Wish you were here…

Travel board
Travel board

The fleeting British summer officially  came to an end with the arrival of mince pies in Sainsbury’s. As we begin to dig out our winter wardrobes once more, here is a look back to North Kensington Summer display. Thanks to all our visitors’ comments and pictures – we had a lovely and inspiring showcase of your top holiday locations.

Corfu
Corfu

From Cuba to Prague, from Corfu to Paris the suggestions were far reaching. Whether it was your once-in-a-life-time visit to Dubai or a frequent trip to Barcelona or Paris, we all enjoyed being reminded of summer places and I’m sure many of us have added a few destinations to our lists of those we wish to see!

Rome, Paris
Rome, Paris

Wish we were there…

By Zvezdana Popovic

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New online training sessions

Want to do more online? Did you know you can expert advice at your local reference library? We’ve the following training sessions coming up at Kensington Central and Chelsea Reference Libraries.

Fashion at your fingertips: Explore fashion from around the world and throughout history with Berg Fashion Library

Berg Fashion Library
Berg Fashion Library

Wednesday 18 September, 2 to 4pm at Chelsea Reference Library

Come along to this demonstration to get the most out of this great resource about everything fashion!  Invaluable for scholars, students, professionals, and anyone interested in dress, it includes the Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, an extensive eBook collection, a vast image bank, extra reference resources and more.

Online sessions
Business information sessions

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.

IT help sessions
Social media sessions

Social media: how to make the most of Facebook, Twitter and more

Friday 25 October, 10am to 12 noon at Kensington Central Reference Library
Saturday 16 November, 2 to 4pm at Chelsea Reference Library

Social media is a great way to keep in touch with people and meet new people, but if you haven’t signed up to use one of these really popular sites yet or are not sure how to get the most out of them, this session will get you started!

Mature students learning computer skills
Bon Voyage sessions

Bon voyage!  Get advice about booking travel online

Thursday 31 October, 10am to 12 noon at Chelsea Reference Library
Friday 15 November, 2 to 4pm at Kensington Central Reference Library

If you are unfamiliar with the do’s and don’ts of booking travel online then this session will help to boost your confidence and give you practical advice about how to book tickets online easily and safely.

You can book your free place to any of these sessions at Chelsea Reference Library or Kensington Central Reference Library by calling 020 7361 3010 or email libraries@rbkc.gov.uk

Gillian Nunns, Reference Librarian
Gillian Nunns

Gillian Nunns

Triborough Reference Librarian

Chelsea Reference Library

Blog post from the North – May 2013

North Kensington Library
North Kensington Library

Welcome to our May blog post from our libraries in the North.

Notting Hill Gate Library

Walk to Work Week, 13 to 17 May 2013

Notting Hill Gate Library celebrated Walk to Work Week earlier this month.

Walk to Work display at Notting Hill Gate Library
Walk to Work display at Notting Hill Gate Library

Here are some walking facts:

  • On average, every minute of walking can extend your life by 1.5 to 2 minutes
  • Longer, moderately-paced daily walks are best for losing weight
  • Shorter, faster walks are best for conditioning your heart and lungs
  • Walking burns body fat, increases energy, slows ageing, reduces the risk of cancer and elevates your mood.

For more information about this campaign, visit the Walk to Work Week website.

Crocheting Divas

Learning how to crochet
Learning how to crochet

On Saturday 18 May the Crocheting Divas came to show us how to crochet like a Diva! This was part of our Adult Learners’ Week events.

They taught us to crochet flowers, brooches and hats. Crocheting relaxes the mind and is good for the emotional wellbeing.

Crocheting flowers
Crocheting flowers

If you would like to crochet (like a diva!) they will be at Kensal Library every Monday, 1.15pm to 3pm.

The Crocheting Divas!
The Crocheting Divas!

The DIVAS provide the wool and refreshments. Bring your own crochet hooks (size 3 and 4) and a £1 donation.

Ihssan Dhimi
Ihssan Dhimi

Ihssan Dhimi

Senior Customer Services Assistant, Notting Hill Gate Library

Kensal Library

New baby rhyme time

Baby rhyme time
Baby rhyme time

We have recently changed our storytime session to a baby rhyme time session every Friday at 10.30 to 11.00am.  We have a regular nursery group attending who are very enthusiastic and love hearing a few stories before we embark on a round of nursery rhymes ending with the very popular ‘Jumping Bean’ song.

Butterfly crowns

A beautiful butterfly!
A beautiful butterfly!

We will be having a half term craft event on Friday 31st May at 3 to 4pm.  We will be making butterfly crowns so keep a look out for any children wearing them in the north of the borough!

