Kensal Rise Children’s Library


FKRL Children's Library Marathon Jan 2019Queens Park Councillor, James Denselow, is running the London Marathon for our Children’s Library Appeal. We are so grateful for his amazing effort!

Update: He has already raised over £1000 and now he has raised his target to £1,500!

James says: “After everything the library campaigners have gone through in the last few years, it’s brilliant to be able to help them. Theirs really has been a marathon campaign; I’ll just be running for a few hours.”

FKRL 2 James Denselow Marathon Jan 2019 cropped
Please support – even £1 will help- on James’s My Donate page:

We are so much closer to becoming fully operational. Everyone’s waited so long and so much work has been put in to saving our library and creating a beautiful space. Now’s the time to help us finish the final plans by clicking on the link.

(Images: artist’s impression of children’s library at Kensal Rise and Cllr Denselow running for charity)

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Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel

Author’s Talk Saturday 9 February 3pm

Like detective novels, urban fantasy, mystery, comics, wizards?

We will be hosting a talk in the library with Ben Aaronovitch (Rivers of London Series) and Andrew Cartmel (Vinyl Detective Series).

Ben Aaronovitch wrote for Doctor Who, before becoming a novelist. His best-selling Rivers of London novels (over a million sold) follow Peter Grant, a Met constable and apprentice wizard, as he solves crimes across London in a blend of urban fantasy, mystery thriller and comedy caper. The latest in the series, ‘Lies Sleeping’, has just been published.

FKRL Ben Aaronovitch Feb 2019

Andrew Cartmel’s history as a comic writer led to a collaboration on several graphic novel spin-offs of Ben’s bestselling Rivers of London series. Andrew has also written his hugely successful Vinyl Detective series and has been script editor for Dr Who. Andrew is currently writing a stage play. He has also written extensively on how to become a script editor and television writer.

FKRL Andrew Cartmel Feb 2019

Question & Answer Session. Book Signing & Refreshments

Tickets Eventbrite:

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December 2018 Update

FKRL Wreath Joanna Marshall Dec 2018

Building and Works
We are continuing to work hard towards opening as a lending library. We are already open for venue hire and have hosted parties, meetings, workshops yoga classes and community activities like local councillors’ surgeries. If you would like to book one of our beautiful rooms please email:
When we first got the building’s keys the space was little more than a building site. Today, after a lot of hard work, it looks stunning. However, we still have to build a children’s library, reception area, shelves and back office. Plus we have found damp in the smaller of the public rooms. So we have had to take up the floor there and are in discussions with the landlord and our insurer. We do not know currently, how long this will take to resolve.
It’s frustrating, but so much has been achieved already by the community to create a beautiful public space – and, soon, a lending library – at the heart of the neighbourhood. We have to raise money for everything we build and install inside the library space. We get no regular public funding from the Council or Government. To help us get there sooner, please donate on our BT MY Donate page:
Activities have been wide-ranging, from a Christmas Market attracting 460 visitors and stallholders (including the Mayhew Animal Home), to a Community Culture Concert featuring local talent of all ages and an opportunity to discuss our ‘Year of Culture’ artwork, and a Literary Wine-Tasting. These eclectic events have in common a wonderful, joyous community spirit, as people get together to actively engage with one another in their public space.
Forthcoming events include on Saturday February 9th at 3pm: a joint authors’ talk by novelists Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel. Both have written for Dr Who, as well their Rivers of London series. The event is a must for fans of crime fiction, London  and Dr Who.
Other plans
  1. We are hoping to start Story Time/Rhyme Time sessions in the New Year, aimed at the under-5s. It will be run by two local childminders and Kensal Green Under Fives Community Nursery.
  2. We are also hoping to offer local students free quiet study space for homework, as we wait for our building works to be completed.
If you would like to volunteer to help with library operations and events, please email:
Thank you to Joanna Marshall for the beautiful wreath for the library door.
All good wishes for the festive season and we look forward to seeing you all in the library in 2019.
Margaret and Stephanie

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Wine Tasting Extraordinaire!

In the  library Sunday 9 December 7.30-10 pm.

Alex Canneti from Berkmann Wines curates and  hosts a pre-Christmas literary wine-tasting.  With readings by Peter Stafford-Bow, Author, Consultant and Minstrel of Wine, from his latest humorous novel, Brut Force – the further staggering adventures of a professional wine buyer.

Drinks, laughs. and a Question and Answer session, sober or not.


