Category Archives: Learning

Summer Reading Challenge 2017: Animal Agents

 

Are you ready to sign up to this year’s Summer Reading  Challenge, read six books over the holidays AND solve a mystery? If you are, then visit your local Westminster library at the start of the summer holidays to register!

All you have to do to take part in Animal Agents, Summer Reading Challenge 2017 is read six library books over the holidays, collecting stickers, rewards and clues along the way. If you read six library books, you’ll receive a certificate and might solve the mystery too. The Summer Reading Challenge is free and children of all ages can take part.

We have a fun programme of free events across our libraries this summer –

Charing Cross Library

Church Street Library

Maida Vale Library

Marylebone Library

Mayfair Library

Paddington Children’s Library

Pimlico Library

Queen’s Park Library

St John’s Wood Library

Victoria Library


Charing Cross Library

For the under 5s

Tiny Tunes Tuesday 25th July, 10.30-11am
Come and enjoy singing, using shakers and dancing with pom-poms for this fun musical session with Tiny Tunes!

Boo Hiccup Tuesday 1st August, 10.30-11.30am
Boo Hiccup will excite and entertain with magic and puppets in a delightful Animal Agents themed show for young children and their parents.

Animal Party Tuesday 8th August, 10.30-11am
Songs, rhymes and games for the little ones. Come to celebrate our animal friends at the library this summer.

Animal Party Tuesday 15th August, 10.30-11am
Songs, rhymes and games for the little ones. Come to celebrate our animal friends at the library this summer.

Animal Party Tuesday 22nd August, 10.30-11am
Songs, rhymes and games for the little ones. Come to celebrate our animal friends at the library this summer.

Animal Party Tuesday 29th August, 10.30-11am
Songs, rhymes and games for the little ones. Come to celebrate our animal friends at the library this summer


Church Street Library

For the under 5s

Tiny Tunes Thursday 27th July, 10.30-11am
Come and enjoy singing, using shakers and dancing with pom-poms for this fun musical session with Tiny Tunes!

Five Little Monkeys Thursday 3rd August, 10.30-11.30am
Fun songs and action rhymes for pre-school children.

Along Came Mr Crocodile Thursday 10th August, 10.30-11.30am
Rhymes and songs for little ones.

Wake Up Bunnies! Thursday 17th August, 10.30-11.30am
Join in our fun singing session for younger children and their grown-ups.

Incy Wincy Spider Thursday 24th August, 10.30-11.30am
Learn some new songs and enjoy familiar ones at our weekly rhyme time.

The Mouse Ran up the Clock Thursday 31st August, 10.30-11.30am
Songs and stories for babies and toddlers.

For the over 5s

Jeremy Strong’s ‘100 Mile an hour Dog’ Wednesday 26th July, 3.30-4.15pm
Can Trevor train Streaker the dog before the end of the holidays, or will he lose his bet with Charlie Smugg? Interactive drama show with actor John Kirk.
For ages 6+.

Cool Cats Friday 28th July, 2-4pm
Family craft workshop with Learning Unlimited. Come and make cat masks, take part in a quiz and make a cat game to take home. Booking required. Call 020 7641 6200 to book.

Creature Workshop Wednesday 2nd August, 2.30-3.30pm
Invent some fantastic creatures and colourful bugs using different craft materials.

We’re Going to the Zoo Wednesday 9th August, 2.30-3.30pm
An animal themed craft activity. Get busy with recycled materials, scissors and glue and build some amazing animals.

Amazing Animal Agents Monday 14th August, 2.30-4pm
Come and discover some of the amazing animals from the Wallace Collection, then make a marvellous animal mask to disguise yourself! What will you be?

Feline Facts and Cat Crafts Wednesday 23rd August, 2.30-4pm
Find out about how to look after cats, then take part in a cat themed craft activity with the charity Cats Protection.

The Summer Reading Challenge Party Wednesday 30th August, 2.30-3.30pm
Celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge and join us for some fun party games.


Maida Vale Library

For the under 5s

Tiny Tunes Friday 28th July, 10.30-11am
Come and enjoy singing, using shakers and dancing with pom-poms for this fun musical session with Tiny Tunes!