Chatterbooks

Chatterbooks
Chatterbooks

We had an interesting Chatterbooks session this month.  The group read a fairytale (Rapunzel) and then we wrote our own fairytales but we wrote one paragraph then passed it on to the person sitting to the left of us and carried on until the story was finished.  We ended up with some very wacky and funny tales!

Natasha Chaoui,

Senior Customer Services Assistant, Kensal Library

North Kensington Library

Chatterbooks 

On Thursday 25 April our Chatterbooks group met at our usual time of 4 pm in children’s library.  As this was part of our Cityread London events we chose London and the London Underground as themes for this meeting.  Nine children attended the session; most of them were eight years old. We had one participant who was only four years old but he desperately wanted to join us and with his mother’s assistance he enjoyed every minute of it!

One of our Chatterbooks members
One of our Chatterbooks members

First we read one story from ‘London Stories’ book written by Jim Eldrige.  The stories describe London through its history up to today as seen through the eyes of the city’s children.  We read the first story which gave us some facts about London in Roman times.  Four children participated in reading and then we had short discussion about the historic facts in the story we read.

Cutting out some London Underground images
Cutting out some London Underground images

The second part of the session was the most enjoyable for the children as they used their creativity and imagination in creating futuristic posters for the London Underground.  They cut some images and did drawings and at the end we got a few lovely posters for our display. 

Creating some London Underground posters
Creating some London Underground posters

After successful work they all deserved quick refreshment with Jaffa Cakes.  Before leaving the children wanted to know when the next meeting was going to be and they were told that our next Chatterbooks meeting is held on the last Thursday in a month – which is 30 May next time.  Goodbye till then!

Adisa Behmen- Kreso
Adisa Behmen- Kreso

Adisa Behmen-Kreso

Senior Customer Services Assistant, North Kensington Library

 Words about the World  – travel writing book display

Words about the World book display at North Kensington Library
Words about the World book display at North Kensington Library

Summer is coming and for the adventurous and even the armchair traveller we have we have a display of travel writing and travel guides. We also have readers’ wall inviting you to recommend your favourite book about travel or holiday destination.  Contributions so far include destinations Brazil and Venice  recommended travel books  Brazil by Michael Palin, Lonely planet guide to Croatia and Eye witness travel guide to Vienna.

Readers' wall
Readers’ wall

Books on display include old favourites such as Dervla Murphy’s ‘Full tilt: Ireland to India with a bicycle’ and Bill Bryson’s ‘Down Under’. My favourite new titles are Tom Fort’s ‘The A303: Highway to the sun’ and John Osborne’s ‘Don’t need the sunshine’. 

Travel books
Travel books

I have many treasured memories of travelling along the A303 in the 1960s to Devon and then on to Cornwall. And was there sunshine? I remember windy days playing cricket on the beach and clambering up the rocky cliffs to retrieve the ball. We had lots of fun and we didn’t need the sun.

Gaynor Lynch
Gaynor Lynch

Gaynor Lynch

Lending Librarian, North Kensington Library

The Broken Road by Patrick Leigh Fermor, The Long- Awaited Third Volume

One of the best things about working in a library is chatting to our customers about books and authors. An even better thing is finding out which authors we mutually admire and adore.

One of these authors is Patrick Leigh Fermor. He was a young man of 17 when he decided to walk, in 1933, from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople . He later wrote what was to be become a trilogy of those wanderings, A Time of Gifts (published 1977), Between the Woods and the Water (published 1986) but the third instalment wasn’t published.

Patrick Leigh Fermor

Patrick would go on to have many adventures, including one particularly audacious episode. During World War II he and his band of brothers on the island of Crete kidnapped a German General, Kriepe, and they blagged their way through 30 different checkpoints and escaped to Egypt. This would not have been successful had it not been for Patrick’s convincing impression of a German officer and his total belief in this daring enterprise. This was turned into a film, starring Dirk Bogart, called Ill Met By Moonlight.

I could say a thousand things about why this author is so inspiring, but apart from his thirst for knowledge, places and language he loved people above all else, their culture, heritage, habits and traditions. That was why he was such a compelling story teller and a great raconteur.

Patrick died last year at the age of 96. I was gutted not to have met my hero and I feared that the remaining part of his journey had died with him. So I was delighted when one of our readers popped in last week to tell me that the third part of the trilogy will be published next year! Entitled The Broken Road, this will cover the remaining part of his journey.

Patrick Leigh Fermor's biography
Patrick Leigh Fermor’s biography

His biography was published last week, Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure by Artemis Cooper. This is already getting rave reviews so put a reservation on it before anyone else does!

Katie Collis
Katie Collis

Katie Collis

Senior Customer Services Assistant, Brompton Library

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…