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What's on in Balham Library this September!

What's on in Balham Library this September!

It’s been a busy summer at Balham Library and there’s an action-packed autumn ahead! Library manager, Alex Martin, keeps us right up to date in his latest blog!

It’s been an out-of-this world summer at Balham Library as we celebrated the 50 year anniversary of the moon landing with the 2019 Summer Reading Challenge, Space Chase. Produced by the Reading Agency, and featuring art by illustrator Adam Stower, the Summer Reading Challenge asks children to read six or more books over the summer holidays, through which they earn stickers, prizes, medals and certificates. This year over 1100 children took part in the reading challenge at Balham Library, and our vast universe of events hopefully made this a great year for everyone.

This fun-filled summer wouldn’t have been possible without the support of some amazing local community members. We’ve been very grateful to host an amazing five week Beebot coding program for 5-7 year olds on Saturday mornings, regular Rubik Cube and juggling workshops, and Messy Play sessions for under-5s with Balham Children’s Centre. We were also visited by three great authors and artists, including illustrator Thiago de Moraes, who ran a storytime based on his new book, The Night Bear - the story of a bear who eats nightmares. Library users were treated to a story and a live-drawing session where we dreamed up new illustrations of delicious food monsters for the night bear to eat.

We were also really grateful to be able to draw on the incredible talents of Wandsworth Library staff this summer. Felicity led an amazing zine workshop towards the end of July, teaching children to create their own mini-magazines through collage and art, which was a great success. In August, Ayesha ran a very popular Eid Storytime and henna session which drew a crowd of over 50 people, and Lucinda drew on her own past as a writing teacher with a creative writing workshop that was definitely out of this world!

It wasn’t just Balham Staff who got involved either - Heather Shepherd from Tooting Library ran a great slime workshop at Balham Library at the start of August, where we made a non-Newtonian fluid - Ooblek slime - experimented with different colours and consistencies, and then made multi-coloured volcanoes to finish up. Actor and library assistant Tim took over the children’s library for a fantastic drama workshop in August, and John from Battersea Library also visited us with a popular and very entertaining workshop on how to create amazing comic book characters.

At its heart, though, the Summer Reading Challenge is about the books, and we’ve loved hearing about everyone’s favourite reads this summer, and what they’re looking forward to reading next. We’re looking forward to our Space Chase: Final Party on September 21st, and to a busy October as we celebrate Black History Month, Libraries week, and Halloween! To find out more about our upcoming programming, reading initiatives, or any other exciting plans, follow us on Twitter or explore the library website.

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