FKRL Wine tasting Dec 2018

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Christmas Market 11-3 pm 2 December

Book your stall for our magical Christmas Market in the heart of our friendly neighbourhood.

Seasonal gift ideas, new and vintage. Also food.

Sunday 2 December – 11-3 pm

To book your stall: cost includes Eventbrite fee.

Library in snow

Photo: Allen Samuels



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What makes our community unique?

2020 Brent Year of Culture

In the library on  Sat Nov 3rd  2018 we discussed our contribution to the 2020 Brent Year of Culture. 

The Community shared their thoughts as to what makes the neighbourhood unique. What is our sense of ourselves and place? What is our history? Where do we come from?

How do we express that and how do we record it?

Entertainment was provided by local talent, including children from Trinity Performing Arts, Molly Moody (Queens Park Singers), Jon Scott (jazz and blues singer), Dimitri Van Zwanenberg (violinist)  and others.

Refreshments provided by the wonderful volunteers of Kensal Rise Library.

Photos: Audience, Violinist and Harpists, Allen Samuels

FKRL Culture 2020 audience Nov 2018

FKRL Trinity dance Nov 3 2018 group

FKRL 2 F violinists Nov 3 2018 croppedFKRL Violin at 2020 Culture Nov 2018 croppedFKRL Molly Moody Nov 3 2018FKRL Jon Scott Nov 2018


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Brent 2020 Year of Culture

2pm Saturday November 3 in the library.

As part of the Brent 2020 Year of Culture, we will be discussing ways to celebrate the library and the community with funds provided by the London Mayor.

Join in the discussion about how we should record and express our story.

Everyone welcome!

There will be music, refreshments and a book sale.

FKRL 2020 Culture Oct 2018

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When Will Kensal Rise Library Open?

FKRL Library door Sep 2018 A SamuelsIt’s what everyone’s been asking.
Simple question. Slightly more complicated answer.

The beautifully refurbished space has been open since May, in fact, for venue hire (parties, workshops), community activities such as Kensal Green Councillors’ monthly surgeries and residents’ association meetings (next Kensal Green RA meeting is Tuesday October 30th) – and of course,the Friends of Kensal Rise Library’s fabulous fundraising events like our Indoor Markets, Actors’ Nights, Trend Forecasting Fashion Events, Wine-Tasting etc.

It gets more complicated trying to estimate when the lending library will be fully operational and open at regular hours. At the moment, the closest we can come to a realistic answer is: ‘before Christmas’.

Here’s why:

1. We have found damp under the floor, particularly in the smaller space (the meeting and teaching room). We are monitoring this, have replaced our lovingly restored parquet with a temporary floor, and are in discussions with the developer/landlord, Uplift.

2. A few snagging issues left over from the Phase 1 refurbishment  still need sorting. We are in talks with the builder.

3. Shelves that have been delivered need to be altered and we are in discussions with the supplier and our architect.

4. We are hoping very soon to build the children’s library and the reception/retail areas in the larger space. To help fund this build and open the library sooner, please, please donate via this link:

Other news

Following interviews, the trustees have appointed a Library Manager. As well as the above issues, the Library Manager is also handling administrative matters and fundraising.

Diary Date: Saturday November 3rd at 2pm Year of Culture Public Engagement. Come to the library! Along with all other Brent libraries,  we are to receive £10,000 to create a lasting piece of art celebrating the library and the stories of the community surrounding it. This is part of the Year of Culture 2020, which the London Mayor has awarded Brent Council. We have exciting ideas for this – you may have your own. Please come to the library to hear all about it, tell us your thoughts and register your interest in getting involved. Other attractions include  a book sale, entertainment and free refreshments.

…So there’s been plenty of stuff to deal with.  Meanwhile, thank you very much for your patience and continuing support.

Stephanie Schonfield

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Triathlon Target Reached – Thank You!

Thanks to your swift and generous response, we have reached the fundraising target of £2,000 set for the Blenheim Triathlon. That is a great show of support for our team of first-time triathletes!
The money will go towards building a children’s library, which will cost around £12,000. Thank you to our Kensal Rise Library and Daniels’ Teams and to the brilliant help from Malorees school parents, especially Giles Deards.

FKRL Daniels & Elaine Triatholon May 2018

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Actors’ Night 8pm Sunday 15 July

First time in the library!

Our ever popular cast of local actors and other talents supporting the library.

Still time to watch the World Cup and come to this event to calm down or celebrate, or both!

FKRL Actors night poster 15 July 2018

Tickets Eventbrite: or at C&D wines (opposite the library) or on the door £10

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