Kensal Rise Library is open!

FKRL Logo Jan 2020 (2)

Welcome back everyone!
The library is open on Wednesdays 2-5pm and Saturdays 10-1pm for loans/returns and up to 20 minutes browsing.
You can also join the library. 
Everyone over 11 must wear a mask. All children 12 and under must be accompanied and supervised by an adult.
Visitors are limited to a maximum of 6 at any one time.
Please keep socially-distanced and use the hand sanitiser provided.
To be Covid-safe furniture has been removed and screens installed.
Currently, there is no computer use, printing, studying, nor other live activities.
Our events/activities remain online for the time being.
This is Phase 1 of our Library Recovery plan.
Services and hours will increase…..
FKRL Bookshelves Mar 2021

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Great World Night Giveaway!

Great World Book Night Giveaway Friday 23 April 5.30pm outside the library.

World book night image Apr 2021


We’ll be giving away brand new books to celebrate World Book Night.
5.30pm Friday 23rd April
Many thanks to Daria, a Library Assistant at Wembley Library, for helping to make this possible.
Free books from the Reading Agency include the short story collection, Stories To Make You Smile.
Please share and spread the word about Free Books Friday at your newly 
RE- OPENED Kensal Rise Library!!!
Come and meet us this Friday – and get a free book!

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Mark Twain in England 21 April 7pm

Hurry! Tickets going fast!

Mark Twain in England will focus on Twain’s opening of Kensal Rise Library in 1900, during his stay at nearby Dollis Hill House. Also the fascinating story of his encounters with the likes of  Dracula author Bram Stoker, and George Bernard Shaw, plus Twain’s attitude to the British.

We are very grateful to Steve Courtney who will screen direct from America and take audience Q&A’s. Steve has a  long association with the Mark Twain House and Museum in Connecticut.

Link to register for this unique event: 
FKRL Mark Twain Event 2 Apr 2021
Poster by Maria and Lucy: image of Twain’s speech at KR Library opening, September 1900

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FKRL Logo Jan 2020 (2)From April 14, Kensal Rise Library re-opens Wednesdays 2pm – 5pm & Saturdays 10am – 1pm for loans/returns only.

Government guidelines permitting……

FKRL Bookshelves Mar 2021

Can’t wait to welcome you all back!


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Brighter days?

Brighter days beckon –  not least with the great news that Kensal Rise Library is set to re-open on April 14th.

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This announcement follows last week’s Prime Ministerial ‘Road Map’ statement, declaring libraries can re-open from April 12th – so long as the scientific data allows.

Clearly, the Covid situation remains uncertain, so the dates are subject to change.

However, all being well, we will resume our Phase 1 plans to operate two shifts a week from April 14th: Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings.

This is a gradual approach.

We will build on last December’s temporary re-opening, complete with Covid precautions (eg protective screens, hand sanitiser etc), to enable all of us to get used to the new procedures and monitor the pandemic.  

W can’t wait to see you back in the library in a few weeks’ time!

Other News

We are excited to offer an online event, live from the Mark Twain house in America, on March 24th at 7pm.

Dr Erin Bartram will discuss Twain’s attitude to racism, alongside other 19th century American writers – including escaped slave, Frederick Douglass (the first African American to be nominated for US Vice President in 1872).

Connections will be made between the present day and the writings of Twain and his contemporaries. Audience Q&A. This event has been especially tailored for us and we hope you will be able to attend via Zoom.

Here’s the Eventbrite link to book your ticket:

Thanks to Maria and Margaret and Stephanie for working on this.

FKRL Mark Twain event poster Mar 2021

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Sorry, but we must close!

Tier 4 & high Covid infection rates mean the library will close for now.
With deepest regret we have made this decision.

We need to ensure that our staff, volunteers and users are safe.

Stay safe everyone and see you soon!

