Following the Reading Agency launch of the Reading Well Books on Prescription Dementia Collection on Monday 26 January, libraries across the three boroughs gave community and health partners, as well as members of the public, the chance to find out about our Reading Well initiatives, with collection launches at five libraries.
The first Kensington launch was at North Kensington Library on 4 February, a lunchtime event with partners from the Stroke Association, Age UK, the Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster Memory Service, Open Age, West African Women’s network development and the Depression Alliance. The Remembering Together display was on show and attracted a lot of interest.
Then it was the turn of Brompton Library on 6 February, led by librarian Stephanie Webb and Diane Sherlock, author of Come into the Garden. Stephanie and Diane led a discussion on Reading Well Books on Prescription over tea and scones with members of the public who shared their own experiences of caring for relatives with dementia. Kathryn Gilfoy from Westminster Arts answered questions about living well with dementia, Kathryn runs the memory cafes in north and south Westminster. Diane read some of her poems.
Five different launches in different libraries in the three boroughs, only made possible by joint working with library staff and health and community partners.
Very warm thanks to Silva, Adisa, Gaynor and Besant at North Kensington, Katie and Stephanie at Brompton and all colleagues! Thanks to Diane Sherlock and Nell Dunn who donated their time and to Kathryn and Freya from Westminster Arts. Thanks to the Stroke Association who donate their time and resources to help prevent vascular dementia by preventing stroke.
The Summer Reading Challenge is happening soon at a library near you!
This years’ Mythical Maze theme challenges children to read six books during the summer holidays.
Reading for pleasure is really important for a child’s achievement, and libraries can help! We have lots of great books to choose from and children can read whatever they like over the holiday – fact books, joke books, picture books, audio books – just as long as they are borrowed from the library. Every time children finish a book they get stickers and rewards and there’s a medal for everyone who finishes.
The Summer Reading Challenge is open to all school children and is designed for all reading abilities. It’s free to join, just go along to your local library during the school summer holidays to take part. There are also lots of events and activities happening in libraries throughout the summer- keep an eye on our website and our facebook page for details!
Self-help books can help people understand and manage common conditions, including depression and anxiety. Individuals with mild to moderate mental health conditions often use self-help books as an early intervention or additional treatment.
The Books on Prescription scheme includes a core list of self-help books, which are based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help individuals understand and cope with a range of common conditions. Professor Neil Frude, a clinical psychologist, first developed it in Cardiff and there has been a national scheme in Wales since 2005.
For a full list of these self-help books visit the Reading Agency website.
The Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme will be launched in June 2013, as the first national scheme for England and all self-help books and other resources for the scheme will be available in all Kensington and Chelsea libraries.
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Books on Prescription Launch event
For a chance to know more about the Scheme and an opportunity to meet and network with key health professionals:
Wednesday 5 June, 2pm to 4pm
Brompton Library 210 Old Brompton Road
London SW5 0BS
Which topics does the Books on Prescription scheme cover?
binge eating/ Bulimia Nervosa
obsessions and ompulsiocns
How does Reading Well Books on Prescription work?
Books can be recommended by your GP, psychological well-being practitioner or another health professional using the form attached to the user guide – you can find this in your local library or your local GP.
Individuals can then take their book recommendation to the library, where the book can be borrowed for free. If the book is not available, it can be reserved for you free of charge and the library will let you know when it arrives. Free reservations are available in most libraries.
Some people may also use the self-help books independently as a first step in seeking help.
What if I am not a library member, can I still borrow a book?
Yes you can. Joining is quick and easy when you go to the library to collect the book. You will be asked to complete a short membership form and provide one form of identification such as a driver’s licence, passport or bank card. If you need any assistance to complete the membership form or borrow a book, the library staff will be available to help you.
Books can be borrowed for three weeks and renewed a further four times.
Can books really help?
Research shows that reading improves mental well-being, and reduces stress levels by 67 per cent (Mindlab International, 2009). Also, there is strong evidence from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) that self-help reading can help people with common mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.
For more information about this research visit the Reading Agency website.
The books provide helpful information and step-by-step self-help techniques for managing common conditions, including depression and anxiety. Although books can sometimes work on their own, research has shown that self-help approaches work best when there is support from a health professional.
The books on the scheme have all been recommended by experts. They have been tried, tested and found to be useful.
What if the book doesn’t help?
If you find that the book you are reading is not helping, you should contact your GP or health professional for further advice.
How can I tell you what I think of the scheme or the book I borrowed?
We would like to hear from you about your experience with the scheme and the recommended books, as this will help us to improve. You can contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or for information or questions about the scheme.
We thought we’d use the picture of Kensington Central Library in the snow again as it was snowing a little last week- really it was an excuse to use this picture again!
Have you heard about the Six Book Challenge? This is taking place in all six of our libraries and is aimed at anyone who wishing to improve their reading or would like to read more. There’s more information about the challenge on The Reading Agency’s website.
If you’d like to take part you can register at any of our libraries in Kensington and Chelsea. You complete six reads and record your reading in a diary which we provide. There are incentives along the way to encourage you to keep reading, after two reads a free CD loan and three reads a free DVD loan. If you complete by 28 June 2013 you can enter the national prize draw for a trip to London with a friend to see a show and £150 spending money. We also have a local draw for completers at the end of the summer for two Sony e-readers.
Lots of exciting things have been happening here since the last time we blogged so I’ll hand over to some of the staff here to tell you more.