Going to the Zoo Friday 4th August, 10.30-11am
Songs, rhymes and a story, followed by a simple craft activity.

Beware of the Bear! Friday 11th August, 10.30-11am
Songs, rhymes and a story, followed by a simple craft activity.

Farmyard Fun Friday 18th August, 10.30-11am
Songs, rhymes and a story, followed by a simple craft activity.

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs Friday 25th August, 10.30-11am
Songs, rhymes and a story, followed by a simple craft activity.

Party Animals Friday 1st September, 10.30-11am
Songs, rhymes and a story, followed by a simple craft activity.

For the over 5s

Dinosaur Fun Monday 24th July, 2-4pm
Family craft workshop with Learning Unlimited, including a dino quiz. Find out some fun facts and make a dino board game to take home. Booking required. Call 020 7641 6200 to book.

Amazing Animal Agents Monday 31st July, 2.30-4pm
Come and discover some of the amazing animals from the Wallace Collection, then make a marvellous animal mask to disguise yourself! What will you be?

Real Animal Agents Wednesday 2nd August, 2.30-3.30pm
Come and meet some real life animals and find out some cool animal facts with this hands-on workshop from Wild Science!

Feline Facts and Cat Crafts Wednesday 9th August, 2.30- 3.30pm
Find out about how to look after cats, then take part in a cat themed craft activity with the charity Cats Protection.

Puppet Pets Thursday 17th August, 2.30-4pm
Make a felt animal puppet to take home. Please note adult help may be needed for younger children.

Marvellous Masks Thursday 24th August, 2.30-4pm
Fierce or friendly, what animal mask will you make?

For all ages

Animal Agents Party Thursday 31st August, 2.30-4pm
Celebrate this year’s Summer Reading Challenge with games, quizzes, food and fun! Booking essential. Call 020 7641 6200 to book.


Marylebone Library

For the under 5s
Cool Cats Tuesday 25th July, 10.30-11am
Come along for songs, rhymes, stories and a cool cat craft.

Five Little Ducks Tuesday 1st August, 10.30-11am
Join us for musical fun, stories, and the making of your very own little ducks.

Down on the Farm Tuesday 8th August, 10.30-11am
Enjoy animal songs, stories and a fun farmyard craft activity.

Polar Bear, Polar Bear Tuesday 15th August, 10.30-11am
Come along to make a pretty polar bear and to hear your favourite songs, rhymes and stories.

Walking through the Jungle Tuesday 22nd August, 10.30-11am
Join us for songs aplenty and a special jungle animal craft.

How much is that Doggy? Tuesday 29th August, 10.30-11am
Enjoy songs, stories, rhymes and a playful puppy dog craft

For the over 5s

Amazing Animal Agents Monday 24th July, 2.30-4pm
Come and discover some of the amazing animals from the Wallace Collection, then make a marvellous animal mask to disguise yourself! What will you be?

Dinosaur Fun Tuesday 25th July, 2-4pm
Family craft workshop with Learning Unlimited including a dino quiz. Find out some fun facts and make a dino board game to take home. Booking required. Call 020 7641 6200 to book.

Feline Facts and Cat Crafts Friday 28th July, 2.30-3.30pm
Find out about how to look after cats, then take part in a cat themed craft activity with the charity Cats Protection.

ZooLab presents Animal Detectives! Friday 4th August, 2.30-3.30pm
Join ZooLab for an animal handling workshop full of mystery and intrigue designed to fire children’s imagination, confidence and love of the written word.
Booking required. Call 020 7641 6200 to book.

Learn and Play Tuesday 8th August, 2-4pm
Inspirational craft for kids and grown-ups. Easy and fun sensory art with Georgia Vossou from the Westminster Archives Centre.

Hermelin’s Mystery Hunt Thursday 17th August, 2.30-3.30pm
Be a detective for the afternoon and join us for a fun mystery hunt, based on the book by Mini Grey. Solve the clues to win a prize!

Secret Book Safe Thursday 24th August, 2.30-3.30pm
Come along and make your own secret storage safe, disguised as a book on your shelf!

For all ages

Summer Reading Party! Thursday 31st August, 10.30-11.30am
Come along to celebrate the end of the Summer Reading Challenge with party
games and prizes!


