Brent Libraries, Arts and Heritage newsletter: February

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February 2020

Harlesden Jubilee Clock

Celebrate the Harlesden Jubilee Clock

Harlesden Jubilee Clock Talk, Harlesden Library Plus

Friday 7 February, 11am – 12noon

The Jubilee Clock is the centrepiece of Harlesden and along with Wembley Stadium, is arguably one Brent’s most recognisable architectural features. Join local historian Harry Brown to discover the clock's surprising history and what its meant to the people of Brent down the years. Bring your own photographs and stories to add to the rich heritage of this famous timepiece. Free event.

Read for Empathy with Brent Libraries

Read For Emapthy Book Jackets

Charity EmpathyLab has announced the 50 books chosen by expert judges for the 2020 Read for Empathy collection.

This range of titles for 4-16 year olds illuminate the experience of a wide range of people from different cultures or life circumstances to help children explore emotions, so they can understand how others feel. Several reflect stories of our time, such as the refugee experience, or coping with anxiety.

What is Empathy?

Empathy is our ability to understand and share someone else’s feelings - to see things from their perspective and feel what they feel. It is an essential life skill, crucial if our young people and communities are to thrive.

Excitingly, research shows that books are a powerful tool to develop it, because in identifying with book characters, young people learn to see things from other points of view.

#ReadForEmpathy with Brent Libraries  - borrow now:

I Do Not Like Books Anymore, Daisy Hurst

So many children experience frustration with learning to read and this hilarious book tells the story of despairing Natalie who finally gets there, with the added bonus of superbly illustrated facial expressions! Ages 3-5

Long Way Down, Jason Reynolds

When Shawn, the beloved big brother of 15-year-old Will, is shot dead, Will is ready to follow "the rules" and get revenge. A powerful and moving verse novel. Age 12+

Check Mates, Stewart Foster

Felix is struggling at school. When his Mum suggests chess with his grandfather, he can’t think of anything worse, but sometimes the best lessons come in unexpected of places. Age 9-11.

There are two collections one for 4-11 year-olds and one for 12-16 year-olds. Download the full list of books for both collections from the EmpathyLab website.

BBC Novels

BBC Novels That Shaped Our World

Stories have the power to change us. A panel of leading writers, curators and critics have picked the 100 genre-busting novels that have shaped our lives. We have the full collection available to borrow, with monthly displays at Wembley Library, The Library at Willesden Green and Kilburn Library.

February's theme is Love, Sex & Romance and these titles are available to borrow now, just pop in to the libraries listed above or search and reserve online, or download the 'My Library App' and have the library at your fingertips! 

  • Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
  • Forever – Judy Blume
  • Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • Riders – Jilly Cooper
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Far Pavilions – M. M. Kaye
  • The Forty Rules of Love – Elif Shafak
  • The Passion – Jeanette Winterson
  • The Slaves of Solitude – Patrick Hamilton


Love (and Larfs) in the Library

Mr Cee

Don't miss Come Mek We Larf: Valentines Comedy Special at The Library At Willesden Green, Friday 7 February 2019, doors 7.30, showtime 8pm.

Line up includes, Sarah Callaghan, Emanuel Sonobi, Anil Desai and Fast Rising Prince of Africa A.D.E. Africans Do Everything! Hosted by Mr Cee.

Book now - early bird tickets £12. General sale £15. £20 on the door


Exhibitions at the Library at Willesden Green


Retro Perspective - artworks by Fergus Quinn

Wednesday 5 - Saturday 15 February

Private view Thursday 6 February 6-8pm

Travelling through life, there comes a point when one needs to look back and see the journey and the discoveries along the way.

Quinn works use a variety of media to present and capture the essence of soul and expression. Along the way, over two decades, his work has led to discovery of cultures from around the world, including Africa, India and other continents. 




London Threads

London Threads: Carousel Textile Artists

Tuesday 18 - Saturday 29 February

Private view Wednesday 19 February, 6-8pm

Carousel is an eclectic group of London based artists who enjoy exhibiting their experimental textiles. They work collaboratively to inspire a shared passion for fibre, stitch, print and mixed media.



Hire our Gallery

Willesden Gallery at the Library at Willesden Green is available for hire. Competitive rates. For more information please contact

LGBT+ History Month

LGBT History Month Wembley Library Display
LGBT+ writing logo


February is LGBT+ History Month - educating out prejudice and celebrating and making LGBT+ people visible in all their rich diversity. Pop into our libraries to explore our displays and  borrow these fabulous titles! 


Reclaiming the L-Word: Sappho's Daughters out in Africa, Alleyn Diesel 

This brave and moving collection of stories by South African lesbians from different backgrounds reminds us, again, that rights are never finally won in legislatures or in court rooms. They are won by people exercising them. Login with your library card and read as an e-book.  

Julian is a MermaidJessica Love

When going home with his nana one day, Julian notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train carriage. When Julian gets home all he can think about is making his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Nana think?

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, Sabina Khan

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana tries to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but when she is caught kissing her girlfriend Ariana, her devastated parents take Rukhsana to Bangladesh, where everything she had been planning is out of reach. There, immersed in a world of tradition and arranged marriages, Rukhsana finds the perspective she’s been looking for, but can she fight for the life she wants without losing her family?

All the Invisible Things, Orlagh Collins

For four years Vetty Lake has been keeping her heart in hiding. Since her mum died and her family moved out of London, it’s felt so much safer not to tell people how she really feels. She’s never even told anyone she’s attracted to girls as well as boys. But now Vetty’s seventeen and coming back to London she’s determined to start living out loud.

Brent 2020 News


VENT, a collaboration between VICE and the young people of Brent, is an audio project designed to explore issues affecting youth today.

Subscribe to 'VENT Weekly' wherever you subscribe to your podcasts.

Freedom Fields

Visit The Yellow this month for two free film screenings. Other Cinemas are supported by the Brent 2020 Culture Fund. More info and tickets.

Third Round Cultural Programme

Applications for Brent 2020 Culture Fund final round close this Tuesday 4 February. The grant scheme supports Brent people and organisations to lead their own cultural projects. Find out more and apply.