Guest post by local historian Philip Grant
Brent Libraries What’s On leaflet for Spring 2024
I know that Brent Libraries have a good programme of free events, and I wanted to let you know about some of them, so I went to my usual online source, the Brent Culture Service Eventbrite site. As you can see, this ‘home of events from Brent Libraries’ has lots of followers, and has previously given access to nearly 500 events for local residents:
But when I scrolled down to find out what was on offer for the next few months, this is what I saw:
I knew that could not be right, because I am “booked” to give a free library talk myself in March! I contacted the Library Development Officers, who organise these events, to find out why there was nothing on Brent’s Eventbrite website, and was told that they have a new one. Instead of Brent Culture Service, it is now called Brent Libraries, Arts and Heritage, which I think is a much better description. But how many people know about it?
I tried “googling” that name, but did not get any “hits” for this new Eventbrite website! I got the address from my Brent Libraries contacts, so before I go any further, let me pass it on to you:
You can now pick up a leaflet in your local Brent Library, setting out all the events on offer this Spring. However, it says it the orange sun at the top of the cover picture: ‘Advanced bookings required for most events.’ Those bookings have to be made on Eventbrite, and the leaflet does not give the website address that I’ve just given you above. It does provide a QR code, but if, like me, you are not yet able to use such things, that is little help.
It is a “What’s On” booklet, with the brent.gov.uk/whatson website address printed on the front cover, so surely you can get details of all the Brent Libraries events from that online source, can’t you? That site currently lists 212 events, but:
The events in the Brent Libraries, Arts and Heritage booklet are not on the Council’s main What’s On listings, but they must be in the Events section of the “Libraries” pages on the website, mustn’t they? After all, this is headed:
‘Library Events - We have lots happening across all our libraries, from regular kids events to family learning. Find out what is happening near you.’
I’m afraid you would be disappointed, because all that appear there are the current (“Exploring grief and loss through art”) and next two exhibitions at The Gallery at Willesden Green.
Brent Libraries, Arts and Heritage management and Brent Communications really must sort out this lack of effective online publicity for the programme of free events at Brent Libraries! I know that a lot of effort, by Library Development Officers and others, has gone into providing this programme. It is unfair on the local community, as well as on those Libraries, Arts and Heritage staff members, if hundreds of people who could benefit from these events miss out on them because of the current lack of online information.
As well as giving the Eventbrite website address (see link above) I will mention a few events coming up soon which may be of interest to “Wembley Matters” readers.
Five Little Ducks story and craft workshop at Wembley Library
There are regular weekly Booktrust Story and Rhyme Time sessions for under 5s at all six Brent Libraries, but this coming Saturday and Sunday there is also a number of special events for National Storytelling Week at Wembley and Willesden Green Libraries.
Veganuary event at Kingsbury Library on 30 January
Next week’s coffee morning event at Kingsbury Library (Tuesday 30 January, 11.15am) is “Veganuary: Trust your gut!”, making healthy snacks with chef Nishma, of the award-winning vegan food business, Shambhu's.
Ealing Road Library hosts a regular STEM CLUB, providing science, technology, engineering and mathematics workshops for children aged 8-11. The same venue also provides Family Film Club events during half-term and school holidays – the next one is on 15 February, when “The Little Mermaid” is featured.
An author talk at Ealing Road Library on 12 March
Ealing Road Library also has a coffee morning event on Tuesday 12 March at 11am, where you can meet Brent-based author, Manoj Kerai, and find out what inspired him to write his novel, “The Burning Bride”. Kilburn Library has regular coffee morning events as well, the next one is on Wednesday 7 February, as does Harlesden Library, with its next coffee morning on Tuesday 20 February.
I hope this has inspired you to find out, from the Brent Libraries, Arts and Heritage Eventbrite site, what free events YOU can enjoy at Brent Libraries over the next few months.
P.S. I did mention my next free local history talk, at a Kingsbury Library coffee morning on Tuesday 26 March at 11am, didn’t I?