Kensal Library Blog

We had a great summer at Kensal Library!

The Summer Reading Challenge was enjoyed immensely by all who took part.  The craft sessions were popular and everyone had fun making paper dolls, sunflowers, crowns and paper planes.

Making Paper Crowns
Making Paper Crowns
Crown Hats
Crown Hats

Our crafts were tied in with the Summer Reading Challenges theme of Record Breakers, so longest paper chain, tallest sunflower etc.

Paper Sunflowers
Paper Sunflowers
Paper Chain People
Paper Chain People

Well done to everybody who read all six books and collected their medals and certificates!

Another craft that proved fun was our regular Saturday craft (2nd Saturday of the month).  We read a book about dinosaurs and then made a great squishy dinosaur T-Rex.

Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs

One of the best events we had at Kensal this year was our Dormouse Tea Party, to celebrate 150 years of Alice in Wonderland.

It really was enchanting, with a beautifully decorated table and fun healthy food.  We had some nice comments from the parents and children who attended.

Sandwiches For Tea
Sandwiches For Tea
Full Table of Treats
Full Table of Treats
Eat Me Treats
Eat Me Treats

The children listened to some of Alice in Wonderland then we had some games and activities like making our own bunny ears, colouring in red roses and making our own decorated teacup pictures to stick on our drinking cups.

Children Crafts
Children Crafts
Bunny Ears
Bunny Ears

The children then sat down for tea, sandwiches, fruit tarts (with a squeeze of naughty cream) and fruit kebabs and juice.

Enjoying the Tea Party
Enjoying the Tea Party

We had five copies of Alice in Wonderland chapter books and five copies of Alice in Wonderland picture books to give away which were much appreciated.

Also we had a selection of quirky hats which was a lot of fun with everybody trying on different hats!

Trying on Hats
Trying on Hats

And look at the beautiful autumn wreaths we made for our Saturday craft session, gorgeous colours.

Fun With Leaves
Fun With Leaves

And of course our very spooky Halloween display!  I see Ken the Kensal spider has been busy over the summer eating lots of flies.  He loves our display so much he’s decided to hang around…..!

Ken The Kensal Spider
Ken The Kensal Spider
Ken The Kensal Spider on Ceiling
Ken The Kensal Spider on Ceiling
Spooky Books for Children
Spooky Books for Children
Spooky Fun with Monster Heads and Eyes
Spooky Fun with Monster Heads and Eyes

Are you ready to read?

Join the Record Breakers Summer Reading Challenge!

Schools have well and truly broken up for the summer and several more weeks of long holiday lie ahead… what will your children be doing? Visit your local library this summer to see all the events and activities for children which are on offer. There are events on throughout the holidays, so there is lots to choose from!

Record Breakers logo

If your children like a Challenge, why not bring them to join this year’s Record Breakers? All they need to do is read 6 library books over the holidays, and they’ll receive stickers and rewards for telling us about them.

It’s free to join, just visit your nearest library to sign up – all that’s needed is a library card. There’s a medal for everyone who reads 6 books!

What weird, wonderful or wacky records will you and your kids discover?

Blog post from the North – August 2013

North Kensington Library
North Kensington Library

Hello to you all from our libraries in the North!

Summer reading and a missing model at North Kensington Library

Summer Reading Challenge display at North Kensington Library
Summer Reading Challenge display at North Kensington Library

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge has been fantastic.  We have had over 150 children start the challenge in the North in the first week alone. The first child to finish at North Kensington Library was an 11 year old from Thomas Jones School. It has been such a success that we have had to order additional supplies to meet the demand.

Creepy crafts on display at North Kensington Library
Creepy crafts on display at North Kensington Library

Children are enjoying Creepy House craft and story Sessions at all our libraries – examples of the children’s craft work are on display on the wall in the children’s library at North Kensington. Pop in and take a look at how creative our young readers are!

What ever happened to the KALC model?

I don’t know, I go away for a couple of weeks and when you get back something is missing. The KALC (Kensington Academy and Leisure Centre) model had been with us for so long it had become part of the fittings. On the plus side its removal has brought back much needed space to the adult lending library (on the ground floor) which has allowed us to improve the layout and display of stock, particularly the Skills for Life collection and the books in community languages.

Skills for Life and books in other languages at North Kensington Library
Skills for Life and books in other languages at North Kensington Library

If you didn’t get an opportunity to examine the KALC model you can still pick up copies of the newsletter from North Kensington Library. There’s also more information about the project on the KALC web page – you can even watch the construction works live!

