Online events and activities for adults

Library closures

For information about library closures and services at this time, please visit the coronavirus service disruptions and updates page.

Events

Regular Events

Aloud in the Cloud shared reading group – Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays

  • Monday, 3pm to 4pm
  • Tuesday, 2pm to 3pm
  • Thursday, 2pm to 3pm

Aloud in the Cloud is a weekly shared reading group. Come along to hear us read aloud some of our favourite stories and poems. 

Book your free place for Aloud in the Cloud shared reading group on Mondays via Eventbrite.

Book your free place for Aloud in the Cloud shared reading group on Tuesdays via Eventbrite.

Book your free place for Aloud in the Cloud shared reading group on Thursdays via Eventbrite.

Graphic novel reading group – second Monday of the month

  • Second Monday of the month, 7pm to 8pm

The group meets monthly online via Zoom and they talk about adult comics, graphic novels, current events and pop culture. The event is currently chaired by volunteer and long-running member of the group, Mike Belbin. To find out more email: mikelbelbin@gmail.com

Virtual knitting club – Wednesdays

  • Wednesday, 3pm to 4pm

Join our weekly virtual knitting club, led by library staff who are expert knitters. They'll inspire you to try a new knitting project or can help you when you get stuck.

Book your free place for Virtual knitting club via Eventbrite

Health and wellness online advice sessions – Thursdays

  • Thursday, 3pm to 4pm

Whatever your health concerns, the Head Librarian from the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust will guide you through reliable sources of healthcare information, enabling you to take control of your health and well-being.

Book your place for Health and wellness online advice sessions on Eventbrite

Chelsea Library’s reading group – every third Thursday

  • Every third Thursday, 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Chelsea Library’s reading group is a friendly relaxed reading group which meets once a month. The group reads mostly modern and contemporary fiction but will read anything suggested by its group members. Full details of the books they will be discussing each month are on Eventbrite.

Book your place for Chelsea Library’s reading group via Eventbrite

Kensington and Chelsea libraries online book group – Fridays

  • Friday, 2.30pm to 3.30pm

Join our weekly online book group where we discuss our Books of the Week. Full details of the books we will be discussing each week are on Eventbrite.

Book your place for the RBKC online book group via Eventbrite

Self-Help Book Club – monthly on a Saturday

  • Once a month on a Saturday, 10am to 12 noon

Self-help books are some of the most popular and most borrowed books of all genres. People love to read about how they can improve their health, their attitudes and their lives in general. So many people read self-improvement books, but how many actually attempt to put some of what they've read into practice?

The Self-Help Book Club aims to do just that - help you help yourself by discussing ways in which theory can be put into practice. Each month the group meets online and will discuss a different book; full details are on Eventbrite.

Book your free place for Self-Help Book Club via Eventbrite


Special Events

Mexican novelist Juan Rulfom an evening in Comala- Friday 23 April

  • 7pm to 8.30pm

Mexican writer Juan Rulfo is considered one of the finest novelists and short-story creators in 20th century Latin America, though his output, consisting essentially of two books, was very small. His most influential work includes the short story El Llano en llamas, the novel Pedro Paramo and the novella El gallo de oro. Because of the themes of his fiction, he is often seen as the last of the novelists of the Mexican Revolution.

In this online talk, lecturers Olivia Vázquez-Medina, Lucy O'Sullivan and Amit Thakkar discuss different aspects of his work with his son, filmmaker Juan Carlos Rulfo.

Book your place for Mexican novelist Juan Rulfom an evening in Comala on Eventbrite

The Writing Hour with author Joy Rhoades – Monday 12th April

  • 6pm to 7pm

Want to write but having difficulty finding focus? Then join other creative writers once a month, for an hour of silent focused writing. The coordinator, writer and writing teacher Joy Rhoades, will provide a short introduction, which will be followed by 40 minutes of silent writing. Joy will provide a writing prompt too, for those who wish to try a writing exercise.

The writing session will end with volunteers reading a few lines of their work and with a check in to see how writers fared with their time.

These monthly sessions are intended to help you kick-start your creative week with some writing.

Book your free place for The Writing Hour with author Joy Rhoades via Eventbrite

Kashmir in Conflict - a way forward? - Thursday 15 April

  • 6.30pm to 7.30pm

The Kashmir region has been the subject of a dispute between India, Pakistan and China since the mid-20th century. Is there a way forward?

Our guest, Victoria Schofield, author of Kashmir in Conflict , currently in its fifth updated edition, examines the conflict over the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in its historical context, from the period when the valley was an independent kingdom in its own right, to the struggle in the present day.

