Kensington Central Library – January 2014

Hello to you all from the staff at Kensington Central Library and if it’s not too late to wish this on the last day of January- Happy New Year from us all! Despite January being a bit of a grim month – we’ve been busy and February will be even busier!

 From Princess Louise to smart cookery to stopping smoking

We’ve had some amazing events for adults and children this month. On a very cold night Lucinda Hawksley gave a very entertaining and informative talk about one of Queen Victoria’s daughters, Princess Louise. She was a remarkable woman who seemed to be ahead of her time. Lucinda is an excellent writer and speaker – we’re always happy to have her at the library as her events are excellent – entertaining, amusing and educational.

The Mystery of Princess Louise by Lucinda Hawksley
The Mystery of Princess Louise by Lucinda Hawksley
Lucinda Hawksley
Lucinda Hawksley

It’s been a healthy month for us too – Ooberkids Republic came to speak to a group of children about healthy eating, cooking, recipes and where our food comes from. Smokefree, the stop smoking service also had a stall in the library this month – a perfect time to help people keep their New Year’s Resolution perhaps?

Stop Smoking Service
Stop Smoking Service

From martial arts to fashion to Health Trainers

Don’t worry if you missed any of these events – we’ve got lots to offer you in February too!

On Tuesday 4 February at 6.30pm we’ve Spirit of the Martial Arts with Goran Powell. Goran is a martial arts author who holds a 5th Dan in karate. His first book Waking Dragons tells of his own mental, physical and spiritual preparation for the brutal 30 Man Kumite, one of karate’s toughest tests. His award-winning novels A Sudden Dawn and Chojun revolve around Zen and the traditional martial arts of Kung Fu and Karate. He will talk about and read from his new novel Matryoshka which touches on the fascinating link between Christianity and the newly-popular Russian martial arts. There are still a few tickets left so come along if you can.

Matryoshka by Goran Powell
Matryoshka by Goran Powell
Goran Powell
Goran Powell

To celebrate London Fashion Week in February for the Autumn /Winter 2014 collections, expert fashion management consultant David Jones and guest speakers will be speaking about the fashion industry. This is ideal for those that are thinking of starting a fashion business as a designer, retailer, importer or exporter. David Jones has worked in the clothing and fashion industry for 40 years and for the last 15 years has run his own consultancy, David Jones Fashion Management Services, specialising in fashion. This session is in partnership with Colin Rutt, Consultant and Business Advisor from Portobello Business Centre. This will take place on Thursday 27 February, 6 to 8pm, tickets are £10 and can be booked on Eventbrite.

London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week

We’re really pleased to announce that we’ll have Health Trainers at the library once a month. So whether you’d like to be fitter, change your eating habits, give up smoking or just feel a bit better about yourself, the Health Trainers can offer you guidance and information, in private, in person and for free. These drop-in sessions are the first Wednesday of every month, 11am to 1pm and the first session will be this Wednesday 5 February.

Health Trainers
Health Trainers

…And not forgetting the kids!

It’ll be half term in February so we’ve planned lots of exciting events to keep the kids entertained!

On Monday 17 February, 2 to 4pm we have a Fashion Design Workshop for children aged 10+. This workshop delivers a unique experience for budding fashionistas.

  • Take a crash course in the fashion design process
  • Experiment with drawing
  • Develop a colour palette 
  • Select fabrics for your designs
  • Formulate ideas through illustration

Sessions are led by Jennifer Sturrock, a graduate of London College of Fashion, who has worked in London-based fashion studios, gained experience in knitwear design with DKNY in New York City and developed sample designs for a luxury Parisian label. All materials will be provided. Places are free but strictly limited so do book a place soon so you’re not disappointed!

Are you a budding fashionista?
Are you a budding fashionista?

For younger kids (4 to 10) we’ll have a half term story and craft session Thursday 20 February, 3 to 4pm. These are great sessions – a chance to listen to a good story & then get crafty. No need to book a place – just turn up!

