…and mythical monsters take over Brompton!

Well, as you can see from the photo, the Summer Reading Challenge has really kicked off here at Brompton Library. We love the Mythical Maze theme this year and so does everyone taking part!

Last week we packed out the Learning Space with busy children making monster pop-up cards: it soon turned into an impromptu design session with World Cup football players, penguins and the odd Medusa or two!

Mythical Maze activities at Brompton Library
Mythical Maze activities at Brompton Library

So far, so very good: we have had over 170 children joining the challenge – so lots and lots of reading as well as craft activities taking place here over the summer holidays!

If you’re interested in joining our Summer Reading Challenge, and taking part in our Summer Reading Challenge activities,  you can find out more on our website here, or ask a member of staff at your local library!

Summer kicks off at Notting Hill Gate Library!

Notting Hill Gate Library has gone storytelling, craft making and nursery rhyming crazzzy this month!

To celebrate the launch of the Summer Reading Challenge we have offered more Baby Rhyme Times, Crafts, and Storytelling Sessions. The children have come in and had a blast! We have had lots of positive feedback from parents, especially with the Baby Rhyme Time on Saturday: a few of the parents work during the week so this was a chance for them to see their toddler getting involved- singing, dancing and meeting new friends!

Come along to our next sessions: Baby Rhyme Time- Friday 25th July, Storytelling- Saturday 26th July.

Click here for more information about our Summer Reading Challenge!

And remember….DON’T let the pigeon drive the bus!!
And remember….DON’T let the pigeon drive the bus!!

We have also had the Fab Flowers Team at Notting Hill Gate Library helping us to make our very own fabulous flowers! There was much excitement as we all got to stitching and some wonderful pieces were made: brooches were the chosen favourite and some beautiful brooches were made by some very happy (and very proud of themselves!) attendees.

Fab Flowers!
Fab Flowers!

Fab Flowers was part of Adult Learners Week.

ALW

 

And Finally, the Notting Hill Gate Reading Group said farewell to a much loved group member, she will be very missed as she has contributed immensely to the group and was one of the first participants when the group formed 10 years ago! We wish her good luck in the years to come…

(For more reading group details, please see our reading groups page on the library website).

 

Memories of a creepy summer…

As the nights are getting darker, we decided to look back at some summer events and remember the fun we had when the sun was shining…

…and here at Chelsea library this summer we had a bumper edition of our summer reading challenge with the theme of ‘spooky house’. Everyone was keen to join in the summer fun and the friendly staff couldn’t wait to take it on: the challenge of a new creepy house activity every week!

Was it too much to expect in the soaring heat? With gay abandon everyone threw themselves into it.We had so many ideas we wanted to try out on the kids.

 Daniel was keen to dress as a bat and hang upside down from the children’s library uplighters.

Di was ready to stand at the top of the stairs in her Victorian nightie holding a flaming candelabra aloft.

We tried them out, we thought better of it.

We decided we needed an entertainer. We searched from A to Z. At Askew Road we found  Zedh (Library Manager) who mentioned Wiz. Mr Wiz it was , Wiz went off with a bang, a wizz bang.He really got the fireworks started with a show that set the library alight

 We were set on a trail of super dooper fun: fun with a capital F.

Thursday afternoons in childrens were not the same, with everyone trying to outdo the others with their classy creepy crafts.

Creepy Summer Reading Challenge crafts at Chelsea!
Creepy Summer Reading Challenge crafts at Chelsea!

Chelsea children chose Thursdays as their favourite afternoon, beating Dr Who on Saturday afternoons into second place.

First they built a creepy house, upon  which  on consecutive weeks they continued in their thrilling quest to fill with all sorts of ghouls and ghosts and spiders and snakes and rats and bats and all things creepy. Not to mention witches and wizards. There was so much we couldn’t capture it all.

Creepy house crafts
Creepy house crafts

Roll on the next Summer Reading Challenge – but we’ll have to get through Christmas first!

Blog post from the North – October 2013

North Kensington Library
North Kensington Library

Hello to you all from our three libraries in the north.