Mayfair Library

For the under 5s

Tiny Tunes Wednesday 9th August, 10.30-11am
Come and enjoy singing, using shakers and dancing with pom-poms for this fun musical session with Tiny Tunes!

Boo Hiccup Tuesday 22nd August, 10.30-11.30am
Boo Hiccup will excite and entertain with magic and puppets in a delightful Animal Agents themed show for young children and their parents

For the over 5s

ZooLab presents Animal Detectives! Tuesday 19th September, 4-5pm
Join ZooLab for an animal handling workshop full of mystery and intrigue designed to fire children’s imagination, confidence and love of the written word.
Booking required. Call 020 7641 6200 to book.


Paddington Children’s Library

For the under 5s

Tiny Tunes Wednesday 26th July, 10.30-11am
Come and enjoy singing, using shakers and dancing with pom-poms for this fun musical session with Tiny Tunes!

Animal Agents Toddler Time Friday 28th July, 10.30-11am
A time to meet for toy time and animal colouring sheets.

Crafty Cats Baby Rhyme Time Wednesday 2nd August, 10.30-11am
Rhymes, songs and stories.

Crafty Cats Toddler Time Friday 4th August, 10.30-11am
Sharing toys and cat themed colouring.

Up in the Sky Baby Rhyme Time Wednesday 9th August, 10.30-11am
Rhymes, songs and stories.

Up in the Sky Toddler Time Friday 11th August, 10.30-11am
Explore and have fun with things that fly.

Furry Things Baby Rhyme Time Wednesday 16th August, 10.30-11am
Rhymes, songs and stories.

Furry Things Toddler Time Friday 18th August, 10.30-11am
Come and play and colour creatures.

Under the Sea Baby Rhyme Time Wednesday 23rd August, 10.30-11am
Rhymes, songs and stories.

Under the Sea Toddler Time Friday 25th August, 10.30-11am
Who lives here? Toys and colouring.  This event has now been cancelled.

Top Dogs Baby Rhyme Time Wednesday 30th August, 10.30-11am
Rhymes, songs and stories.

Top Dogs Toddler Time Friday 1st September, 10.30-11am
Dogs, toys and colours to explore.

For the over 5s

‘100 Mile and Hour Dog’ Wednesday 26th July, 1-2.15pm
Can Trevor train Streaker the Dog before the end of the holidays, or will he lose his bet with Charlie Smugg? Interactive drama show with actor John Kirk.
For ages 6+.

Animal Rap and Rhyme Monday 31st July, 2.30-3.30pm
Celebrate the Animal Agents Summer Reading Challenge by having fun with words courtesy of award-winning children’s poet, author and entertainer, Neal Zetter.

I Spy Animals Thursday 3rd August, 2-3.30pm
Come along and make crafty animals.

Learn and Play Monday 7th August, 2-4pm
Inspirational craft for kids and grown-ups.
Easy and fun sensory art with Georgia Vossou from the Westminster Archives Centre.

Feline Facts and Cat Crafts Wednesday 16th August, 2.30-3.30pm
Find out about how to look after cats, then take part in a cat themed craft activity with the charity Cats Protection.

Mouse Mats Thursday 24th August, 2-3.30pm
Use amazing mice to make your own colourful mouse mats. Please note this event will now take place at Paddington Library.

Animal Papercraft Tuesday 29th August, 2-3.30pm
Use your imagination to create amazing animal agents at our paper craft session. Please note this event will now take place at Paddington Library.


Pimlico Library

For the under 5s

Tiny Tunes Monday 31st July, 10.30-11am
Come and enjoy singing, using shakers and dancing with pom-poms for this fun musical session with Tiny Tunes!

Safari Stories with Slivery Craft Monday 7th August, 10.30-11.30am
Stories and snake craft.

Music for Little Monkeys Monday 14th August, 10.30-11am
Songs and rhymes.

Mischievous Music Monday 21st August, 10.30-11am
Songs and rhymes.

For the over 5s

Cool Cats Wednesday 26th July, 2-4pm
Family craft workshop with Learning Unlimited. Come and make cat masks, take part in a quiz and make a cat game to take home.

Learn and Play Tuesday 1st August, 2-4pm
Inspirational craft for kids and grown-ups. Easy and fun sensory art with Georgia Vossou from the Westminster Archives Centre.