Oh and last but not least we’re really lucky to have Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea at the library on Wednesday 19 February, 1 to 1.30pm.  This will be a fun interactive performing arts session which will include storytelling, puppetry, singing and movement. It’ll be suitable for children 0 to 7 years.

Chickenshed Theatre at Kensington & Chelsea
Chickenshed Theatre at Kensington & Chelsea

Something for everyone – we hope to see you soon!

Kensington Central Library – October 2013

Kensington Central Library
Kensington Central Library

Hello to you all from the staff at Kensington Central Library!  Autumn seems to have started but don’t worry – we have plenty of events happening that’ll keep you out of the wind and rain…..

Events past and coming up

Scary masks!

Gruffalo crafts
Gruffalo crafts

On Saturday 21 September, some scary monsters appeared in Kensington Central Children’s Library, the scariest was the Gruffalo himself! Everyone gathered round for the story of a little mouse who plays a big trick on his fellow animals. Then we made masks to disguise ourselves as all the different animals. There were lots of animal noises to be heard for a while afterwards!

We are now holding a story and craft session every Saturday in the children’s library at 2pm, until 3pm. Come and join us, for more creative fun!

Gemma Baker
Gemma Baker

Gemma Baker

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Author events

We’re extremley to lucky to have some great authors speaking at Kensington Central LIbrary this month –

John McHugo talks about his latest book, Sophie Parkin explores bohemian Soho, and Lucinda Hawksley marches with the Suffragettes.

John McHugo will be appearing this evening Tuesday 15 October, 6.30 to 8pm, Sophie Parkin will be here on Thursday 17 October, 6.30 to 8pm and Lucinda Hawksley on Tuesday 29 October, 6.30 to 8pm. Tickets will be available on the door.

Full details of these events are on the library events page.

Social media help

Facebook and Twitter logos
Facebook and Twitter logos

Like to learn more about Facebook and Twitter? We’ve a free training session at Kensington Central Reference Library on Friday 25 October, 10am to 12 noon. Places are limited so book your place soon at the library.

Half term fun!

Half term in the Royal Borough is week commencing Monday 28 October and we’ve plenty of events to keep your kids of all ages busy.

HiRes Halloween
Halloween!

They’ll be a Halloween story and craft session on Wednesday 30 October, 2 to 3pm for four to ten year olds.

Persian tile
Persian tile

Also we two Persian themed workshops – Persian dance on Tuesday 29 October, 2 to 4pm for eight to fourteen year olds and Persian art on Thursday 31 October, 2 to 4pm for five to eleven year olds. Both these events are part of the Nour Festival of Arts and can be booked on www.nourfestival.eventbrite.co.uk

New displays

We’ve some new book displays this month that have been put together by our creative staff – pop in and take a look!

We’ve displays for:

  • Black History Month
  • Man Booker Prize
  • Graphic novels – a selection of our collection

Hope to see you at our events this month!

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green

Lending Librarian

Kensington Central Library – June 2013

Kensington Central Library
Kensington Central Library

Welcome to our blog post for June 2013 from us all at Kensington Central Library. Over to the staff to tell you what’s been happening here.

Fashion at Kensington Central Library

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Fashion! Turn to the left
Fashion! Turn to the right
Oooh, fashion!
We are the goon squad
And we’re coming to town
Beep-beep
Beep-beep
(Fashion by David Bowie)

I have been working at Kensington Central Library for one month now and have been enjoying having the opportunity to be at some great events!  The Fashion Design Workshop in the Children’s Library at the end of May pulled a crowd of fashionable kids who got involved in sketching designs, creating a theme and colour pallet for a collection, and even had the opportunity to be fashion models and dressers!

Our tutor was Jennifer Sturrock, who taught the children about lots of stuff including how fashion designers take inspiration from all kinds of places when creating collections – from butterflies to geometric shapes.  She also taught them about how to sketch an outfit to get across an impression of it – which included drawing with their eyes closed and behind their backs!

Sketching fashion designs
Sketching fashion designs
Gillian Nunns, Reference Librarian
Gillian Nunns

Gillian Nunns

Lending Library

Splishy, splashy fun with Barry the Fish!