Everyone’s a winner at North Kensington Library

The Summer Reading Challenge came to an end 14 September 2013 and this was our most successful challenge yet. Between the three libraries of Kensal, North Kensington and Notting Hill Gate we had nearly 150 children complete the challenge. To do this they had to read 6 books over the summer holiday period. To celebrate the children’s success we organised a party at North Kensington Library on Saturday 5 October. 47 children and 21 adults attended.

More Creepy House characters!
More Creepy House characters!

We opened the party with a Creepy House Story and spooky music. There were some warm up games and then the children completed a Creepy House Treasure Hunt where they had to find all the Creepy House characters which were hidden all around the library.  To make it more interesting I had one over my ID card. It took a long time before anyone noticed and then I was swamped by children as the message got out.

Yet more Creepy House characters!
Yet more Creepy House characters!

Ishwari, one of our Senior Customer Services Assistants led a pairs game where the children were given the name of a famous personality or character and then had to introduce themselves to the other children until they found their partner – e.g. Wallace & Grommit, Batman & Robin, Dennis the Menace and Gnasher. It was great fun.

All the children received  prizes, sweets and refreshments were presented with a signed Creepy House completers certificate. I’m not sure who had the most fun, whether it was the children or the staff who threw themselves into the party with much energy and enthusiasm. Even some of the parents joined in the fun.

Gaynor Lynch
Gaynor Lynch

Gaynor Lynch

Lending Librarian

Messy but fun at Notting Hill Gate Library!

The Notting Hill Gate Library’s story and craft session this month was fun and messy. The kids dressed up in their favourite characters and then had loads of fun playing with our games. We had a cowboy who wasn’t feeling very well and had to pay a visit to the nurse…

A poorly cowboy gets a check-up at Notting Hill Gate Library!
A poorly cowboy gets a check-up at Notting Hill Gate Library!

The kids then made some super flying aeroplanes which they flew all over the library, A few times we had to duck so we didn’t get hit :$

Fancy dress and games are available at Notting Hill Gate Library every school holiday where the kids can come in and let their imagination lead them.

Ihssan Dhimi
Ihssan Dhimi

Ihssan Dhimi

Senior Customer Services Assistant

October has been a busy month for Kensal.  We celebrated Black History Month and had some great displays as well as lots of customer interest.

 Scary spiders at Kensal Library

I had prepared a wonderful Halloween session for our Chatterbooks reading group (for kids aged 8 to 12. The children who came loved the spooky stories and activities and there were plenty of treats to go around, I think I might play some tricks on the children who missed this months meeting!

We have some spooky displays around the library for Halloween and already lots of books have gone from them, we are constantly topping up!

On Thursday 31st October we are having a half term event and I have prepared a great activity to go with our story.  We will be attempting to make pom pom spiders and younger members can make their own scary pumpkin faces.  So be warned…there will be lots of scary spiders in the North Kensington area!

Natasha Chaoui

Senior Customer Services Assistant

A creepy party!

Creepy House banner
Creepy House banner

Saturday 14 September 2013 was the day the Creepy House Summer Reading Challenge officially came to an end in our libraries. To mark what has been an extremely successful Creepy House Challenge, a party was held in Kensington Central Library. Selected children – who had completed the challenge by reading a minimum of six books over the summer holidays – were nominated by staff in our six libraries to receive personally addressed party invitations. We could tell how eagerly children wanted to come due to the prompt replies by email and phone saying how thrilled children were to have been chosen to attend the party.

Creepy House characters
Creepy House characters

Admittance to the party was through a special entrance, where we were waiting to welcome guests with a Creepy House sticker and a goodie bag and to direct them downstairs to the Lecture Theatre. We were touched to see so many of the children proudly wearing their completer’s medals and clutching their invitations. One guest couldn’t wait to let us know that her mummy had opened her invitation by mistake! The same guest agreed that it’s nice to receive letters in the post.

A fearsome giant!
A fearsome giant!

When the guests had arrived and were seated, the entertainment began. A storyteller from The Freshwater Theatre Company entertained everyone present for an hour with his lively and interactive performances of ‘The Fearsome Giant’, ‘The Cedar Tree’ and ‘The Cracked Pot’. Children were chosen to participate in the different stories by climbing onto the stage and becoming one of a variety of characters; we had knights, archers, wrestlers and a variety of trees. The children had props to help bring their characters to life, and some children even contributed actions e.g. shaking knees when the Fearsome Giant roared!

