Kensal Rise Library News 

When will the library open? We are already open for Story Time (with songs) for under fives on Fridays at 10am, author events, Zumba classes Thursdays at 10am, the Kensal Rise Choir Wednesdays at 7.15pm, and Councillors’ surgeries on the first Saturday of each month, 11am to 12 noon. We plan to open as a library in the coming months and hope to set a definite opening date soon. We are working hard on final preparations towards opening including fundraising for the Children’s Library, book cataloguing, a reception desk, and computer and IT system setup.

Study Space Sundays for students! During the summer exam period we are running Study Space Sundays at Kensal Rise Library from 10am to 6pm on 26th May, 2nd June and 9th June (free of charge). Use our beautiful and peaceful space to help you collect your thoughts and focus on your revision. Free wifi. Open to students only, please bring student ID or similar.

Forthcoming author events include Lady Antonia Fraser in conversation with Nick Rankin on Wednesday 5th June at 7.30pm, Ayisha Malik on Tuesday 9th July at 7.30pm and James Swallow on Saturday 21st September at 3pm. Please come along. Tickets on the door and Eventbrite.

 Children’s Library Appeal We need to raise about £11,000 to create the Children’s Library. We are sending a team to the Blenheim Palace triathlon on 2nd June 2019, please support them! Donate online at https://mydonate.bt.com/events/kensalriselibrarytri/489061.

James Denselow ran the London Marathon for the Children’s Library Appeal on 28th April 2019 with an impressive time of 3 hours 38 minutes, a personal best. He has raised over £2,000 and you can still support him at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/jamesdenselow where you can also see an illustration of the proposed Children’s Library.

Book donations Thank you for your amazing response to our book donations week in April. We are building up a fantastic selection of books. We are in the process of cataloguing and shelving donations. We have limited shelf space but anything not suitable for stock is being sold via Betterworld Books to raise funds for the library or passed on to another charity or literacy projects.

How can I help? We would love you to get involved in whatever way you can. We need volunteers for our IT team to help with IT support and administration when the library is open. We will provide training. Some experience with IT admin would be useful but enthusiasm is an acceptable alternative! The Operations Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm in the library, please come along to find out more, all welcome. We also have a Books Committee. We will need a regular team of volunteers to run the library when it opens. Contact us via kensalriselibraryvolunteers@hotmail.com to offer help if you can. We are also looking for new trustees for the Friends, the charity that runs the library. We particularly need more trustees with skills in IT, finance and events management. If you are interested please contact Margaret Bailey, chair of trustees, for an initial discussion, via kensalriselibraryusers@hotmail.co.uk

 Who owns the library and how is it funded? The Friends of Kensal Rise Library run the library and have a 999 year rent free lease of the library space, so long as it remains a library. Our immediate landlord is All Souls College, Oxford, who originally gave the land for the library in around 1900. There are residential long leaseholders in other parts of the building. The library is funded by grants and community fundraising. It will cost about £100 per day to keep the doors open. You can donate online via our website: http://www.savekensalriselibrary.org

Why did the library close? The library was formerly run by Brent Council and was closed by them in 2011 despite overwhelming opposition, locally and beyond. In recent years Brent Council’s Library Service have been supporting us with training and advice and we will be moving to their Library Management System later in the year. We have received some grants from the council though we do not receive any regular or guaranteed public funding.

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