'Barry the Fish with Fingers' by Sue Hendra
‘Barry the Fish with Fingers’ by Sue Hendra

At our last monthly story and craft session we had some splishy, splashy fun with ‘Barry the Fish who had Fingers’ (by author Sue Hendra).

Boys and girls listened to the tale of how Barry the Fish and his friend Puffer save the day. Then we made some pictures and crowns with an under the sea theme. Everyone had a whale of a time!

Sea themed crowns
Sea themed crowns

Our next session will be on Saturday 6 July at 2pm – hope to see you there!

Gemma Baker
Gemma Baker

Gemma Baker

Senior Customer Services Assistant

National Crime Writing Month

Do you like reading crime fiction? Well it’s National Crime Writing Month so to celebrate we’ll be having a new crime fiction display every week during this special month at Kensington Central Library.

This week we’ve concentrated on authors that have won the Crime Writers’ Association’s (CWA) Dagger in the Library award.

Crime writing display
Crime writing display

There’s more information about this book award on the CWA’s website.

Business/ self- employment advice

Dalgarno Trust logo
Dalgarno Trust logo

Looking for business advice or self-employment support? The Dalgarno Trust is holding sessions every Thursday afternoon at Kensington Central Library.

For more information or to book an appointment please call the Dalgarno Trust on 020 8969 6300 or email them enterprisehub@dalgarnotrust.org.uk

More information on this organisation can be found on the Dalgarno Trust’s website.

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green

Lending Librarian

Opening the Box – Kensington Palace anthology launched

Kensington Palace anthology launch at Kensington Central Library
Kensington Palace anthology launch at Kensington Central Library

Kensington and Chelsea libraries and Historic Royal Palaces recently joined together to run a creative writing course.

The Tri-Borough Stock Team and Kensington Palace ran fortnightly sessions led by author, Tamara Pollock.  These sessions were aimed at beginners who wished to develop their writing talent and create original stories inspired by characters and tales from the history of Kensington Palace.  At the end of the course 13 participants submitted stories which were collected together and published in an anthology entitled ‘Stories From Kensington Palace’.

Photographer: Justin W Thomas 07768273862
‘Stories From Kensington Palace’ contributors with the book

On Thursday  23 May the writers came together to celebrate the publication of the anthology at a launch event held at Kensington Central Library.   The boxes of the newly printed and just delivered books were opened and the authors saw their work in print for the very first time. 

Author Tamara Pollock and Kim Klug from Historic Royal Palaces unpack the books.
Author Tamara Pollock and Kim Klug from Historic Royal Palaces unpack the books.

A number of extracts were read out by the authors themselves and ideas for new stories and similar course and events were discussed.  Watch this space!

Reading from 'Stories From Kensington Palace'
Reading from ‘Stories From Kensington Palace’

The anthology is available for loan from all Kensington and Chelsea libraries.

Andy Norton
Andy Norton

Andy Norton

Tri-Borough Stock Librarian

More information

The launch made the front page of the Kensington and Chelsea Chronicle on Friday 31 May 2013. The article isn’t on their website but there’s information on the Kensington and Chelsea Chronicle website regarding where to collect a copy.

Kensington Central Library – April 2013

Kensington Central Library
Kensington Central Library

Hello from us all at Kensington Central Library! This month we’re busy with lots of events- so we wanted to tell you about a couple.

Drama Workshop with Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea

Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea in action!
Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea in action!

Today we had a fantastic drama workshop for children with Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea. Fifteen children had a fantastic time – they put together a fun-filled performance using dance, drama and music as well as learning about the 150 year anniversary of the London Underground.

After only a short-time the children felt confident to show their parents everything they’d learnt which was great to see! And we thought you’d like to hear what the children thought:

I enjoyed acting and performing to others.
I enjoyed learning the facts about the tube.
The acting was my favourite part.
I enjoyed all of the workshop and nothing could have been better!
I learned a lot of facts and dances.
I liked performing to the parents best.
I liked learning about the man who got a rat up his trouser leg!