A magical storytime
On Monday 28 January, a magical storytime happened here with storyteller, Helen East. She guided parents and children alike though a fairy tale of Queen Mary II’s desire of a little a girl to love.
Through the use of excellent props and music Helen engaged the children’s imagination and provided a unique hands-on storytelling experience.
Following on from the theme of the story was a craft session making happy Queen Mary II finger puppets, with fabric feathers and felts, which the children could take home to act out their own stories.
This session was arranged with staff from Kensington Palace, Natalie Cain and Joy Drury to celebrate National Storytelling Week- there’s more information about this week on the Society for Storytelling’s website. Many thanks to them for doing this and for taking the amazing photos!
Senior Customer Services Assistant
On the 31 January we had acclaimed author, Keith Lowe giving a very informative talk here around his latest novel Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II.
He showed some slides to illustrate some of the key moments in his book – such as the rampant chaos that ensued between the Second World War ending and the beginning of the Cold War. There was time after the talk for questions and the audience took the opportunity to ask questions about the war crimes trials and how the Cold War played a part in bringing these trials to an end.
To find out more, why not borrow a copy of Keith’s book from one of our libraries? There’s also more information on Keith Lowe’s website.
And if you’d like to attend any of events- just take a look at our what’s on page to see what’s coming up. We have events with Neil Mckenna and Jessica Fellowes coming up soon- get a ticket soon!
Senior Customer Services Assistant
National Libraries Day
Saturday 9 February was National Libraries Day and to celebrate we had a special children’s story and craft event based on Chinese New Year.
Since we were saying hello to the Year of the Snake we made fun spirally snakes! The children had great fun decorating their snakes with glitter, sequins, stickers and googly eyes!
We gathered a collection of stories with snakes in and Bochra (who’s doing work experience with us at the moment) read a few of these to the children. The children really enjoyed looking at the pictures in these books which inspired them when they were making their spirally snakes.
January has been a very busy month for us at North Kensington Library with planning and launching the Six Book Challenge which is taking place in all our libraries. The challenge is aimed at anyone who wishing to improve their reading or would like to read more. There’s more information about the Six Book Challenge on The Reading Agency’s website.
If you wish to take part in the Six Book Challenge you can register at any of our libraries in Kensington and Chelsea. You complete six reads and record your reading in a diary which we provide. There are incentives along the way to encourage you to keep reading, after two reads a free CD loan and three reads a free DVD loan. If you complete by 28 June 2013 you can enter the national prize draw for a trip to London (I know, we are there already) with a friend to see a show and £150 spending money. We also have a local draw for completers at the end of the summer for two Sony e-readers.
You can read anything (e.g. a book, poem, graphic novel or magazine article including e Books) but we have books in our Quick Reads and Skills for Life collections which are particularly suitable.
On 24 January Eithne Farry, author of ‘Yeah! I made it myself’ and ‘Lovely things to make for girls of slender means’ led a workshop at North Kensington Library. She demonstrated how to make decorative hair bands and ‘Fascinations’ using cheap and recycled materials. If you are interested in crafts and recycling/ remodling old clothes we have books, including Eithne’s, in all our libraries.
Eithne will be running a workshop for young people (aged 11-15) in our children’s library at North Kensington Library Wednesday 20 February 2pm to 4pm- do come along if you can!
Lending Librarian, North Kensington Library
Improved stock display at Kensal Library
‘Small is beautiful’ and ‘less is more’ are phrases we often use when talking about things on a reduced scale. Small can also be a great challenge but for creative people like Ruth Gutteridge, Senior Customer Services Assistant at Kensal Library, this is not a problem. She has given the stock at Kensal Library a much needed makeover to improve display and create additional space for the children’s and young adult collections. Ruth explains the changes she has made.
We have expanded the junior area making it easier for the children to browse the shelves and find what they are looking for. The early readers, junior and teenage fiction all now have their own shelving areas. This means that we now have much more room to display both new stock and our more popular junior titles.
Our junior non- fiction has moved next to the junior study tables. This is more accessible and makes it much easier when the children are researching for their homework. We have some excellent new books in this area from the dinosaurs to space travel!
In the adult area crime fiction continues to be very popular. We have responded to customer demand by creating a special designated crime section which also brings Kensal Library in to line with the practice at the other libraries in the ‘Triborough’ area. We have also given talking books (stories on CD) and crime fiction a more prominent position at the beginning of the adult fiction.
We have new books coming in each week so don’t forget to check the ‘New Books’ displays both at the entrance and it their designated section.
Notting Hill Gate Library’s Reading Group recently read and discussed Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.
A fascinating book that opens a window into the Ibo African Tribe, which is now South Eastern Nigeria in the late 1800s, early 1900s. Chinua Achebe expertly writes about their customs, language, beliefs, superstitions and the conflicts faced within their own tribes and with the white missionaries.
Things Fall Apart we all agreed was an easy read but Chinua Achebe included many of the Ibo proverbs and even used the Ibo language for many words so at times it could be a little confusing but we believe in doing so he preserved the essence of the Ibo culture.
Prior to reading the novel we all thought it would follow the normal attitude towards colonisation, but we were rather surprised and all commented on how Chinua Achebe had kept quite a neutral ground, exploiting the weaknesses from both sides so the reader may then ask their own questions and come to their own conclusions.
Chinua Achebe wrote this in response to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. This book was also read by the group last year so it was great to draw similarities and comparisons between the two.
We also were very lucky to have three members of the group who had lived with the Ibo tribe in the 1950s, so of course we wanted to know everything!!
Senior Cutomer Services Assistant, Notting Hill Gate Library