Information about the new Kensington Aldridge Academy, which is due to open September 2014 creating much needed secondary school places in the north of the borough, can be found on the Aldridge Foundation website.

Gaynor Lynch
Gaynor Lynch

Gaynor Lynch

Lending Librarian

North Kensington Library

Mr Wiz the Wizard at Notting Hill Gate Library

At Notting Hill Gate Library we were visited by Mr Wiz the Wizard! He helped the children build a Creepy House in the library. It was a very entertaining session and many thanks to Mr Wizard for staying longer than he supposed to do because kids enjoyed the event so much.

Nahid Mojhated

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Notting Hill Gate Library

Kensington Central Library – August 2013

Kensington Central Library
Kensington Central Library

Hello from us all at Kensington Central Library! Our blog post this month has a pieces from our lending and reference libraries which perfectly illustrates we have something for everyone.

A wizard and ghosts in the children’s library!

As the school holidays are in full swing we’ve had some amazing events for kids in our children’s library to support this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Mr Wiz the Wizard came to see us last week – he needed help building his creepy house in the children’s library.  He had plenty of dinosaur eggs (Haribo eggs thankfully!) and balloon animals which he gave out to the children that helped him. The children had a great time as they also had the chance to spin plates, burst bubbles and sing songs.

We’ve been having a story and craft session every Thursday afternoon at 2pm since the start of the summer holidays. We’ve been reading some scary stories and creating some scary things which the children have loved. Last Thursday the children made ghosts by drawing round their hands and spiders from fingerprints. They also came up with some great names for their spiders – Vegeta and Ushar being two of them!

We’ve another story and craft session this Thursday (15 August) & we’ll be making witches – bring the kids along!

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green

Lending Librarian

Headlines and back issues

Newspapers
Newspapers

Did you know that we keep a range of current newspapers and magazines in our libraries? We also have a treasure trove in our historical and special collections of back issues of not only current titles but also newspapers and magazines that have long since gone out of print.

Magazines
Magazines

Our most popular titles include:

  • Illustrated London News – going back to 1842
  • Microfiche of The Times – 1785 – 1997
  • Punch – going back to 1841
  • Harpers Bazaar – going back to 1950
  • Vanity Fair  – going back to 1956
  • Vogue  – going back to 1923

A full list of all the newspapers and magazines that we have and how far back we keep them can be found on our ‘Reference and information and special collections’ web page. If you want to check we have issue – do phone us on 020 7361 3010 so we can confirm that the newspaper or magazine you need is available.

Did you know we have newspapers and magazines for children and young adults too? We have reorganised the young adult magazines in the young adult library at Kensington Central Library so that the current issues are in some sturdy green folders and the back issues are now kept in box files on the shelves just behind where the current issues are.  They now look a  lot tidier and more importantly are more accessible.

Sandeep Dhaliwal

Triborough Reference Librarian

The Brompton Blog – July 2013

Brompton Library
Brompton Library

Hello, hola, ciao, as-salām ‘alaykum, cześć

My name is Christian and I work at as a Senior Customer Services Assistant at Brompton Library. On behalf of all the staff here we welcome all our customers and readers from around the world to the latest edition of The Brompton Blog.

For those of you who don’t know Brompton Library, we are a medium-sized library eight minutes walk from Earls Court tube station. Local residents, people who work nearby, students and tourists all use Brompton Library – we have something for everyone.

Christian Stevens
Christian Stevens

Christian Stevens

Senior Customer Services Assistant

The Summer Reading Challenge and Chatterbooks

Creepy House banner
Creepy House banner

We’ve had a great start to the Summer Reading Challenge this year –  over sixty children have already signed up to take part and three children have already finished. This means they have read and talked about six books with library staff. More information about this summer reading scheme ( as well as lots of exciting summer events) can be found on our Summer Reading Challenge webpage.

Chatterbooks
Chatterbooks

I told the children who came to our last Chatterbooks reading group all about the Summer Reading Challenge and I encouraged them all to take part.  The children like the ‘creepy’ theme and really enjoyed doing a Creepy House word search.

Our next Chatterbooks meeting will be on Monday 16 September. If you’d like your child to to come along please speak to a  member of library staff. There’s also more information on our Chatterbooks webpage.