Now – that sounds like a successful event!

To see what other events we have check out our What’s On page on our website. And there’s more information about Chickenshed on the Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea webpage.

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green

Lending Librarian

The Open University Information Event

The Open University logo
The Open University logo

On Monday 15 April, 11am to 6.30pm The Open University will be at Kensington Central Reference Library.

If you haven’t studied with The Open University before, or you have had a few years away from study, then this event is for you!

Come along to get answers to your questions about qualifications and modules, study methods and other aspects of learning with The Open University.

Just drop in on the day– no appointment necessary.

For more information about what they have to offer check out The Open University’s website.

National Careers Service logo
National Careers Service logo

If you cannot attend…

Did you know that we hold Career Advice sessions on a 1:1 basis every Monday at Kensington Central Library?

If you are aged 19+ you can book a session with the National Careers Service adviser.

To book an appointment please ask library staff or call 020 7361 3010.

There’s more information about how these advisors can help you on our Career Advice page on our website.

Sandeep Dhaliwal

Tri-borough Reference Librarian

Cityread London

Have you heard about Cityread London?

Cityread London
Cityread London

Cityread London is a campaign to spread a love of books and reading to the widest possible audience throughout our capital. By choosing one book- A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks – for the whole city to read, discuss and debate, the aim of the campaign is bring Londoners together in a series of special events, across London and online. This year’s Cityread London campaign will launch in our libraries and across the capital on 2 April 2013.

Sebastian Faulks
Sebastian Faulks

As well as opportunities to borrow A Week in December (and other works by Sebastian Faulks) from our libraries, there will also be events for children, families, young people and adults in April 2013.  

A Week In December by Sebastian Faulks
A Week In December by Sebastian Faulks

Cityread events for adults

Trains, Trams and Buses: Images from the History of Transport in Kensington and Chelsea – An Exhibition

Number 73 bus and some interesting pedestrians!
Number 73 bus and some interesting pedestrians!

Come and see images from the Local Studies collection. This exhibition has been curated by Kensington and Chelsea Local Studies Library at the following libraries:

  • Tuesday 2 to Saturday 6 April, Kensington Central Library
  • Monday 8 to Saturday 13 April, Brompton Library,
  • Monday 15 to Sunday 21 April, Chelsea Library
  • Monday 22 to Saturday 27 April, North Kensington Library

Creative Writing Workshop with Tamara Pollock

Tamara Pollock
Tamara Pollock

Wednesday 10 April, 2 to 4pm at Brompton Library

In this two-hour workshop led by writer and workshop director, Tamara Pollock, we will look at incorporating the theme of London in a short story. We will briefly examine the way in which Sebastian Faulks depicts London life in his novel, A Week in December. This workshop is designed to ease writers into the process of short story writing and to answer questions about character, structure and dialogue.

Places are strictly limited for this workshop, so please book your free place early at Brompton Library.

Legends of Underground London

Subterranean City by Antony Clayton
Subterranean City by Antony Clayton

Thursday 11 April, 6.30 to 8pm at Kensington Central Library

Antony Clayton, author of Subterranean City: Beneath the Streets of London, presents an illustrated talk that will uncover some of the colourful folklore of underground London including legends of secret tunnels and passages, pigs in the sewers and buried trains. Please book your free place to this event at Kensington Central Library.

Inconvenient People – Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England

Sarah Wise
Sarah Wise

Thursday 18 April, 6.30 to 8pm at Kensington Central Library

Sarah Wise looks at 75 years of psychiatry in 19th Century England bringing to light new research and unseen stories of contested lunacy. Exploring Victorian social history, she provides a unique insight into the sexuality, fears and greed of the Victorian middle class. Sebastian Faulks chose this as one of his Books of the Year (2012). Sarah did some of the research for her book at Kensington and Chelsea Local Studies Library. Please book your free place to this event at Kensington Central Library.

Cityread events for children, families and young people

Drama Workshop with Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea

Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea in action!
Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea in action!