ZooLab presents Animal Detectives! Thursday 3rd August, 2.30-3.30pm
Join ZooLab for an animal handling workshop full of mystery and intrigue designed to fire children’s imagination, confidence and love of the written word.
Booking required. Call 020 7641 6200 to book.

Feline Facts and Cat Crafts Friday 4th August, 2.30-3.30pm
Find out about how to look after cats, then take part in a cat themed craft activity with the charity Cats Protection.

Make your own Animal Comic Book Thursday 10th August, 10.30-11.30am
Create your own animal inspired comic book.

Amazing Animal Agents Tuesday 15th August, 2.30-4pm
Come and discover some of the amazing animals from the Wallace Collection, then make a marvellous animal mask to disguise yourself! What will you be?

Lego Club Saturday 26th August, 10.30-11.30am
Lego Club with the theme of Animal Agents.

For all ages

End of Summer Party Tuesday 29th August, 10.30-11.30am
Animal fancy dress party with games.


Queen’s Park Library

For the under 5s

Down in the Jungle Monday 24th July, 10.30-11.30am
Learn some jungle songs and rhymes, and then make a super snake.

Tiny Tunes Friday 4th August, 10.30-11am
Come and enjoy singing using shakers and dancing with pom-poms for this fun musical session with Tiny Tunes!

Bonkers for Bears Monday 7th August, 10.30-11.30am
Join us for a bear hunt in this interactive story session, followed by your favourite songs and rhymes.

Fabulous Fish Monday 14th August, 10.30-11.30am
Stories and songs from under the sea!

Big and Small Monday 21st August, 10.30-11.30am
Enjoy all kinds of animal songs and rhymes, from elephants to spiders!

Party Time! Friday 1st September, 10.30-11.30am
Simple games, songs and some yummy party snacks.

For the over 5s

Cool Cats Friday 28th July, 2-4pm
Family craft workshop with Learning Unlimited. Come and make cat masks, take part in a quiz and make a cat game to take home. Booking required. Call 020 7641 6200 to book.

ZooLab presents Animal Detectives! Wednesday 2nd August, 2.30-3.30pm
Join ZooLab for an animal handling workshop full of mystery and intrigue designed to fire children’s imagination, confidence and love of the written word.
Booking required. Call 020 7641 6200 to book.

Beastly Super Sleuths Tuesday 8th August, 2.30-4pm
Are you smart enough to be an Animal Agent? Answer our beastly questions, find the hidden clues and win a prize!

Feline Facts and Cat Crafts Tuesday 15th August, 2.30-3.30pm
Find out about how to look after cats then take part in a cat themed craft activity with the charity Cats Protection.

Funny Furry Faces Thursday 17th August, 2.30-4pm
What’s your favourite animal? Use collage and colouring to make your animal’s face on a paper plate.

Canine Culture Tuesday 22nd August, 2.30-4pm
Meet beautiful rescue dog Kalecka and find out how to care for canines, plus puzzles and crafts. Perfect if you’re nervous around dogs.

Jungle-O-Rama Thursday 24th August, 2.30-4pm
Tear, cut and stick paper to make a jungle scene based on Rousseau’s paintings.

Party Animals Wednesday 30th August, 2.30-4pm
Join us for our end of summer party with games, fun and food.

For all ages

In Disguise Wednesday 26th July, 2.30-4pm
Design and make your own Animal Agent badge, plus animal themed face painting!

Nature Explorers Thursday 10th August, 2.30-4pm
Journey outside the library to explore local nature and find out about animals that live around us. This activity involves a short walk.


St John’s Wood Library

For the under 5s

Tiny Tunes Thursday 3rd August, 10.30-11am
Come and enjoy singing, using shakers and dancing with pom-poms for this fun musical session with Tiny Tunes!

Walking the Jungle Path Tuesday 8th August, 10.30-11.30am
Songs and stories as you walk the jungle path.

Bear Picnic Thursday 17th August, 2.30-3.30pm
Have tea with your bear and go on a bear hunt.

Seashore Fun Thursday 24th August, 10.30-11.30am
Let’s see what’s in the sea with stories and songs.

Farm Fun Thursday 31st August, 10.30-11.30am
Songs and stories about the farm animals.

