Tag Archives: summer

Chocolate Challenge!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald DahlAs part of the Summer Reading Challenge, Maida Vale Library hosted a Chocolate Challenge!

Children came along to design and make their own chocolate boxes and chocolates from salt dough and give them exciting Dahlesque names like ‘Strawberry Fizzwanglers’ and ‘Crocolate Snappetizers’.

The event was a great success with over 40 children attending and a scrumdelicious time was had by all. Real chocolate was handed out to the chocolatiers, so no one left empty handed!

Big Friendly Read - the Summer Reading Challenge 2016

We’ve got many more Big Friendly Read events in Westminster Libraries – chocolate-themed or otherwise – right through the summer holidays. Check the Big Friendly Read page or follow @WCCLibraries on Twitter for all the details.


This week in The Big Friendly Read

The heatwave seems to have left us (for the time being at least) – but don’t worry, even if the weather is rubbish we have lots to entertain younger customers in our libraries!

Big Friendly Read - the Summer Reading Challenge 2016

They can join in the Summer Reading Challenge, the theme of which is Roald Dahl this year. Check out the official website – it’s got suggestions for what to read next, games to play and competitions.

As well as the Challenge, we have organised a (writing) shed full of events in libraries, all free! Why not check out what’s on at your local library over the holiday?

Here is a taste of what’s been going on this week:

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The Big Friendly Read

To celebrate 100 years of one of the world’s favourite storytellers, Roald Dahl, libraries are running The Big Friendly Read this summer holidays.

Rachel from Tiny Tunes entertaining the under fives at Marylebone libraryThe Summer Reading Challenge 2016 will feature some of Roald Dahl’s best-loved characters and the amazing artwork of his principal illustrator, Sir Quentin Blake. It will encourage reading on a BFG scale!
Aimed at primary school aged children, the Big Friendly Read is happening at libraries across Westminster all summer.

To take part in the Challenge, all children need to do is sign up at their nearest library. It’s free! They’ll receive a special collector’s folder and as they borrow and read at least six library books over the summer, they can collect six special cards to complete it. The cards all feature original Quentin Blake illustrations and explore some of most popular themes in Roald Dahl’s books such as invention, mischief and friendship. Plus there are other rewards to collect along the way.

Big Friendly Read - the Summer Reading Challenge 2016

There’s a whole programme of events and activities planned in Westminster libraries for families over the summer to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge. Have a look at what’s on at your local library.

Here are a few pictures of what’s been going on this week:

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Record Breaking Volunteers

Record Breakers logoThe Summer Reading Challenge update this week focuses on the work of our volunteers. With lots of children and families using our libraries to join in Record Breakers over the summer, we have a great team of ‘reading mentors’ who volunteer over the holiday to help us deliver the Challenge.

We have some fabulous helpers who have been talking to children about their books, handing out stickers and rewards and assisting with events. Children have loved taking to them and telling them about their books.

There have been 90 summer volunteers this year across our 10 libraries, so far giving over 950 hours between them. That’s a lot of stickers given out! In turn our volunteers have enjoyed their time with us and have gained some valuable work experience.

Zahra, Summer reading Challenge Volunteer 2015

Pictured is Zahra, one of the summer volunteers at Maida Vale Library, who says:

“It’s a blessing to work with a scheme that helps to maintain and enhance the kids’ reading over the summer, so that when they’re back in school they don’t lose that confidence or excitement in reading… It’s a privilege to help get all involved in the fun, to see the various creative activities happening in the library and to work alongside such a great team. Absolutely recommend everyone to volunteer and to get involved in any way possible, whichever borough you’re in and whenever you can. It’s worth it – lovely people and a lovely initiative!”

A big THANK YOU to all our volunteers!


Summer at Maida Vale Library

Maida Vale LibraryThe school holidays are now upon us and this year’s Summer Reading Challenge has started at Maida Vale Library. We have a packed programme of events for children over the next 6 weeks, but for us our summer really began with our Fair a few Saturdays ago.

Holding it on 4 July during Wimbledon on one of the hottest days of the year may not have been the best of ideas, but we still managed to pull in the crowds and had more than double our number of Saturday visits recorded.

Bridget's Bespoke Cakes at Maida Vale Library Summer Fair 2015A whole range of handmade goods were on sale over 24 stalls along with vintage and retro items from yesteryear, jewellery, children’s clothes, toys, DVDs, books and CDs. One of our customers even donated a whole range of unwanted outdoor plants which were all hastily re-potted ready for sale!

Especially popular were local entrepreneurs Moira from Made in Maida Vale and Michelle from Bridget’s Bespoke Cakes who sold a selection of delicious jams, preserves and cakes.

Made in Maida Vale at Maida Vale Library Summer Fair 2015

The fair was even talked about in the local Waitrose, where someone was overheard stating that

“It was really good and I really look forward to another one. I got real bargains and talked to lots of people.”

So hot on the heels of this positive feedback, plans are afoot to hold the next one on Saturday 14 November 2015. In the meantime we have a sale of ex-library stock taking place on Saturday 8 August.

Watch out for more announcements on up and coming events at Maida Vale…