It was heart-warming to see parents with a mixture of love, pleasure and amazement on their faces while watching their child happily performing. After an enthralling hour and a rapturous round of applause, it was time to welcome The Deputy Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Councillor Sam Mackover to the stage. The Deputy Mayor was pleased to show his support for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge by giving a short speech in which he congratulated the children for completing the challenge, and led everyone in a round of applause to thank all library staff and the team of wonderful volunteers who all contributed to the success of Creepy House Challenge. There was also a round of applause for staff and the volunteer who worked together to create such a successful party.

After such a memorable afternoon, the party ended with guests being given a limited edition Creepy House bag, a bear and book of their choice on leaving. We were pleased that the party, which turned into a real family affair, was a success. It was lovely to receive positive feedback from parents about how their child had reached a milestone by participating and completing the challenge and now have a love of reading.

Hopefully children who completed the challenge this year will continue to enjoy reading and may even join Chatterbooks, our monthly book group for children!

The Creepy House party team

Kensington Central Library – September 2013

Kensington Central Library
Kensington Central Library

Hello to you all from the staff at Kensington Central Library – we hope you’ve had an enjoyable summer. We’ve got that ‘back to school’ feeling with lots of new things happening at our library – from new events to new displays.

Bye bye to the Summer Reading Challenge

It’s been a fantastic summer for the kids at Kensington Central Library – along with our normal regular events for our youngest library members we had a weekly story and craft session on Thursday afternoons to support this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. During the last session – the kids made some great creepy houses out of a tissue paper which they really enjoyed.

We’re really proud of the children who’ve taken part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge – at the last count over 250 children took part and just over 100 of them completed. That mean’s they read six or more books each – in fact we’ve worked out that over 660 books have been read!

Story and craft sessions
Story and craft sessions

As our story and craft sessions are so popular – we’ll now be having a regular weekly session every Saturday. So if your kids enjoy listening to stories and like to get creative – bring them along on Saturdays at 2pm!

New displays

We’ve got some new and diverse books on display at the moment – right by the library entrance so they’re easy to find:

  • A new series of The Great British Bake Off has recently started on BBC 2 so we have an amazing display of books for  anyone who’s been inspired to bake. (there’s more information about The Great British Bake Off on the BBC website)
  • To carry on the food theme – we’ve a healthy eating book display. We’ve included Jamie Oliver’s latest book which is to do with healthy eating on a budget – just perfect timing for students off to university.
  • We were very sad to hear about the death of Seamus Heaney so it was important for us to pay tribute to this important poet.
  • And finally some more treasures from our biography collection – this time we have some unpleasant characters for you to find out about.

New events

We have two new events programmes that can be collected from the library – events for all ages in September to December and the London History Festival. All of the events are also listed on our news and events page. Here’s a quick summary of what’s happening at Kensington Central Library in the next month or so:

Arthritis Care
Arthritis Care
Arthritis Care talk
Thursday 19 September, 1 to 2pm

Do you suffer with arthritis? Arthritis Care will give a talk on arthritis and pain – why you get pain and how to cope with it. There will also be a chance to ask questions.

Fashion event
Fashion event
Fashion – Press the Fast Forward Button
Tuesday 24 September, 6.30 to 8pm

Are you interested in the fashion industry? Thinking of starting a fashion business as a designer, retailer, importer or exporter? Then don’t miss this opportunity to hear from expert fashion management consultant David Jones and successful designer and entrepreneur Francesca Marcenaro. This session is in partnership with Colin Rutt from Portobello Business Centre.

Business information session
Business information session
Business information: professional resources made available for free from your library
Thursday 26 September, 2 to 4pm at Kensington Central Reference Library

At this session we will guide you through how to use two great business research websites which are available free through your library: Mint UK and also Cobra. Mint UK provides access to a wealth of company information including company data, directors, news and market research. Cobra is a continually updated information resource for anyone who is running a small business or thinking of setting up a business.  Here you will find practical information and advice such as start-up business ideas and profiles, guides to business support in different areas of the UK and much more.