Tuesday 9 April, 2 to 3pm at Kensington Central Library

Age: seven to 14

Join Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea for a fun-filled, inclusive performance workshop. Inspired by the 150th birthday of the London Underground we’ll be heading off on an adventure exploring London through dance, drama and music. This is a great opportunity for young people to develop their performance skills using Chickenshed’s proven teaching methods and unique performance style. Places are limited so please book your free place in advance at Kensington Central Children’s Library.

Story and Craft Sessions – Kensington and Chelsea Libraries

Story and craft sessions
Story and craft sessions

We’ll be having special Cityread story and craft sessions for children aged four to ten at the following libraries:

  • Tuesday 2 April, 2 to 3pm at Notting Hill Gate Library
  • Thursday 4 April and Thursday 11 April, 2 to 3pm at Kensington Central Library
  • Thursday 4 April and Thursday 11 April, 2.30 to 3.30pm at North Kensington Library
  • Saturday 6 April and Saturday 13 April, 11am to 12 noon at Brompton Library
  • Saturday 6 April and Saturday 13 April, 11am to 12 noon at Chelsea Library
  • Saturday 13 April, 3 to 4pm at Kensal Library

We hope that you will be inspired to join in with this campaign in order to make London’s second Cityread has successful as the first. More details about how to book are on our Cityread events page and for more events across London take a look at Cityread London’s website too.

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green

Lending Librarian

The Brompton Blog – January 2013

Hello and Happy New Year from everyone at Brompton Library!

Brompton Library
Brompton Library

Fortunately the world did not end on 21 December 2012 as some had predicted (based loosely on information regarding the Mayan calendar) which meant that most of us could make those last-minute present purchases, enjoy our Christmas lunches and join hands in a jolly rendition of Auld Lang Syne at 12.oo am on New Year’s morning. It also means that we could open the doors again on 2 January and welcome 2013 with some new events, promotions and books for our library customers.

If you have made any resolutions to get fitter and healthier then check out some of our lifestyle books with exercises and diet regimes to get in shape. Or maybe you are looking for a career change and can benefit from some of our work skills books to brush up on interview techniques and help get that new job. Plus we have loads of books on learning new skills, everything from playing the guitar to using that new smart phone Father Christmas left under the tree. We also have a hand sewing workshop with Eithne Farry in our meeting room on Tuesday 22 January!

Last week it was nice to receive positive comments from a customer who visits our library every week. She told us how she really liked the displays and staff recommendations that we put out, saying that these give her a good selection of new and interesting books that she can browse and take home.

Brompton Library Reading Group in 2013

Sweet Tooth by Ian MacEwan
Sweet Tooth by Ian MacEwan

So, what’s on the cards for our reading group this year? A whole plethora of stuff. Next month we will be discussing Ian McEwan’s newest novel, Sweet Tooth, a spy story set in 1960’s Oxford. This will be closely followed by the Cityread London choice for all of our groups, which is A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks. Our group usually reads newly published fiction, but this year we are branching out into historical and crime drama. This includes John Grisham’s Calico Joe, an apparently weightier tome than his other books; although I find that it does exactly what it says on the tin! Others we are looking at are The Heat of the Day (World War Two espionage) and Jeanette Winterson’s The Daylight Gate (witches and witchcraft). I don’t think we could have picked a more diverse set of books to read!

Katie Collis
Katie Collis

Katie Collis

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Christmas crafts

Christmas Tree made out of green paper hands!
Christmas Tree made out of green paper hands!

We all enjoyed making Christmas crafts after school on Thursday 20 December 2012.

Sixteen children of various ages got together to make a Christmas tree picture using hands cut from green paper. We stuck on spots & made other decorations. Using hand and feet shapes we made reindeer faces. Some children coloured Christmas shapes and others drew their own pictures. We also stuck together paper chains to decorate the children’s library.

Craft and art are popular activities in the library. One child asked ‘Can we do this again tomorrow?’

We have story and craft sessions during every school holiday – look out for posters in the children’s library for the next session and on our website.

Elisabeth Brown
Elisabeth Brown

Elisabeth Brown

Senior Customer Services Assistant