing and dancercise can be borrowed from our libraries.

On Thursday 15 November, as part of the Nour Festival of Arts (celebrating contemporary art, design, film and music from the Middle East and North Africa), North Kensington Library saw the launch of a new book collection comprising books in Arabic; works in translation and Arabic children’s books.

New Arabic Books at North Kensington Library
New Arabic Books at North Kensington Library

Some of the titles included are:

  • The now classic ‘Cairo trilogy’ by Naghuib Mahfouz; ‘The Art of Forgetting’ by Ahlem Mosteghanemi who is one of the best-selling female authors in the Arab world.
  • Children’s picture books ‘Hamda wa Fisaikra’- The tale of Hamda, or the Gulf Cinderella (Arabic edition) by Kaltham Al-Ghanem and ‘Al Intissar Ala Abu Derya – Victory Over Abu Derya’ by Mohamed Salem
  • ‘Raweyat Al Aflam -the Movie-maker’ (Arabic Edition)  by Hernán Letelier; ‘Asrar Sagheera – Little Secrets’ (Arabic edition) by Lebanese producer and TV host Rita Khoury
  • ‘Islamic Art in Detail’ by Sheila Canby.

Gaynor Lynch

Gaynor Lynch, Lending Librarian

Baby Rhyme Time at Notting Hill Gate Library

Baby rhyme time at Notting Hill Gate Library
Adrian Lewis doing baby rhyme time at Notting Hill Gate Library

 Notting Hill Gate Library’s Baby Rhyme Time  is going from strength to strength and has been getting bigger and better. Parents and carers bring their babies and toddlers for a fun session of storytelling, singing and rhymes. One parent said:

“We love coming in and listening to all the lovely stories and songs”

We recently had our biggest session yet, with the highest number of visitors in more than 6 years thanks to Adrian Lewis who runs them. Adrian joined the library in November last year , he worked previously for  Hammersmith and Fulham’s  Library Service who are now one of our Tri-Borough partners. He starts the sessions with stories, mainly ones where the children can interact with, using puppets and props to make it more exciting and ends with popular songs and rhymes.  He said:

“I have been doing the session for a year now, I am amazed at how popular it has become. We all have a really good time and I love seeing the smiles it puts on their faces”

Favourites stories include

  •  The Gruffalo  by Julia Donaldson
  • Very Hungary Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

Baby Rhyme Time  takes place every Friday at 10.30am at Notting Hill Gate Library.

Ihssan Dhimi
Ihssan Dhimi

Ihssan Dhimi, Senior Customer Services Assistant

Introduce a Friend to the Library and Get a Free DVD Loan!

From 15 November to 1 December 2012 Kensal, Notting Hill Gate and North Kensington libraries are running a special promotion to encourage you to get a friend to join the library. You both will then get a free DVD loan. To take advantage of this offer one of you must already be a member and the other either a new or ‘lapsed’ member (membership expired). The offer is open to adults and children and must be taken on the day that the new member joins.

Haunted libraries…

It might sound like a leg-pull, but you do realise that the library that you visit is haunted, don’t you? No? Then read on…

Let’s start with the oldest library in the borough, North Kensington. Built at the turn of the nineteenth century, this old building has seen a lot, and remembers a lot too. I myself have experienced events that are hard to ascribe to anything other than paranormal activity, doors opening and slamming shut by themselves and lights turning themselves back on whilst locking up the building. I kid you not… and these shenanigans would invariably occur in the winter months, when the nights draw in and the shadows appear to run from themselves. When most of the other staff have already made for the tube or the bus and you are alone…or so you believe.

North Kensington Library, sometime in the 1890s
North Kensington Library, sometime in the 1890s
North Kensington Library, June 1935
North Kensington Library, June 1935

Then there is Chelsea library, based as it is in the Old Town Hall. An old building again and one that seems to harbour its share of denizens of the unknown. How about hearing footsteps in the basement stacks and expecting to see a colleague appear but…nobody does. Or what about a sighing and whispering voice said to have been heard, again in the basement area. Spooky stuff, oh yes!

Chelsea Old Town Hall
Chelsea Old Town Hall

Even here at Central library you might feel the goosebumps rise if you were to go down to the stacks buried deep in the basement of the library. That feeling that, although you know you are the only human present in the area, tells you that you are not alone. Somebody else is there with you…

Kensington Central Library, black & white
Kensington Central Library

All of the above could of course just be a work of fiction, a load of old rubbish dreamt up by an overactive imagination.

Well, keep telling yourself that dear readers…