The team at Maida Vale pulled out all the stops to get the temporary library in the basement up and running at the tail end of August 2012.
Once the doors had re-opened though, we were then faced with the challenge of making sure customers old and new returned or indeed visited for the first time.
Re-launching regular events like the weekly Under 5s sessions, class visits, book groups and IT help sessions have helped but it was felt that a further push was needed to get us noticed locally. After a fair bit of brainstorming, checking of budgets and much scratching of heads an evolving programme of events was agreed.
Our first “big” event was our sale of retired library stock which took place on Saturday 29 September. This proved to be hugely popular with customers and made us some useful funds, so as we had a fair bit of stock left over we’ve decided to hold another one on Saturday 1 December – please add this to your diary.
As children are Maida Vale’s ‘bread and butter’ customers, a series of events specifically aimed at them was organised so that something was happening on each of the Saturdays in October. The first such event happened on 6 October with morning and afternoon pirate-themed craft sessions taking place. Children (and adults!) had great fun making parrot, shark or dolphin shaped pirate treasure maps and pirate hats. There were lots of cries of “Ahoy tha’ me hearties!” and other such pirate speak. Over 20 children plus parents attended on the day and this is to be followed by a further two sessions today – 13 October – with more pirate-themed craft activities and treasure hunts.
[Edited to add a link to a nice picture of the pirate events in the Wood & Vale newspaper]
Half-term sees Native American storytelling taking place along with other things like the Story Cube and Diorama (design a miniature room). Much spooky fun will be had in a darkened children’s library on Hallowe’en itself…
For adults in November we have a couple of fascinating talks, the first of which is on the 12th and relates to the 1840s diary of Nathaniel Bryceson – longer term readers of this blog will remember how many fans the diary has and the incredible lengths people went to in fleshing out the details. The posts about Nathaniel are still some of the most viewed posts on this site, so this is your chance to come along to Maida Vale and find out more.
The second event, on 26 November, is a talk given by the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust about the tragic Bethnal Green Tube Disaster of 1943 and their efforts to raise money for a fitting memorial. There’s no need to book for either of these events, so please do come along and say hello.
Check out the Maida Vale Library events page for further details and future events.