Babita Sinha
Babita Sinha

Babita Sinha

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Premier League Reading Stars at Brompton Library

Premier League Reading Stars logo
Premier League Reading Stars logo

In our May 2013 blog post I wrote about the Premier League Reading Stars (PLRS) scheme we’ve been hosting at Brompton Library with children from one of our local schools, St Cuthbert with St Matthias. We’ve had a “fixture” every Tuesday after school for the last ten weeks.

Rob Symmons, from Chelsea library, and I have been delivering football-themed activities with the goal of improving the children’s literacy skills and embedding an enthusiasm for reading. It’s been an interesting learning experience for us as well as the kids with some yellow cards handed out along the way but, at the final whistle, we’re all over the moon that the season has now ended! (Apologies for the high number of footballing clichés in that last sentence!)

In mid-June we had an away fixture at Queens Park Rangers Football Club who supported PLRS for the second year running. Jesse Foyle, QPR’s Education Manager, gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of the ground and then sprang a quiz on our players. It was a big ask but they rose to the occasion.

Our final fixture allowed us to celebrate the children’s achievements with their proud parents and families – each child gets a certificate and we had party food and drinks. By the time you read this I can honestly say – they think it’s all over, it is now!

Stephanie Webb
Stephanie Webb

Stephanie Webb

Lending Librarian

Blog post from the North – July 2013

A very warm welcome (to match the weather!) from our three libraries in the North.

Gingerbread men, crime and creepy houses at Kensal Library

National Bookstart Week at Kensal Library
National Bookstart Week at Kensal Library

We celebrated National Bookstart Week with a special baby rhyme time at Kensal Library.  After reading ‘The Ugly Duckling’ we read ‘The Gingerbread Man’, sang a few songs and then had a craft session where the children coloured in little gingerbread men cut them out and stuck them onto lolly sticks. Then the children made the gingerbread men run as fast as they could. Also we handed out the gingerbread man recipe from Bookstart and we’re hoping to try any that baked! If you’d like the recipe it’s on the Bookstart website.

Malorie Blackman display at Kensal Library
Malorie Blackman display at Kensal Library

As Malorie Blackman has been named as the Children’s Laureate for 2013-2015 we decided to display our lovely new copies of some of her titles.  Leanne Bellot our Customer Services Assistant at Kensal Library helped put together the display.

We love the Creepy House theme for the Summer Reading Challenge and Ruth and I have set up the dump bin in readiness.  We are putting aside lots of great titles and are gearing up for the expected rush of children!

Natasha Chaoui, Senior Customer Services Assistant

Kensal Library

Crime and creepy houses at North Kensington Library

Crime on display at North Kensington Library
Crime on display at North Kensington Library

This month we celebrated the National Crime Writing Month with displays of crime fiction in all our libraries. Pictured here is the crime book display at North Kensington Library complied by Customer Services Assistant, Irani Singh. We have excellent crime fiction collections which include:

  • Classic crime e.g. Agatha Christie mysteries
  • Modern European crime and nordic Noir e.g. Henning Mankell’s Wallender and Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series
  • Spooky crime e.g. Ben Aaronovitch’s  Peter Grant Series
  • Celtic crime and tartan noir e.g. Ian Rankin’s inspector Rebus
  • Medieval crime e.g. Ellis Peters’ Cadfael mysteries
  • Light humorous crime e.g.  M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin and Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody Series

In fact we have something to suit all tastes. Even if you are not a hard core crime aficionado you will find something that will interest you. For more information visit the Crime Writing Month website

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge got off to a sprint start in our libraries and already we have lots of names on our progression boards. Enroll your children now  and pick up a leaflet about  our programme of Creepy Craft activities and events at your local library.

Children get prizes for reading library books and can engage in lots of fun activities and games on the Creepy House website. There is even an amazing, interactive book sorter to help your child choose books to read. If you don’t have a computer at home they can book time on one of the library computers.

Gaynor Lynch
Gaynor Lynch

Gaynor Lynch, Lending Librarian

North Kensington Library

Bookstart Bear Club at Notting Hill Gate Library

Notting Hill Gate Library's first Bookstart Bear Club completer!
Notting Hill Gate Library’s first Bookstart Bear Club completer!
A big congratulations to our first Bookstart Bear Club Completer!!
 
