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For National Libraries Day 2013 Celebrate My Library embarked on a ‘London Orbirail’ of libraries spanning the route of the newly extended london over rail. The aim: to join in with each libraries National Libraries Day activity and generally discover why people in each library love it so much… simple right? Well almost…
We started at Clapham after a tour from manager Andrew we got chatting to the early birds who were in the library shortly after opening.
Seeing JoJo, and her fantastic drawing, and (with help from her dad) discovring she loved her library for Maisy book was a great start to the day. It seemed the peace and quiet of Calpham was the main reason people flocked there (at least at 9am on a Saturday morning!), and we can see why with all the individual study spaces and reflective areas.
Unfortunately we could not hang about and shot off just behind schedule to Carnegie Library.
With some seriously dodgy directions and a bus going the wrong way we eventually made it to Carnegie Library (by now very behind schedule). However what a treat we found. Neither of us had ever been to Carnegie library… and were blown over by the whole place. It is a serious contender for most beautiful library, and the staff, visitors and Friends of Carnegie Library we met there were just amazing (more videos to follow…) Some fantastic response to our love libraries questioning and tea and biccies delightfully provided by the friends topped off a great library stop off.
Next were two whistle stop-photo ops for Peckham and Canada Water Libraries. Southwark Libraries were focusing their efforts on the upcoming World Book Day so had no events on, but both these new and impressive libraries slotted in nicely on our route.
Crossing the river we hit Shorditch who had a free book give-a-way for National Libraries Day, and we had a chat with a studious revision club, who told us that they love the wifi and study space.
After a much needed pit-stop in the perfectly positioned Starbucks at the bottom of Dalston’s CRL James Library we were ready to get card making! Another library neither of us had previously visited, we loved the ‘chill out’ teen area, with several people curled up with a good book in, and the separated Children’s and under 5’s area allowing for a great range of kids activities, with no noise disruption to the rest of the library. Whilst the flavour of the day for card making was valentines day we decided to go for Happy National Library Day cards… with varying quality of results (Hilary’s infinitely better than Victoria’s pitiful glitter bomb).
Leaving our cards with the library we shot off through the drizzle to find our way further north…
Entering the unknown for these two south londoners we travelled across the top, unfortunately having to miss Kentish Town Library due to earlier directional difficulties (10 became 9). Stopping for another photo op at West Hampstead Library we made it back on schedule to Kensal Rise Library.
Dispite the slightly grim weather Kensal Rise Library pop-up library was an amazing and inspirational example of where there is a library will - there is a library way. With ready made answers to our ‘love library’ question it was things such as ‘free words’ and the sense of discovery books bring that keeps people coming back to this pop-up.
We couldn’t find any one at the pop up library, but we left them a love heart, letting them know that we popped by to say hi!
Finally, and slightly wearily, we got to West Brompton Library. And it was the perfect end to the day. The tardis-like library, with tiny un-imposing entrance, gives way to a bright vibrant space, with staff and library users to match.
We were introduced to the Octonauts courtesy of William, who loved the library computers and found out people loved their library for the smell of books, poetry and magazines.
All in all it was a fantastic day. I think the main thing that we learned from the day was that the staff in libraries bring such incredible enthusiasm and joy to these spaces. Where there is keen, engaged and excited staff, the library users seem to follow!
(Then we went to the pub and had a cracking pint!)
Thanks again to everyone who helped out during our #NLD13 marathon, with special shout-outs to Clapham, Carnegie and Brompton Libraries for being to enthusiastic and welcoming :)
Southwark Libraries is currently in the mist of Rhyme and Reason 4 – a packed 16 days of activities for poetry enthusiasts, whether just interested, a novice or accomplished published poet (or somewhere in between). Now in it’s forth year (explaining the ‘4’ in it’s name) with activities ranging from Poetry Slams to Family Poetry and readings from Simon Armitage are all taking place at Canada Water Library, Dulwich Library, Peckham Library, Camberwell Library and Newington Library.
I took the role of interested party and attended the Peckham Library Poetry Slam on Tuesday evening (5th February). Getting to see a high calibre of poetry from first time ‘slammers’ right up to published performers was a treat to see. And with poignant subject matter and tales of bus journeys mixing along nicely with the more conventional love poems this has certainly inspired me to come up with something better than ‘Roses are red, violets are blue…’ for this coming Valentines Day.