You can book  a FREE place to any of these events at Kensington Central Library in person, by calling 020 7361 3010 or emailing libraries@rbkc.gov.uk

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green

Lending Librarian, Kensington Central Library

The Brompton Blog – August 2013

Brompton Library
Brompton Library

Hello and a warm welcome to the August edition of our monthly blog post. The lovely sunshine has finally arrived and despite scorching temperatures, our library has remained a popular destination for tourists, students and residents over these last few weeks. Our biggest success story is the Summer Reading Challenge (you can read more about this in our Summer Reading Challenge blog post). Well, we hate to boast, but so far 183 kids have signed up here for the challenge, of which 54 have successfully read all 6 books and received their stickers, medals and certificates with more children joining in every day. So a big well done to all those young boys and girls who have risen to the challenge!! Do you have children and are running out of ideas to keep them busy over the holiday? Pop into our library and pick up one of the Summer in the City booklets or download the digital version. Also we are approaching that time of the year when over 700 of London’s most interesting buildings are opened to the public over a weekend in September for the Open House London. We have copies of the booklet now available to collect for free for anyone interested.

Celebrate My Library at Brompton Library

Celebrate My Library logo
Celebrate My Library logo

To celebrate the start of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge Brompton Library teamed up with Celebrate my Library who presented a fantastic story writing workshop based on the Creepy House theme.  Check out their website to find out more about Celebrate My Library. The aim of the workshop was to stimulate their creativity to the max in the context of the library. The kids collectively created the main story (with a little help from their friends, Hilary and Victoria, from Celebrate My Library and their graphic artist friend, Lisa).

Celebrate My Library in action
Celebrate My Library in action

The kids then each came up with their own individual ending to the story, so the story will have seven different endings and then they rolled up their sleeves and got messily creative with paper, glue, glitter and scissors to make models and pictures to illustrate the story. All the while Lisa was story boarding the results of the brainstorming on the windows of our meeting room.

Story ideas
Story ideas

We are now eagerly awaiting the published results of all this creativity! We have a second event next month (Saturday 7 September) when the children and their families will get to see all their names in print with the story and their own endings. Over the summer holiday Celebrate My Library will have been beavering away to put the book together and even I am looking forward to seeing the result!

The kids creating their story boards
The kids creating their story boards

Budding Maestros

A budding maestro with the piano tutor
A budding maestro with the piano tutor

Over the school summer holidays Brompton Library has had its own piano tutor-in-residence! Rosario approached us to offer his services for free so for a morning and an afternoon each week people have been taking up the 40-minute slots. Nearly all these sessions were booked up, mostly by children. Rosario did get some adult students too- my colleague Babita gave it a go and was very impressed. She said he had given her the confidence to know that she could continue if she wanted to. I’m very pleased to think that these tasters at Brompton Library may have encouraged a few people to take up a real musical instrument – libraries are about music as well as books!

Stephanie Webb
Stephanie Webb

Stephanie Webb

Lending Librarian

Our reading group

We are very proud to be discussing a novel that comes from one of our very own group! Rheagan Greene is the author of The Samurai Revival trilogy. Last year we read the first volume, Bitter Truths and Rheagan came to Brompton Library to speak to us about it.

Bitter Justice by Rheagan Greene
Bitter Justice by Rheagan Greene

The second volume, Bitter Justice follows the fortunes (and misfortunes) of heroine Tess, who in her role as a Peacekeeper (an international group who help maintain world order) keep in check the volatile Calver Cats, run by Tess’s brother, Beauchamp. After her intensive training Tess is issued with a series of missions to overset this violent group and also to avenge her friend Penny and loved ones. Pain, anger and fear are at every step for her and it becomes more difficult to find her inner-self and equate it to what she is developing into. Rheagan’s book was warmly received by the group – for me it felt like an Indiana Jones story, with exotic locations, sinister characters and overall adventure. One member felt that the plot was brilliant: slick and pacey and she felt glad about an opportunity to read something that she normally doesn’t! We all loved the concept of the peacekeepers and their international mission – something very science fiction and yet all very familiar somehow. Overall we all thoroughly enjoyed the book and we eagerly anticipate the third and final part!

The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson
The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson

The next reading group will be meeting on Tuesday 3 September, 6.30pm and will be discussing the novel The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson – please do come along.

Katie Collis
Katie Collis

Katie Collis

Senior Customer Services Assistant