Bordering China and currently de facto divided between India and Pakistan, the Kashmir valley has for over thirty years provoked serious tensions between the two nuclear neighbours, with China now a more interested player.

Join us online for what promises to be an illuminating evening for all those interested in understanding more about this troubled region and what the future might hold - here is your opportunity to hear from one of the foremost experts on South Asian politics.

Book your place for Kashmir in Conflict - a way forward? on Eventbrite

How NOT to write a sitcom with Marc Blake – Friday 16 April

  • Friday 16 April
  • 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Writing a sitcom is the hardest discipline of all - find out how NOT to do it from an expert. Warning: this event may contain humour.

Writing sitcom is the hardest discipline of all. Not only must you create fully rounded, flawed characters trapped in a world of their own making, but they must also sustain their charm over many series in hilarious yet poignant twenty-minute bursts. The concept must grab us instantly: we warm to the characters as close friends or family members - we can even be repulsed by their behaviour.

Sitcom is one of the oldest TV genres, yet sustainable in a multi-platform digital world. Marc Blake’s experience as writer, script editor and consultant has helped him form a set of principles that will show you what to avoid if you want to write a good sitcom. Join us online to find out more.

Book your place for How NOT to write a sitcom with Marc Blake on Eventbrite

Historic graffiti, the hidden story - Monday 19 April

  • 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Historic graffiti tell stories of the hopes, fears and desires of a nation echoing through time - here is their tale. Modern graffiti is often seen as transgressive and moronic. However, look closely in the light of a torch at the walls of our historic buildings, trees, caves and rockfaces, and a world of graffiti will open up, illuminating the psychology of our ancestors.

The study of historic graffiti enables us to hear the lost voices of ordinary individuals through their images of daisywheels, ships sailing across the walls, knights drawing their swords, demons stalking the stonework and every animal imaginable. Join award-winning buildings archaeologist, James Wright, online to find out about these echoes through time.

Book your place for Historic graffiti, the hidden story on Eventbrite

Stop Messin’ About! Kenneth Williams: a comic and his roots - Tuesday 20 April

  • 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Let cultural historian, Adam Endacott take you through the career of one of Britain's most beloved comics, Kenneth Williams

There were many sides to the genius of Kenneth Williams. He was a comedic and dramatic actor, a film star, a broadcaster, a director, an author, a writer and diarist, a raconteur, as well as being an instantly recognisable personality in his own right. His unique and unforgettable individuality has instilled him in the memory of so many; labelled as a national treasure, a legend and, in his own words, a cult. He remains a well-known and much loved name thirty years after his death, his talents continually being discovered and enjoyed by each new generation.

This online presentation will be a celebration of his career delving into a gander bag of curiosities across his 40 year career with audio and visual clips, fascinating facts and anecdotes. 

Book your place for Stop Messin’ About! Kenneth Williams: a comic and his roots on Eventbrite

Battlefield archaeology of WW1 with Alex Sotheran- Wednesday 21 April

  • 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Find out what an archaeologist can learn from a First World War battlefield with archaeologist, Alex Sotheran.

Archaeologist Alex Sothern, has worked on excavations of First World War battlefield sites in Belgium and France since 2003. His work included the recovery and naming of soldiers' remains. He was also involved in the MoD programme of works under the Operation Nightingale banner, which aims to help veterans suffering from physical and mental injuries by introducing them to archaeology as a pathway to recovery.

In this online talk, Alex will look at some of the sites he worked on over the years and explore the kinds of features and artefacts you would expect to find on typical First World War sites, including the story of the recovery of several soldiers’ remains.

Book your place for Battlefield archaeology of WW1 with Alex Sotheran on Eventbrite

Food and drink emporiums of London with Joanna Moncrieff - Thursday 22 April

  • 6.30pm to 7.30pm

A capital feast – the history of London’s most famous food and drink emporiums from breakfast tea to after dinner.
Join City of Westminster Guide, Joanna Moncrieff online as she takes us on a virtual tour through the fascinating history of some of the West End’s famous food & drink shops including household names like Twinings, Fortnum & Mason and Patisserie Valerie.

You will hear about their often surprising beginnings and the significant events in their history which put them on the path to world-wide fame.

Joanna will also give some insight into how she does her research which will be of interest to anyone undertaking local history projects.

Book your place for Food and drink emporiums of London with Joanna Moncrieff on Eventbrite

Herbs for health - Thursday 22 April

  • 5.30pm to 6.30pm

 Join us online to find out how to make home remedies to treat coughs, colds and flu.
 
