Tag Archives: events

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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Elephants and Eggs

Elephant of my Heart

The Prospero Theatre group came to Queens Park Library to perform ‘Elephant of My Heart’ in the children’s library. The animal of your heart is your personal inner guide and each person has their own.

This was a wonderfully inventive join-in musical workshop that tells the story of a girl recovering in hospital who is visited by an elephant, the animal of her heart, and a host of other animals.

The children in the audience made rain noises by banging on the floor, danced and played characters in the story.

Here’s what the children had to say afterwards:

‘You will fly, you will ride on an elephant’s head. Most importantly you will enjoy this’
‘So creative and engaging. Everyone loved it’
‘You were very good. 100/100’

After the performance the children were led in a quest to find the animal of their own heart. These included a snake, an elephant, a chimera, a tiger and a chipmunk.

Easter Egg Hunt and Easter Crafts

The children’s library was full of eager egg hunters at our Easter Egg Hunt and Crafts event.

Children had to find three matching tokens hidden around the children’s library to claim their chocolate Easter egg. There were so many egg hunters we had to organise a second hunt.

After the chocolate fun there was a whirlwind of paper, scissors, pens and glue sticks producing lots of lovely decorated eggs and Easter cards.

[Debra]

 

Harry Potter’s Maida Vale Book Night

Harry Potter Book Night at Maida Vale Library, February 2016

Maida Vale Library was the Westminster location for Harry Potter Book Night. We’d built up to it throughout half term week with a testing ‘Harry Potter Quiz’ and ‘Potter’s Potions’ image hunt, and on the night we donned cloaks, stripy scarfs and wands to welcome the new Hogwarts students.

Harry Potter Book Night at Maida Vale Library, February 2016 Harry Potter Book Night at Maida Vale Library, February 2016 Harry Potter Book Night at Maida Vale Library, February 2016

The scene was set with bottles of potions stationed round the library windows. Smoke and fog also added a truly mystical atmosphere. And no magical library would be complete without a Restricted Section…

Harry Potter Book Night at Maida Vale Library, February 2016

We were delighted to greet a large number of children, suitably dressed in wizarding attire with homemade wands and recognisable Harry Potter scars.

Harry Potter Book Night at Maida Vale Library, February 2016First of all the Sorting ceremony, complete with the Sorting Hat, who magically announced to which house/team the children would belong: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff.

The house games then commenced. A select few had been chosen to duel. So, with the help of a distinctive wand and a randomly picked spell, they conjured up some sorcery and announced how the spell would affect their opponent. With the help of the crowd it was decided which wizard had the more powerful incantation.

After a few rounds, Ravenclaw emerged victorious, thanks to the ‘Densaugeo!’ spell which caused a ‘growing of the teeth!’

Then the owls appeared, bringing with them a personalised letter with certificate of attendance, some stickers and a rare signed autograph of the one and only Gilderoy Lockhart! The guests were invited to draw and create their own owl’s expressions.

There was a ‘Have you seen this wizard?’ sign available for everyone who wanted to recreate the wanted poster from ‘The Prisoner of Azkaban’ and use it as a photo opportunity… we couldn’t resist joining in! We also handed out colouring sheets of Diagon Alley, each of the house crests and an image of Dobby.

Harry Potter Book Night at Maida Vale Library, February 2016  Harry Potter Book Night at Maida Vale Library, February 2016  Harry Potter Book Night at Maida Vale Library, February 2016

To complete the night: a quiz! Ravenclaw kept their lead from the duels and ended with most points on the board. Everyone was then invited to sample the homebrewed potions and food, which included the now famous ‘green juice!’

The team are now working on the series of events for the next school holidays – watch this space and hope to see you then!

[Matt]

Happy National Libraries Day!

National Libraries Day 2014Today, 6 February is National Libraries Day – we’d love to see you at the library today!

If you haven’t been in for a while, pick your nearest one and come and find out what we have to offer.

We’re holding an online competition to celebrate both National Libraries Day and the fact that this week has been National Storytelling Week:

Can you tell a story in fewer than 140 characters?
If you’d like to try, post your story on Twitter before midday on Monday, making sure you include the hashtag #NLD132.
There are prizes for the most retweeted story and we’ll pick our favourite reading- or library-related story too.
Find out more, and join in the judging by retweeting your favourite story at #NLD132.

This Saturday in Westminster Libraries you can find:

In addition to these special events we have literally hundreds of other events going on every day of the week across our network of libraries. Keep an eye on the Forthcoming events page for one-off events and at the regular events section of your own library’s events page for regular activities.

