Hot on the winged heels of Mental Health Awareness week (thank you to all colleagues and partners who helped get that information out there) we are promoting Dementia Awareness Week (14 to 21 May 2017), an Alzheimer’s Society initiative, in our libraries. There are so many myths around Dementia and that is why we recommend the Reading Well books on prescription dementia list.
Book display at Queen’s Park Library
This is a varied carefully chosen collection consisting of evidenced and researched information books, alongside fascinating and moving personal histories. It also includes a children’s picture book to help younger readers understand beloved members of their families who have been diagnosed with one of 100 conditions that come under the umbrella of Dementia. Check out the craft book for creative ways of engaging those living well with Dementia. It is a helpful and uplifting collection.
The second initiative I want tell you about is the Dementia Friends sessions happening this week which are run by a trained Dementia champion. They are relaxed and informative sessions that engage us in such a way that unhelpful fears and misinformation around the subject can be openly discussed and real facts and practical tips on creating Dementia friendly services and how to reach out and support those living well with Dementia come to light.
Details of the Dementia Friends sessions this week:
These sessions are open to everyone and I urge you to recommend them or even come along yourself.
Health Information Co-ordinator
Throughout April, Londoners have been celebrating Cityread London by reading 2017’s title ‘Prophesy’ by S.J. Parris, an historical thriller set in 1583 in the middle of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign. And every April there are some amazing events across the capital connected to the that year’s book.
Last month, some of the St John’s Wood Library customers were lucky enough to attend a special Cityread London event with the Wallace Collection at the Penfold Community Hub. Sarah, a community officer at the Wallace Collection, not only introduced us to their treasures but also brought along replicas and reproductions of the collection’s Elizabethan influences.
We admired a portrait of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who was Elizabeth I’s close friend and favourite – everyone even got a postcard to take away. We also looked closely at a painting by Paul Delaroche titled Hippolyte depicting Edward V and the Duke of York in the Tower. The group also got to try on some replica armour. It was widely agreed that armour is not as heavy as it looks and much more comfy to boot.
This snapshot into the wealth and richness of the Wallace Collection was truly inspiring. If you haven’t been before we encourage you to visit soon; it’s an outstanding local asset and free! For more information such as opening hours and you can also view their paintings online at the Wallace Collection website.
Debra from Queen’s Park Library and Maureen, a regular volunteer, set off from the Library on Saturday loaded up with books to give away for the World Book Night 2017 event .
Unfortunately, in the rush to get to the lunch club at St Peter Elgin Avenue, the actual World Book Night book, ‘Of Mice and Men’ was left behind.
So while Maureen did brisk business giving away the books at the lunch club, Debra whizzed back to the library and picked up a stack of the missing books. This worked out well as several copies were handed over to startled members of the public at bus stops and traffic lights along the length of the Harrow Road.
After the lunch club, bikes were reloaded and Maureen and Debra headed over to the Spring Sale at WECH’s community space for more chatting about books and giving away titles to happy recipients.
Finally, the pair headed back to the library with the few books that were left.
It was a great way to connect with people from the community who do not (yet) use their local library.
One of the main reasons for starting this blog was that there was so much to tell – as the very first post said: “It’s about the life of the Libraries & Archives”. There are so very many facets to a public library service; I wanted to help bring more of what we can offer into the light.
After eighteen years in Westminster Libraries (a brief interlude in comparison to the tenure of Malcolm and many others, of course), I’ve rounded up a selection of wonderful things and, with apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein, persuaded my library-fan children to spare you my singing voice. As I move on to pastures new, one of the things I will miss the most is editing this blog (I look forward to being a reader from now on). It’s been a privilege.
So long, farewell…
Mayfair Library Reading Group met yesterday to discuss Cousins by Salley Vickers.
May 1994: Will Tye, a student at Cambridge, falls from the tower of King’s College. This event is the starting point for a story running through three generations of the Tye family, told from the view point of three different women: Will’s sister Hetta, grandmother Betsy and his aunt Bell. The group felt that this device was sometimes confusing, they weren’t always sure who was speaking.
All agreed that the ending (which we won’t give away!) was the best part of the book, when the story really picked up. They saw it as interesting rather than shocking or surprising.
Salley Vickers is probably best known for her first novel, published in 2000, Miss Garnet’s Angel. You can find her other books, including Cousins, in Westminster Libraries.
The group meets at the end of March to discuss their next book, Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop. Come and join in!