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What's On In Balham Library This November!

What's On In Balham Library This November!

We may be nearing the end of the year, but there are still plenty of exciting things happening at Balham Library before 2019 is out – Children’s Library Manager, Lucinda Murray, gives us the lowdown!


Hello all, and happy November!

November is always a bit quieter in the library… it’s the month where we do the bulk of our stock work and collection development, where we plan ahead for the coming year, and look back at what worked over the last few months. This post we’re looking forward to Christmas, remembering an amazing October, and maybe sneaking in a few exciting events before the month is up…


It was a brilliantly busy October at Balham Library, as we celebrated Black History Month, Libraries Week, Fun Palaces Weekend, Halloween, and more! Over 500 children visited the library with their schools over Libraries Week to hear stories, take part in treasure hunts, and discover more about their library service.

Our Black History Month events were particularly popular this year, and included fantastic storytellers visiting from as far as Kenya and as near as Tooting, a book carnival, and a one-woman show! We were very excited to welcome the multicultural Book Love Carnival to the library and had a great time sharing fantastic books and stories created by BAME writers around the world. We were also thrilled to be able to draw on our own amazing community with our programming. Mother and daughter duo, Sylvia and Ayanate, taught us about the history of African headwraps and showed us all how to wrap our hair – much to the excitement of certain library staff members who came in on their day off to try it out. The Black History Month events didn’t even end in October. November saw the Black Heroes Foundation join us with an interactive one-woman show and introduction to local and historical Black heroes. Their roadshow performed to groups of children from Chestnut Grove and Telferscot schools, and the exhibition is still up at Balham Library for any who are curious.

Alongside all of these events, October also featured Balham Library’s first ever Crafternoon – a craft sale and activity session that spread across the library – an amazing Harry Potter infused adventure courtesy of local theatre company Magical Quests, and a fantastic zine workshop run by our own Felicity Collier as we tried to design our dream libraries of the future.   


As mentioned above, this month we’re really digging in to some stock work. Balham Library holds a book store in the basement, a collection of children’s fiction long out of print, Hayne’s car manuals and more. Over the month we’ll be evaluating this collection; looking at what can we add, what can we move upstairs, and how to improve our library stock even further. We’re also supporting Nanowrimo writers this year, and are very much looking forward to hosting a Nanowrimo Write In at the library from 6-8pm on November 21st, where local writers can stop by, drink tea, eat snacks, and enjoy being in each others company as they race towards the December 1st deadline. All writers are welcome to attend regardless of whether they’re taking part in Nanowrimo or not, and we hope it will be helpful for everyone. Finally, did you know that November is also National Non-fiction Month? We’ve got a fantastic non-fiction collection at Balham Library, so why not stop by and learn something new?


Looking ahead at December, we have more treats in store. There are whispers of a Winter Reading Challenge on the wind: another rewarding literacy scheme from the Reading Agency, featuring Phillip Reeve’s and Sarah McIntyre’s Pugs of the Frozen North, and designed to keep children reading over the holidays. We’re also looking forward to unveiling this year’s literary advent calendar, to creating lots of Christmassy crafts, and even to a super Nutcracker ballet event coming to the library on December 14th!

Pop down to the library, keep an eye on our  Twitter feed or explore the library website to find out more on any of the above!

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