Or just come in and have a look at our wide range of books for both adults and children, use the library computers, ask a question, borrow a DVD or CD, find out about local history at the Archives Centre, use our amazing special collections or use the study space we offer.

If you can’t get to the library today, have a look at our brilliant online resources – you can download e-books, e-magazines and e-audiobooks for free, and use the Guardian newspaper archives, Naxos Music Library and KOMPASS business directory (and much MUCH more) from home too.

And if you can’t get to the library at all because you are disabled or caring for someone at home, don’t forget that we have a Home Library Service for you.

There are loads of reasons to love libraries this National Libraries Day. Come and find out why!

[Ali]

Happy New Year!

Fireworks NightIt’s going to be an exciting year, with even more of the events we’re known for (look out for New Year New You very soon), anniversaries to celebrate and books to read (whether e-books or hard copy).

We’d like to announce one more thing, starting today – the 170th anniversary of the diary of Nathaniel Bryceson. Written in 1846, acquired by Westminster City Archives in 1974 and published for the first time online in 2010, it’s time for fans old and new to see it anew. Of course, the diary is not new, the entries are the same intriguing snapshots of Victorian daily life, but this time it’s being published as a blog AND a weekly podcast and Nathaniel Bryceson is on Twitter.

So visit The Life and Loves of a Victorian Clerk, scroll to the bottom and subscribe to updates, follow Nathaniel on Twitter and/or sign up for the podcast. Later today you can read Nathaniel’s very first 1846 diary entry…

Nathaniel Bryceson diary 1 Jan

We can help

Did you know that using a public library is good for your mental health?

Books on Prescription at Victoria LibraryRecent research done for Arts Council England found that

“Library usage is associated with higher life satisfaction, higher happiness and a higher sense of purpose in life… These results suggest that libraries generally have an important role in library users’ quality of life and wellbeing.”

– The health and wellbeing benefits of public libraries, 2015

Today is World Mental Health Day so we’re taking the opportunity to talk about some of the support that Westminster Libraries can offer to maintain and improve your and your family’s mental health.

If you visit your local library today, you are likely to see a display entitledBooks on Prescription – a selection of self-help books put together by health professionals that give guidance on managing and, in some cases, recovering from mild to moderate mental wellbeing issues. These books are available for a longer-than-usual loan period, and figures released today suggest that it’s a positive and useful resource (Book-based therapy scheme is a success) – so successful in fact that Korean TV visited Victoria Library this week to talk to the Reading Agency and our very own librarian Nick about taking Books on Prescription to Korea!

You can browse the selection for yourself on the library catalogue:

Browse the 'Books on Prescription' selection

Browse the ‘Books on Prescription’ selection

From the same page you can also browse a great selection of Mood Boosting Books – uplifting titles including novels, poetry and non-fiction. The books are recommended by readers and reading groups around the country.

Browse the selection of Mood Boosting Books

Browse the selection of Mood Boosting Books

You are probably aware of the wide range of health-related events that are held regularly in Westminster Libraries – from free blood pressure checks to Q & A sessions about different conditions, from advice on healthy eating to fun dental health sessions for children. But as the report at the top of the post indicates, it’s not just attending health-related events that can have an impact on your mental health. Attending any library events (and we have a LOT!) can improve feelings of wellbeing. In fact, there is also evidence that improved literacy is linked to good health, so the Health Information Project is working closely with children’s Chatterbooks reading groups and other groups within libraries to support reading as a whole.

Have you heard about the Shared Reading Groups? We have a wide range of reading groups that you can join, from the traditional ‘read a book a month and discuss it’ style to groups focusing on comics or crime fiction. Shared reading groups have a slightly different style – there’s no set book, you don’t need to read it before you attend – just come along and listen to others read aloud, discuss (if you want) and enjoy the books (poetry, plays, novels), the company and the free tea and coffee!

We can help. Libraries are a great source of information, enjoyment, social interaction or space just to read and learn. Come in and spend some time, join in with an event or group, find a great book to read for escape or to find support with the stresses of life. These links may also help:

[Kate]

Record Breaking Numbers

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It’s been a busy, fun-packed summer for us, with over 2,300 children joining this year’s Summer Reading Challenge “Record Breakers” – so far!

850 young people  have already completed the challenge by reading 6 books over three library visits. Victoria Library has been especially busy with nearly a quarter more children joining than last year and more of these children have completed the challenge than they did over the whole of the summer last year.

There’s still time to sign up to the challenge and plenty of time to read the six books – and get your medal for finishing the challenge – what a great way to finish the summer!

See above for some of our Summer Reading Challenge highlights.