End of Summer Party Tuesday 5th September, 10.30am-12 midday
Party with games and fun.

For the over 5s

Animal Detectives! Tuesday 25th July, 2.30-3.30pm
Join ZooLab for an animal handling workshop full of mystery and intrigue designed to fire children’s imagination, confidence and love of the written word.
Booking required. Call 020 7641 6200 to book.

Dinosaur Fun Thursday 27th July, 2-4pm
Family craft workshop with Learning Unlimited, including a dino quiz, fun facts and make a dino board game to take home. Booking required. Call 020 7641 6200 to book.

Amazing Animal Agents Tuesday 1st August, 2.30-4pm
Come and discover some of the amazing animals from the Wallace Collection, then make a marvellous animal mask to disguise yourself! What will you be?

Feline Facts and Cat Crafts Wednesday 2nd August, 2.30-3.30pm
Find out about how to look after cats, then take part in a cat themed craft activity with the charity Cats Protection.

Learn and Play Wednesday 9th August, 2-4pm
Inspirational craft for kids and grown-ups. Easy and fun sensory art with Georgia Vossou from the Westminster Archives Centre.

Mixed-up Animal Wednesday 16th August, 2.30-4pm
Design your mixed-up animal.

Animal Faces Wednesday 23rd August, 2.30-4pm
Make an animal mask.

End of Summer Party Thursday 7th September, 2.30-4pm
Party with games and fun.

For all ages

Animal Puppet Show Tuesday 29th August, 2.30-3.30pm
Play with puppet animals.


Victoria Library

For the under 5s

Animal Craft Wednesday 26th July, 10.30-11.30am
Join us for an extended rhyme time with animal craft.

Tiny Tunes Wednesday 2nd August, 10.30-11am
Come and enjoy singing, using shakers and dancing with pom-poms for this fun musical session with Tiny Tunes!

Parachute Adventure Wednesday 9th August, 10.30-11.30am
Join us for an extended rhyme time with a parachute adventure.

Spy Face Painting Wednesday 16th August, 10.30-11.30am
Join us for an extended rhyme time with spy themed face painting.

Treasure Chests Wednesday 23rd August, 10.30-11.30am
Join us for an extended rhyme time with a treasure chest to find.

Summer Party Rhyme Time Wednesday 30th August, 10.30-11.30am
Join us for an extended rhyme time with party games and food

For the over 5s

Amazing Animal Agents Tuesday 25th July, 2.30-4pm
Come and discover some of the amazing animals from the Wallace
Collection, then make a marvellous animal mask to disguise yourself!
What will you be?

Animal Rap and Rhyme Tuesday 1st August, 2.30-3.30pm
Have fun with words courtesy of award winning children’s poet, author and entertainer, Neal Zetter.

Learn and Play Thursday 3rd August, 2-4pm
Inspirational craft for kids and grown-ups. Easy and fun sensory art with Georgia Vossou from the Westminster Archives Centre.

Feline Facts and Cat Crafts Friday 11th August, 2.30-3.30pm
Find out about how to look after cats, then take part in a cat themed craft activity with the charity Cats Protection.

Animal Masks Tuesday 15th August, 2.30-3.30pm
Create the ultimate disguise by making a with a fun mask of your favourite animal.

Animal Mix-Up Book Making Tuesday 22nd August, 2.30-3.30pm
Cow’s head, chicken tummy, rabbit legs? Create your own new animals and take home your own book.

Spy Hunt Tuesday 29th August, 2.30-3.30pm
Can you find the clues around the library
to claim your prize?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Volunteer with us this summer

Looking for something to do this summer? We are looking for volunteers to help deliver the Summer Reading Challenge in our libraries. Young people (14 to 25 year olds) are especially welcome to apply to volunteer.

The Summer Reading Challenge is a national reading initiative which encourages children to read for fun over the summer holidays.

The combination of fun, freedom, and creativity impacts significantly on children’s reading levels and confidence. Taking part in the challenge helps prevent the ‘summer reading dip’ which can occur when children are at home over the long summer break and, without reading opportunities, lose confidence in their reading.

