Harry Potter, Magical Creatures and Architecture competition

Motivated by Harry Potter’s world of magic, history, fantastic architecture, myths and legends, we invited our customers to search for magical creatures, animals, gargoyles, saints, caryatids and crests on various buildings and monuments in London and take photographs.

Since London has astonishing architectural features in abundance, to find lions, dragons or witches and nymphs, fairies and angels, would not be a difficult task.

My aim was to focus on and celebrate historic London architecture.

Harry Potter Library Display, North Kensington
Harry Potter Library Display, North Kensington

The collage poster featured some iconic London buildings and monuments. I approached these establishments and asked whether they could donate one prize for best entries of the competition.

I was delighted when St Pancras Renaissance Hotel replied.  Miss Madeleine Duxbury, from St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, shared on Twitter our photo competition and awarded nine-year-old Marko Popovic’s entry with a meal for two in their MI + ME restaurant.

MI+ME Restaurant, Kings Cross, St Pancras
MI+ME Restaurant, Kings Cross, St Pancras

MI+ME is housed on the Upper Terrace of St Pancras, overlooking the Eurostar trains and next to Paul Day’s sculpture ‘The Meeting Place’. Unlike on the Hogwarts Express, where you can buy all sorts of magical sweets, leaping chocolate frogs and pastries, in the Victorian era the trains had Milk and Meat carriages, to which MI + ME’s name pays homage, mirroring the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London’s railway heritage.

St Pancras Station, Renaissance Hotel, London
St Pancras Station, Renaissance Hotel, London

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel with its Neo-Gothic architecture, lions, snakes, dragons and various other magical creatures featured significantly in the photo competition ‘Magical Creatures and Architecture’. This magnificent building brings Harry Potter books and films to life. Klaudija Cermak , our special guest  and a real wizard of digital effects in two Harry Potter films, helped us to choose the winner of the competition.

 

by Zvezdana Popovic,
Senior Customer Services Assistant, North Kensington Library

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

The Chelsea Blog – August 2013

Chelsea Library
Chelsea Library

Hello to you all from the staff at Chelsea Library.

Stories, crafts and a wizard in the children’s library

This summer during the heat wave we ran two successful story and craft events – an ugly ducking session tied into the Hans Christian Anderson story. Thirty three children came to design flying swans and yellow ducklings and left with a free copy of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ (given to us by Bookstart).

The second story and craft event had a creepy house theme. We read out Funny bones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg and David and Brett McKee’s The Tickle Ghost as well as Walter de la Mare’s The Listeners. We asked the children to imagine what happens next. What will those phantoms treading on the staircase do now that the traveller has gone?

Diane, one of our Senior Customer Services Assistants, designed some brilliant ghosts, little stuffed spectres and hand puppets.  The children decorated them with coloured ribbons and sashes which streamed beneath them like kites.  Like vampires, who after the overkill of the vampire publishing boom are in desperate need of a transfusion, ghosts can get a little clichéd. So we tried out some new shapes, among them was a Kung-fu kick boxing ghost with a Jackie Chan headband.

Mr Wiz the Wizard
Mr Wiz the Wizard

The summer highlight was a visit by Mr Wiz, a Fulham based wizard who played to a packed house of over 50 children. He blew bubbles, threatened to turn chatterboxes into dinosaurs and frogs (one member of staff is still suffering from the frog spell—she stares distractedly at garden ponds in her lunch hour). He magicked pineapple chunks into golden coins and led them in a dance about Five Little Speckled Frogs. The children were thumping on the floor so excitedly that the porters in their office below reported a steady fall of plaster. Each child left with their very own broomstick shaped balloon so that they could fly home chasing bubbles. It was great to see the library so busy – children were still coming through the door during the magic.

Baby rhyme time
Baby rhyme time

Baby rhyme time will be touring the O2 Arena and Wembley Stadium with a beefed up version of ‘Wheels on the Bus’ but until then we hope to take it outside into the Sydney Street Gardens. And if you can’t wait – come along to our weekly session on Thursdays at 11am.

Daniel Jeffreys

Customer Services Assistant

Fashion takeover in the reference library

This week the reference librarians have taken over the Chelsea Gallery to showcase some books from our Costume Collection. There are some rarely seen books on Ancient Egyptian dress from our archives on show.
 
Books from our Costume Collection - Ancient Egyptian dress
Books from our Costume Collection – Ancient Egyptian dress

And also some great 80’s fashion images, inspired by the exhibitions currently on at the V&A and the Fashion and Textile Museum (which we’ve blogged about recently ‘Zandra Rhodes – Unseen (and seen in Vogue and Harpers and Queens)’). We’re really inspired by going to these exhibitions, so look out for more related fashion collection blog posts from us….!

 
Books from our Costume Collection - 80s fashion
Books from our Costume Collection – 80s fashion

Information about both of these subjects and MUCH more is available from the online Berg Fashion Library which we subscribe to.  If you are interested in finding out more about this fantastic resource, please ask us in the Chelsea Reference Library.

And for a taster, here is a great image of a 1980’s cardigan from the V&A and a description of it that we found in the Berg Fashion Library.
© V&A Images/Victoria and Albert Museum, London
© V&A Images/Victoria and Albert Museum, London
This hand-knitted cardigan was inspired by the patterns on decorative china plates. The kaleidoscope of stitches in bright primary colours emphasises its hand-crafted appeal, and the striking patchwork effect is achieved by alternating blocks of stocking and fancy stitches. The designer, Patricia Roberts, set up a hand-knitting business in 1976 and still runs a shop in London today. She has published many pattern books and issued ranges of luxury yarn. This cardigan is typical of her innovative designs in bold colours using contrasting textures and decorative stitches.

The Chelsea Reference Library Staff

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

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