How can we boost our immunity to viruses and other infections? Almost all societies have traditionally used herbs for their nutritional benefits as well as their amazing therapeutic powers. Not only are herbs and spices a great way to add more flavour to your food, they also offer many health benefits.
 
Join Sandra Collazo, naturopath and herbalist and she will explain the medicinal properties of plants and how we can use many familiar herbs and spices found in our kitchen cupboards as effective remedies for coughs, colds and flu.

Book your place for Herbs for health on Eventbrite 

Insanely Gifted with Jamie Catto – Monday 26 April

  • 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Turn your demons into creative rocket fuel with Jamie Catto. It's time to leave your comfort zone.

From infancy we are taught to edit ourselves, trimming out the darker, weirder, less acceptable parts in order to please others. But this addiction to approval is holding us back. What if we begin to be ourselves, honestly and fully? 

Jamie Catto, musician and author of Insanely Gifted shows us how to transform our thinking and turn our inner demons into allies. His book teaches how to reframe disappointment (because not getting what we want can be as interesting and useful as getting what we want).

Through techniques to become aware of our Inner Critic, and exercises such as full body listening, Jamie invites us to better know our deepest instincts - and unlock our true power. Join us online to find out more.

Book your place for Insanely Gifted with Jamie Catto on Eventbrite

Hitchcock’s composer and the sound of suspense - Tuesday 27 April

  • 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Learn about the dark genius of Bernard Herrmann with producer, director and author Steven C. Smith.

The screeching violins of Psycho’s shower murder, the seductive musical whirlpool of Vertigo, the lonely saxophone that haunts Travis Bickle’s Taxi Driver. These sounds could only come from the dark genius of Bernard Herrmann - the Oscar-winning composer who worked with Hitchcock, Welles and Scorsese.

Join us online to  meet the artist behind the classic scores for North by Northwest, On Dangerous Ground and others, and discover how his explosive personality was matched by intense sensitivity, a compassion for outsiders and a matchless gift for getting inside the drama.

Book your place for Hitchcock’s composer and the sound of suspense on Eventbrite

Two Michelangelos of Rome with Olga Cuckovic – Wednesday 28 April

  • 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Explore the work of two titans of art withwith our Roman envoy, Olga Cuckovic.

Join us online for a fascinating walk through the artistic heritage of two geniuses of the same name without whom Rome would not be the same.

Renaissance sculptor, painter and architect, Michelangelo Buonarotti, marked an era with most of his work done in the Eternal City. The frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, the initial project for the dome and the statue of Pietà at the St Peter’s Basilica may be the most famous, but we will also talk about his revolutionary architectural project of the Capitoline Hill, the transformation of the ancient Roman Baths of Diocletian into a church and the iconic statue of Moses at the Basilica of St. Peter in Chains.

Another genius who represented a turning point in the history of painting was Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio. Twenty five of his paintings, divided between the churches, palaces and museums in Rome, have been attracting the connoisseurs and novel art-lovers alike. Every exhibition that mentions his name has been a blockbuster.

Born a century apart, both Michelangelos introduced innovations without which it would be difficult to imagine in which direction the history of art would have gone without them. This illustrated tour will let you browse through the most famous and striking of their works, trying to capture the ways in which they influenced how we perceive sculpture, painting and architecture today.

Book your place for Two Michelangelos of Rome with Olga Cuckovic on Eventbrite

The Blacksmith and the Bull - family history through poetry and art - Thursday 29 April

  • 7pm to 8pm

Come along to enjoy a cracking story of Balkans bravery and adventure, see some fantastic artwork. Join Kensington and Chelsea librarian, Nina Risoli-Azdajic online in this fusion of poetry, art and family history.

Nina has been a friendly face at Kensington and Chelsea libraries since 1995 and to mark her quarter of a century with the library service, she'd like to share a little bit about her background through this poetry reading and presentation of artwork by the acclaimed artist Sonya Radan - all inspired by the story of Nina's family name - Azdajic, which translates as 'dragon' and derives from the Turkish word for this mythological, fire-blowing creature.

Author Nick Lipley started what turned out to be a year-long project of writing The Blacksmith and the Bull or How A Dragon Was Born after one evening hearing Nina recount the tale of her Bosnian surname. This soon became a joint venture with figurative artist Sonya Radan, who produced a series of acrylic paintings on wood to accompany Nick’s epic-styled poem.

So, come along, hear the story, see some brilliant artwork and learn perhaps, as the poem instructs, ‘to live up to the legends of our names’. As well as a reading of The Blacksmith and the Bull there’ll be a Q&A session with Sonya, Nick and Nina.

Book your place for The Blacksmith and the Bull - family history through poetry and art on Eventbrite

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