The books created from our fabulous children’s workshops can now be bought online and delivered straight to your door! Get you hands on The Messy Book Mystery, The Jungle in the Library, The Treasure in the Library and The Hungry Ghost all here!
Available for online full preview and purchase.
With National Libraries Day now just 3 days away we can’t wait to do our ‘London Orbirail’ of Libraries. Following the new London overground rail route anti-clockwise, starting from Clapham Junction, we plan to visit 10 libraries on the rail network – all within in one day. Phew.
Taking part in the libraries brilliant National Libraries Day activities as we go, we will be blogging, tweeting and filming our way round and asking everyone why they love their library. We can’t wait!
The libraries we are heading to are:
Clapham Library – where we will begin the journey and hot-foot-it to Clapham Junction to begin our route.
Carnegie Library (nearest station Denmark Hill) is the next stop off followed by Peckham Library (station stop Peckham Rye) – who are in the mist of a month long Poetry Festival and holding events through out February so we will be able to catch some of that on Saturday. Our final library in South London will be Canada Water (Canada Water Station) before crossing the river and heading to Shorditch Library (Hoxton Station), Dalston C.L.R James Library (Dalston Junction), Kentish Town Library (Kentish Town West), all of whom have no specific events running for National Libraries Day but are great places to find out why people there love their libraries.
Then onto Kensal Rise Library (Willesden Junction) who have yet to be announced activities going on… keeping our eyes peeled for more information nearer the time, and finally finishing off the day at West Brompton Library (West Brompton) who have got a morning of Children’s craft activities - hopefully we can make it to see the fantastic results!
If you want to join us on route or suggest somewhere else we could stop off… or contact us about anything then email us at email@example.com
Our spookiest book yet featuring not only a ghost, but a vampire, a detective and a scary scream face lurking in the computer room, is nearly back from the printers. With brilliant illustrations from Peter Rhodes, check out more of his work here), we will be delighted to present this back to Ealing Road Library, Brent so all the children from Class 4N, Barham Primary School can come back and see their book.
As National Libraries Day is fast approaching (actually running for a week from 2nd - 9th February) and there are hundreds of events up and down the country going on all in aid of celebrating our libraries. Celebrate My Libraries will be doing a (soon to be announced) event but in the mean time here are our top events…
On 6th February School Libraries across the country are all contributing to try and break the Guinness World Record for largest simultaneous story writing workshop. With an opening written by author Matt Haig, just an hour to finish the story and more than 50 schools involved here’s hoping they can do it!
There is an extra terrestrial invasion at South Shields Central Library on Saturday 9th and earlier that week a chance to be cast back into Great Gatsby-esq glamour with readings and fashion from the 1920’s and 30’s. Prepare for some sequins!
There are also numerous coffee mornings around and about including Tadley Library (sounding particularly yummy with free refreshments), Woodley Library holding an afternoon Tea and Wadebridge Library combining their coffee morning with a winter well-being session, to not only warm your cockles, but keep them warm for the rest of winter.
Check out the National Libraries Day website for more information on all happenings around the country.
Celebrate My Library are doing their own event for National Libraries Day but more of that later…
The 3rd book from our Children’s workshops, this time hosted by Brighton’s Jubilee Library and with the story written by Year 3 from St Bartholomew’s School, is now off to print. We can’t wait to see Lily, Kevin, Mr Ghosty and not forgetting the fat family (running as fast as their little legs will carry them) in print. Illustrated by May Van Millingen, whose work you can see more of here, they have all been captured perfectly, and here is a little taster of the finished thing…
It was a dark wintery night but the library gave a warming welcoming glow to all who visited. With carol singers lit only by torchlight singing merrily outside, Christmas was in the air…This may sounds like an opening from one of our Children’s writing workshops but it was in fact the late night Christmas opening of Bookham library last Thursday (13th December).Celebrate My Library was invited back, with finished books from the two Children’s workshops held in October, to give a reading. With a great turn out from the Dawnay school and the rest of the village, and fantastic response to our books, we had a brilliant evening. Kate, the library manager, and the rest of her team had laid on activities such as ‘choose a book by torchlight’, and a dark treasure hunt around the library for children. We loved the idea of a library joining in the ‘late night Christmas shopping’ fever, and this is a great annual event is a guaranteed way to get into the Christmas spirit.