March 2016 Update
As spring arrives, these are interesting and busy times for the campaign.
The objective of re-opening our library is now in sight, but, and it’s a big but, there’s a financial hill to climb.
We will be able to take possession of our space in the building in the next month or two.
We will then have a rent-free space covering two-thirds of the ground floor – most of the area the old library had. But we will need to fit it out and furnish it to turn it into a working library and a public space.
Our priority is to raise the money to do that. We’re applying to trusts and foundations for funding, and we will continue to hold fundraising events. We are also hoping to launch a fundraising drive – calling in the pledges that were made when we first appealed for funds to run the library and also appealing for help from our supporters everywhere.
In the meantime we have had, and, will have, some great fundraising events.
The Actors’ Evening at the Paradise in Febrary was a wonderful night of poetry, literature and laughs which raised over £2000. Actors such as Tamsin Greig, Patterson Joseph, Haydyn Gwynne and others performed and we truly appreciate their support.
On 12th March the Brent Symphony Orchestra gave a concert in aid of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library. It was a wonderful evening with a terrific programme and we are so lucky that the orchestra has made its home in Kensal Rise at St Martin’s Church. We hope to have many more events to share at St Martin’s and inside the library when it opens.
The Actor’s Evening at QPCS. 24th April 2016. Once again the actors who performed at the Actor’s Evening at the Paradise will be returning and giving of their time and talent – this time an evening of Shakespeare.
Art Exhibition and Auction: date to be confirmed, as we may be holding this event in the library. We have had a Peter Blake print donated and we will have the support of local Brent artists.
In November our third Annual Mark Twain Lecture will be given by author Ali Smith, author of, amongst other books, Public Libraries and Other Stories and winner of both the Bailey’s Prize (2015) and the Goldsmith Prize (2014). Ali Smith is a great defender of libraries and her talk promises to be very interesting.
Our library should be a force for good……
Yes, a shared public space with books, free WiFi and computers, classes, events etc is a beautiful thing but we also want the amazing asset we have there to be a broader force for good in Kensal Rise.
That means using it to help those in our area who have the most acute needs – whether teens, single parents, migrants, refugees, people with disabilities or the elderly. We already have partnerships in place with several local groups who tackle those needs but we would love to hear from more, so if you think the library space may be a good resource for work that you do – please get in touch.