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March 2019 at Balham Library!

March 2019 at Balham Library!

In the second of our monthly series, the manager of Balham Library, Alex Martin, gives us the lowdown on all the exciting things happening at the library in the month of March. Take it away Alex...!


March is a jam-packed month for events, book awards & awareness days for both adults and children! Here’s a small taster of what we’ve got planned and what’s been happening in Balham.

World Book Day has just been - on the 7th March hordes of Balham’s children headed to school dressed as anything from Elma the Elephant to Hermione Granger. World Book Day is truly global; it’s organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and is a wonderful chance to celebrate the power of words and promote reading. Children are issued with £1 book tokens which are given out in the library and can be exchanged in bookshops for specially published, World Book Day, books. In 2019, these books include titles from Jeff Kinney, Rick Riordan, Lauren Child and many more. To celebrate, Balham Library will be hosting school classes across the week, as well as a special storytime, crafts and more.

We also marked International Women’s Day with an author event on Saturday 9th March. Children’s writer Kate Cunningham wowed young readers up in the Children’s library with her new book – Vlad and the Florence Nightingale Adventure! There were historical costumes, storytelling, crafts, and a friendly flea-puppet.

The children of Wandsworth will also be celebrating Shakespeare Week in March. The bard will be brought to life from the 18th – 24th, so keep an eye on our twitter feed to hear about what Shakespeare related activities we’ll have on. To find out more about Shakespeare birthplace trust and their work, click here.

The adults library has lot’s on too; Wandsworth Enterprise Month began on the 4th March, bringing Wandsworth’s residents 4 weeks of events to inspire and encourage budding business owners.

Balham Library will be promoting the range of events that are taking place across the borough as well as promoting our collection of business and career related book stock. For anyone keen on researching for their career or business the library subscribes to services such as Access to Research and Credo Reference. To find out more about our online resources head, click here.

During March we’ll also be supporting International Women’s Day in the adult library, with a particularly special event on March 23rd; Balham Library’s Urdu Reading Group will be hosting a mushaira from 11-2pm. The centuries-old legacy of Urdu poetry flourishes through the mushaira, a symposium where poets gather to share their work in a creative forum for free self-expression. The mushaira offers an opportunity to experience the rituals and interactive etiquette for audience participation and response. This event will be in Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi and English and booking is essential, get in touch if you’d like to come.

Keep an eye for news on two book awards this month, The Women’s Prize for Fiction will announce its longlist on Monday 4th March and the Man Booker International Prize (a prize to encourage the publishing and reading of translated fiction) will be announced on Wednesday 13th March.

I certainly shouldn’t finish this post without remarking on the sad passing of a titan of British fiction, Andrea Levy; author of many celebrated titles, not least of which was Small Island the 2004 winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction. You’ll find a touching obituary penned by Louise Doughty here.

See you at the library soon!

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