Bookstart Bear Club is a free membership scheme for babies, toddlers and preschoolers that opens up an exciting world for parent and child to explore stories, books and rhymes together.
Bookstart Bear Club logo
Bookstart Bear Club logo
 
Children will receive a free membership pack when they are registered at the library, the pack will contain a membership certificate, bookmark, door hanger and a Bookstart Bear Club passport.
 
Every time a child visits the library to attend a baby rhyme time, storytime or borrow books, they will get rewarded. Some of the rewards are stickers, stamps, certificates and exclusive to Notting Hill Gate Library, three different teddy bears.
 
Ihssan Dhimi
Ihssan Dhimi

Ihssan Dhimi, Senior Customer Services Assistant

Notting Hill Gate Library

Kensington Central Library – July 2013

Kensington Central Library
Kensington Central Library

Hello from us all at Kensington Central Library! We’ve certainly been enjoying the better weather (& we hope you all have too) – so our blog post this month certainly has a summery feel – from Wimbledon to summer reading.

Well done Andy Murray!

Andy Murray with his Wimbledon trophy
Andy Murray with his Wimbledon trophy

Well that was certainly an exciting Sunday afternoon! I did at times think that Andy was keeping it going so that I could get home in time for match point. Sadly I wasn’t but I’m not sure my nerves could have coped with the tension anyway so probably not a bad thing! Indeed, he managed to finish him off relatively quickly in the end and I was able to have my celebratory ice cream and watch his Centre Court celebrations!

After a long wait there is certainly an element of relief as well as cheer in my heart at Murray’s victory; it was certainly a while since a British player won the Men’s singles Wimbledon – although I suppose he did win last year as well – does Olympic gold count?

We must all have had a feeling that this was coming after that gold medal, last year’s final, the doubles victories of Jonny Marray (last year) and Jamie Murray in 2007 and all those years of Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski so nearly getting to the final! You can read the stories about these victories and Andy Murray’s in the newspaper articles within UKNewsstand – a fully searchable database of UK national and local newspapers. 

Virginia Wade
Virginia Wade

So although we may’ve been provided some consolation by the doubles victories, it was really the singles where we wanted to be victorious; it was certainly a long time since anyone had been singles champion. Virginia Wade “fought for 16 years” to win her women’s singles title in 1977 and for a men’s winner you had to go even further back – to 1936 with Fred Perry winning his third title. Fred’s final was much easier than Andy’s as von Cramm injured himself in the first game of the match.

You can read about both of their victories and the reaction in the Times Digital Archive – this is an online, full-text facsimile of more than 200 years of The Times. Judging by the reaction to Fred’s win with his “murderous forehand” I don’t think they knew just how long we would have to wait until they could next celebrate such a victory at Wimbledon!

Fred Perry
Fred Perry

Fred was a very interesting chap as well. You only have to read his biography, did you know he had also been the world table tennis champion?! And it wasn’t just these competitions that he won – have a whiz through his fascinating life story in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography – this lists remarkable people in any walk of life who were connected with the British Isles, excluding living people.

Finally, as we look on into the future wondering whether Andy can compete with Fred’s records why not have a read of the Oxford University Press’ blog piece, ‘An Oxford Companion to Wimbledon’  (I especially like the ending) which perhaps expresses some of our pre-victory feelings.

Owen Grey

Triborough Reference Librarian

The heat is on – so cool down with a book!

Summer Reads on display
Summer Reads on display

The hot weather has inspired us to have a look at some books about cooling down, such as a great book about ‘Wild Swimming’ by Daniel Start.  And we have also been picking out some great stories to get stuck into on lazy summer days.  Take a look at our selection at the Kensington Central Library.

London 60s Week book display
London 60s Week book display

The 19 to 28 July is London 60s Week – an annual festival celebrating the golden anniversary of the 60s.  The festival celebrates the creative explosion from this period, and we have found lots of evidence of this creative talent in our books!

More information about this festival can be found on the London 60s Week website.

We’ve also got some summer reading displays in our children’s library – especially for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge! More information about the challenge and our special events during the school holidays can be found on our Summer Reading Challenge webpage.

Gillian Nunns, Reference Librarian
Gillian Nunns

Gillian Nunns

Lending Librarian

Summer Reading Challenge 2013 – events

Creepy House characters
Creepy House characters

We blogged earlier in the week about this year’s Summer Reading Challenge for children in our libraries – what it is and how your child can get involved.

As promised here’s a selection of some of the amazing events we’ve got  for children in our libraries during the summer. A full list of our summer events can be found on our Summer Reading Challenge page.