FKRL Libray in sun Jan 2019




We are opening in phases, to enable all of us to get used to the new procedures.
So to begin with, the library’s hours will be Wednesday afternoons 2pm – 5pm and Saturday mornings 10am -1pm.
FKRL Covid reception Dec 2020
Phase 1 services will comprise loans and returns (at last you can return your ‘Lockdown Loans’!) and 15 minutes browsing only.
No computer or printing services.
There will be social distancing of course, and a maximum of 6 patrons allowed inside at any one time.
Hand sanitiser and other safety measures will be in place, signage with instructions, and volunteers who will help.
All children under 12 must be supervised by an accompanying adult at all times.
Hours and services to be increased in subsequent phases.
We can’t wait to see you again!
FKRL ibrary with covid screens 2 Nov 2020

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Kensal Rise has a Story

Tuesday 7.30pm 10 November 2020

Film maker & writer John Rogers talks about his audio visual portrait of a London neighbourhood, in collaboration with
Kensal Rise Library.
FKRL John Rogers talk Nov 2019

At this free virtual event, John will talk and take questions about his portrait of the community surrounding Kensal Rise Library.

John says: “It’s a portrait of the community in their own words. By ‘community’, I mean the community of the library. Where it becomes geographic is that the emphasis is on the subjective responses to the environment and the changes within that environment, rather than looking for some objective, dry, historical overview of the area, or even contemporary commentary on the area.”

John’s work unfolds as a series of interviews with locals, drawing on their memories of the changing streets, communities and the library. These stories are accessed via plaques dotted around the neighbourhood, from which the audio can be downloaded.

The library itself represents community activism and struggle: Kensal Rise Library was closed by Brent Council in 2011. But following the community’s long battle – including taking the council to the High Court – locals have reclaimed and refurbished the ground floor, which they now run independently of the local authority.

John Rogers is an artist, filmmaker and author of This Other London – adventures in the overlooked city. He directed the feature documentaries The London Perambulator (2009), Make Your Own Damn Art – the world of Bob and Roberta Smith (2012), London Overground (2016) and In the Shadow of the Shard (2018). He produced and co-presented the popular Resonance FM radio show and podcast on walking, Ventures and Adventures in Topography. He also produces a regular series of walking videos on his YouTube channel.

John’s work is part of Brent London Borough of Culture 2020.

To register for this event:

Kensal Rise Community Library receives no regular funding from the Council.

You can help us by buying a lottery ticket. You could win £25,000. Please play via this link for just £1 per ticket:

Thank you!

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Though the library is temporarily closed, we are still partnering local Mutual Aid COVID-19 initiatives.
FKRL Covid 19 K G Mutual Aid logo Jun 2020
These have included clothes drops for homeless adults and children from disadvantaged families, as well as a socially distanced music festival of hugely talented, local performers.
fkrl Library 1 Kensal Covid collection interior shot June 2020
Also during the Library’s physical closure, the  Virtual Poetry Group regularly meets for lively and illuminating discussion.
FKRL Remote poetry image May 2020
With John Rogers we are creating a social mapping project for the Brent London Borough of Culture.
FKRL John Rogers flyer Aug 2020
We are looking forward to recommencing our partnerships with other local organisations and charities for the benefit of the community, as soon as we can safely do so.

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We are currently making plans to re-open the library, hopefully by the end of September, beginning of October. 
There are many considerations and protocols to put in place to ensure the library is safe for everyone –  our wonderful volunteers, staff and users.
 We can’t wait to welcome you back to your Kensal Rise Library.
We know many of you are itching to return your books and borrow fresh ones.
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When we do open, our services and hours will be reduced.
We hope to extend services and hours in a gradual, phased recovery.
Safety is paramount and so we have to be cautious; we thank all our supporters and users for their understanding
All the borough’s community libraries remain closed for now.
Of Brent Council’s libraries,  Willesden, Wembley, Ealing and Kilburn are now open, with reduced hours and services.

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Join Our Virtual Poetry Group

 Enjoy reading and discussing the old and the new in the comfort of  your own home.

BYO refreshments!

We’ll be looking at poems that have a particular resonance just now for the participants who have chosen them.

The initial session includes works by Carol Ann Duffy and Dorothy Parker.

Choose your own (short) poem, or just join to listen and discuss.

Future sessions will focus on particular poets and themes.

The Virtual Poetry Group takes place by Zoom.

To join, just email: 

FKRL Remote poetry image May 2020



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