 

We’ve had some fantastic volunteers, who’ve really helped make a difference and had some fun too. Here’s what a couple of them had to say –

If I had to sum up my volunteering as a Summer Reading Challenge Mentor, I would say the experience definitely made my summer! During the holidays, there’s a lot of time but not much to do. So what did I do? I took on the opportunity to be a Mentor and I loved it so much I volunteered at the same library again for 2 summers! Being a Reading Challenge Mentor is huge fun – you get to interact with young kids and really get a understanding of what books they enjoy. From science fiction to books about jam sandwiches (yes, there’s a book on that!), reading can be extremely exciting if you find the right book! I had a truly great time meeting with  young readers but also working alongside the friendliest staff around! The library staff are so welcoming and I truly enjoyed my volunteering . If you love reading and want to make a difference – this is the opportunity for you!

I had the pleasure of spending two summers in libraries around West London supporting the summer reading challenge. I loved interacting with all of the children and helping them to explore new genres and authors. Assisting with the planning and facilitation of arts and crafts sessions was definitely a highlight of mine. I also enjoyed helping to create in library displays to showcase the children’s work. I have always been passionate about helping children and young people. My work with the challenge inspired me to pursue a career within the education and charity sectors.  I would encourage anybody to take part in this programme, it was an amazing experience and has been an asset to my CV.

You can download a profile and apply to voulnteer on our website.

Nick, Tri-borough Libraries Children’s Services Manager

Cityread London event at the Wallace Collection

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.

[Amy]

Mental Health Awareness Week – Surviving or Thriving?

mhaw17-main-banner_0Read, learn and connect with us during this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week –

Libraries’ positive contribution to the mental well-being of the population is well documented – see the Arts Council’s publication on ‘The health and wellbeing benefits of public libraries.’ 

I say population and not just customers or residents as it has been said that living near a library and, indeed, just walking past a library has a positive effect on one’s emotional and mental well-being.

Of course we in libraries are keen to invite people to come through the doors and experience the well-being benefits first hand. The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘Surviving or Thriving’ which encourages us to look at our physical and mental well-being.

mental-health

Some of our offers are more obviously health focused, our health information displays encourage us to feed our brains with the right food and suggest ways to be more active, as well as giving information on managing and living well with chronic conditions.  Poor physical health can be a drain on our mental and emotional strength and poor mental health can lead to inactivity, poor diet and so the cycle continues.

One way to break cycles of unhelpful thoughts and behaviours is cognitive behavioural therapy and Westminster has a free psychological therapy service, Westminster Talking Therapies.

In order to help people decide whether this service is for them or for support while waiting for a referral, or during, or after therapy, the libraries’ Reading Well Books on Prescription collections are recommended by GPs and health promotion specialists. A new collection put together to support those living with chronic conditions will be launched in July this year.

The Reading Well Books on Prescription initiative is part of our Bibliotherapy offer. Our libraries host read aloud groups in partnership with The Reader Organisation. These facilitator led ‘Share a book’ groups meet every week and give members the opportunity to join in reading aloud from good literature and discuss what has been read over a cup of tea or coffee or just sit back, listen and enjoy the company.

lavenderIt is encouraging to look at how we in libraries contribute to what is called ‘the wider determinants of health’  All the things in our lives that support us, family, work, employment, housing, finances, education, lifelong learning, English classes, coffee mornings, knitting groups, activities for children and teenagers, employment advice, business information points for entrepreneurs old and young, all these available in libraries.

Libraries have always been inspirational and aspirational encouraging us to ask for more learning and knowledge and skills to create meaningful lives for ourselves and our families.

There are also some very good enjoyable fiction books available free to borrow hard copy or online! See our new book displays or log on to the 24/7 library. Did you know that reading for as little as six minutes can improve mental well-being?

See what you can do this Mental Health Awareness week to look after your own mental well-being, eat well, sleep well, go for a walk in one of our gorgeous parks and yes, visit your local library.

Kate Gielgud

Health Information Co-ordinator

 

 

 

 

New Year, New You 2017

Church Street Library held its ‘New Year, New You’ event on 18 January, offering customers the opportunity to try something out of the ordinary for 2017. We certainly provided that, attracting a large number of visitors over the course of the day.