Creepy House Challenge!

Creepy House logo
Creepy house logo

A spine tingling adventure for children aged seven to 11 years on:

  • Thursday 22nd August, 11am to 12pm at Kensal Library
  • Thursday 22nd August, 3pm  to 4pm at Brompton Library

Mr Wiz the Wizard – Let’s build a Creepy House!

Mr Wiz the Wizard
Mr Wiz the Wizard

Mr Wiz goes house hunting. When his broomstick breaks down, the children help him build his own creepy house. With cracks in the floorboard, bubbles in the bedroom, cobwebs in the cupboard and dinosaur eggs in the fridge, will the house be creepy enough? Suitable for children aged five to 11 on:

  • Tuesday 30 July, 10.30 to 11.30am at North Kensington Library
  • Tuesday 30 July, 1.30 to 2.30pm at Notting Hill Gate Library
  • Thursday 8 August, 11am to 12 noon at Kensington Central Library
  • Thursday 8 August, 2.30pm to to 3.30pm at Chelsea Library

Creepy Stories and Crafts!

We’ll be having lots of creepy story and craft sessions at our libraries – the children will be making haunted houses, skeletons, spiders, witches and more…!

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green

Lending Librarian

Summer Reading Challenge 2013

Creepy House logo
Creepy house logo

There’s a spine-tingling adventure waiting for children this summer at your local Kensington and Chelsea library. They can take part in the Summer Reading Challenge and face the Creepy House!

Creepy House characters
Creepy House characters

What is the Summer Reading Challenge?

It is the biggest national reading initiative that’s run by nearly every public library in the UK during July and August. The challenge is for children, aged 4 to 11 and it is simple: to read 6 or more library books over the summer. Taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge helps prevent the ‘summer reading dip’ – when children without reading opportunities at home over the long summer break from school can lose confidence in their reading.

Reading Rewards

Wolf Kid and Bunny Boy
Wolf Kid and Bunny Boy

By reading 6 books children can discover the secrets of Creepy House and meet some of the hair-raising residents. They’ll also have a chance to explore:

  • The Awful Upstairs!
  • The Gruesome Ground Floor!
  • The Spine-tingling Cellar!

There are stickers and rewards for the children  as they read their 6 books. And at the end of the summer there’s a certificate for children who read 3 or more books and a medal for those that complete the challenge of reading 6 books.

Twilight Tim, Summer Reading Challenge 2013
Twilight Tim

How can my child take part?

Skeleton Family Robinson, Summer Reading Challenge 2013
Skeleton Family Robinson

If you would like your child to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge please ask a member of staff in your local Kensington and Chelsea library.  It’s completely free! We’ll be having lots of exciting events in all our libraries during the summer – we’ll blog about those later this week.

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green Lending Librarian

Summer Reading Challenge success!

The Summer Reading Challenge starts every year at the beginning of the school holidays: can you read six books and get your gold medal? This year’s challenge was rounded off by a grand party at the Central Library, where 40 of our keen summer holiday readers were rewarded with lots of yummy food and drink and entertained by a unicyclist-juggler who taught everyone circus skills. Each attendee was then called up on stage to receive a certificate from Councillor Rutherford, who was full of praise for all their efforts!

This year we also had lots of arts and crafts events in the libraries where we read stories and made masks and aliens. You may know some of the stories: “Owl Babies”,  “Elmer the Elephant”, “The Fish who could Wish”, “Aliens love Underpants”.  The results from these craft days were so impressive, we couldn’t resist showing them off here…

Craft day fun for the Summer Reading Challenge!
Craft day fun for the Summer Reading Challenge!
Craft day fun for the Summer Reading Challenge!
Craft day fun for the Summer Reading Challenge!
Craft day fun for the  Summer Reading Challenge!
Craft day fun for the Summer Reading Challenge!

Our librarians, Penny and Amy,  posted on the Summer Reading Challenge blog  to answer questions and talk about our favourite reads, including chats with Caroline Lawrence (who wrote the Roman Mysteries), and Robert Muchamore (author of the CHERUB books). 

Our Summer Reading Challenge blog
Our Summer Reading Challenge blog

60 children altogether have completed the Summer Reading Challenge at the Central Library, and many more at our other branches (well done all!). The Challenge has been extended at Brompton Library until the 14th September,  to catch any late-comers.