Church Street Library: 'New Year, New You'. January 2017

The day unfolded as the three floored library transformed into zones.  The ground floor lending library became the Body and Mind Zone, offering customers a full body MOT, stop smoking advice, healthy eating tips, with health food store Nature Intended providing freebies. Our local Post Office was there too. We also had Westminster Registrars on hand to talk about the Nationality Checking Service. Heavenly music from the London Maritime Quintet filled the air. In total we had 15 stalls sharing the space.

The Maritime Quintet at Church Street Library for 'New Year, New You'. January 2017

One floor down, the Chillax and Breathe Zone filled with nine complementary therapy stalls, delivering foot and head massage, facial threading, hand massage and beauty pampering through to henna hand art.

The Community Space was renamed the Active Zone for the day, hosting modern dance and a local line dancing crew managed by Pina; the Learning Centre became the Learn Something New Zone, where we offered Arabic classes, a CV advice workshop and a taster in creative writing. Carol’s Organic Kitchen provided healthy sandwich burgers and Osman Khan Church Street Community provided tea and coffee.

Transport was arranged to bring Home Library Service readers to the library, offering them a chance to enjoy a concert by professional musicians the London Maritime quintet in the relaxed setting of the library. As a complete contrast our readers then enjoyed some more modern music and a demonstration of hip hop and street dance by a member of Rain Crew.

Breakdancing at New Year New You event, Church Street Library January 2017     Breakdancing at New Year New You event, Church Street Library January 2017

Comments from HLS members:

“A wonderful programme.”

“Loved the music – heard composers’ work I had not come across before.”

“Loved the breakdancing.”

“The young man dancing was so passionate about what he was doing and was charming.”

“It is wonderful to go out and meet old and new friends.”

[Elaine]

Reading Ahead for success

Over 200 Westminster readers won special recognition for completing the Reading Ahead challenge 2016.

Reading Ahead poster 2015-16Reading Ahead (formerly The Six Book Challenge) is a nationwide challenge from The Reading Agency inviting participants to pick six reads – anything from books and magazines to website articles – and record, rate and review them in a reading diary. The programme is designed to help less confident readers improve their reading skills and is run locally by Westminster Libraries and Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES), particularly encouraging readers with English as a second language to take part. Last year, over 48,000 people took part across the UK.

In Westminster, 746 people participated in this year’s challenge, with 221 receiving the completion certificate. For the third consecutive year Church Street Library led the field with 149 completers, thanks to a great partnership with WAES and Working Men’s College who deliver their Community ESOL classes at the library.

Westminster Reading Ahead awards ceremony, July 2016

Westminster participants celebrated their success at a special event in July with author Diane Sherlock, who said:

“I was much moved and impressed by your wonderful readers. And by what you all have achieved.”

We’d like to express thanks and congratulations to everyone who took part in the challenge, including the library and WAES staff members who worked so hard at every stage from initial promotion through to the final ceremony. And thanks to Diane for her enthusiasm and support. Here’s some pictures of the happy participants receiving their certificates:

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Councillor David Harvey, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Sports and Leisure said:

“Reading is a vital skill and it’s wonderful to see so many people in Westminster take part and develop their confidence. I hope that all participants continue to build on their success and help spread the joy of reading in their communities.”

If you or someone you know are interested in taking part next year, please contact your local library. And in the meantime, why not get your children into the reading habit – it’s not too late for them to join this year’s Summer Reading Challenge!

Westminster Reading Ahead awards ceremony, July 2016

[Debora]

Spring again

Recently the Home Library Service held its second ‘Spring into Spring’ health and information morning, this time at Pimlico Library (see previous event details).

HLS Spring into Spring event at Pimlico Library

On offer was the chance to sample hand massage, chair yoga (above), laptops and tablets (below), as well as a chance to talk individually to representatives from Open Age, the Health Improvement and Falls Prevention teams and the council’s Environment Team.

HLS Spring into Spring event at Pimlico Library HLS Spring into Spring event at Pimlico Library

We even had two new recruits sign up to borrow a laptop from the Westminster’s Council’s Community Computers Scheme!

HLS Spring into Spring event at Pimlico Library

There was a wealth of library, council and health information leaflets to take away as a reminder of new things learnt.

“Helpful and entertaining”

“Thank you for a wonderful day out”

[Elaine]