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What's on in Hackney Libraries

Discover the arts in Hackney for 6-12 year olds (free)

Discover the arts at Dalston CLR James and Hackney Central Libraries every Saturday afternoon 2pm-4pm from  10 January-28 March.

Learn about art and artists, and design, draw, write and find out more about different forms of expression at our free interactive workshops with local artists and arts organisations. Have a go at drama, storytelling, making, drawing, printing, singing and more.

Afterschool arts awards clubs will also run every Monday from 4pm-6pm at Hackney Central Library, Wednesday from 4pm-6pm at Dalston CLR James Library, Fridays from 4.30pm-5.30pm at Clapton Library and, starting 10 January, every other Saturday an arts club will take place at Shoreditch Library from 2pm-3.30pm. You will work with artists and library staff to discover different arts forms and create your own artwork and your activities will be accredited through the arts award. Contact your local library or email discovertheartsinhackney@hackney.gov.uk. Find out more below or see the Discover the arts in Hackney timetable (PDF, 2MB).

Reading activists

Reading activists is a creative reading and writing project across England, led by young people.

We are looking for people aged 12-17 to get involved and help set up reading and writing hubs in their local libraries, giving them opportunities to volunteer, run events and activities and contribute to the website. If you have an interest in creative writing or reading activities or have a project we can run in the libraries, we would love to hear from you.

There are three reading activists groups: Clapton Library,  Dalston CLR James Library and Hackney Central Library. To get involved come to an event, pop into your local library or email readingactivists@hackney.gov.uk.

Clapton Library

Chatterbooks reading group (ages 8-12)

Every third Tuesday of the month, 4pm-5pm

Are you aged 8-12? Do you like reading, talking about books, and meeting new kids? Clapton's new Chatterbooks reading group meets every third Tuesday of the month, 4pm-5pm. Just come along and join the fun. Contact cordula.vonderassen@hackney.gov.uk or call 020 8356 7480 for more information.

University of the 3rd Age (U3A)

This is a self-help group that is continuously evolving, and suitable for people who are no longer in full-time employment, but believe that 'learning is for life'. Sessions are available on the following days:

  • 1st Tuesday of month, 2pm-4pm, Science
  • 4th Tuesday of month, 2pm-4pm, Book Reading Group
  • 1st and 3rd Friday of month, 2pm-4pm, Philosophy

Visit www.hackneyu3a.co.uk for more information.

Under 5s session

Every Thursday, 11am-12pm

Term time only. Stories, games and toys for little ones and a place for parents and carers to have a chat and make new friends.

Reading group for adults

First Thursday of the month, 6.30pm-8pm

For more information about what we are reading visit the Clapton Library reading group's blog.

To join the group please email cordula.vonderassen@hackney.gov.uk , call 020 8356 1620 or pop in to the library.

Afterschool arts awards club

Every Friday, 4.30pm-6.30pm

Come along and join in the fun. Be creative with crafts, discover the arts all around you and have fun with other children.

Regular class visits from local schools

The library is happy to accommodate regular class visits from local schools. If your school is interested in participating, contact Clapton Library to discuss with a member of library staff.

The Wordlovers Society

Second Tuesday and last Thursday of each month, 5.30-7.45pm. 

A group for anyone interested in poetry and creative writing. Please bring some of your own written work to read out or perform to the group. All levels very welcome. Facilitated by writer KG Lester. For more information email tyaxx@hotmail.com.

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Dalston C.L.R. James Library

Discover the arts in Hackney - Telling the story

Saturday 7 March, 2pm-4pm

With Inmediate Theatre. Come and listen to a story before taking on the role of storyteller in an interactive session. Bring the story to life using props, costumes, instruments, drama and story-telling games.

Discover the arts in Hackney - Music and movement

Saturday 14 March, 2pm-4pm

With Cheryl Walker, Arcola Theatre. Dance, jive, twist and turn while creating unique characters. In this session we will explore music and movement and how they can be incorporated into performance. Using percussion as a basis we will explore how we can use our bodies to tell stories.

Discover the arts in Hackney - Drawing and mono-printing

Saturday 21 March, 2pm-4pm

Come and join artist and illustrator Jonny Voss at the library for drawing and painting fun Jonny works in Hackney and loves drawing on large rolls of paper.

Discover the arts in Hackney - Discovering Arts through PlayCreative   

Saturday 28 March, 2pm-4pm

Join us for the final touches to our Hackney board game and play your part.

Dalston comic club

Every last Tuesday of the month 7-7.45pm 

Fancy sharing your thoughts on the graphic novels you've read? Or do you just want to find inspiration for the next one you'll choose? If so, come along. We've got brand new stuff and old classics. For more info email: dalstoncomicgroup@hackney.gov.uk.

Hackney Community Law Centre

Every Tuesday, 6pm-8pm

Free legal advice for consumer and debt issues, please call  020 7633 4531, leave a message with your name and contact details to book a place.

Ping pong for over 50s

Every Wednesday, 11am-12 noon

Fun and fitness in this weekly session.

Afterschool arts awards club

Every Wednesday, 4pm-6pm

Come along and join in the fun. Be creative with crafts, discover the arts all around you and have fun with other children.

Under 5s Storytime

Every Thursday, 11am-12 noon

Fun storytelling session with music and refreshments.

Under 5s toy library

Every Friday, 10am-12 noon

A wide range of toys to play and borrow, run by the Seabright Children's Centre.

Children's games club

Every Friday, 4pm-5pm

Try amazing board games and have fun in this exciting club. For children 5+.  Children under 9 must be accompanied by an adult.

Baby rhymetime

Every Saturday, 11am-12noon

Fun storytelling and rhyme sessions with toys and musical instruments. 

NHS Stroke Drop-ins

Every second and fourth Monday of the month, 11am-5pm

Reading activists

Every third Monday of the month, 5.30pm-6.30pm

Are you 11-19 years old? Then get involved with your local library with opportunities to volunteer, run events and contribute to reading activists websites.

Chatterbooks reading group

Every fourth Tuesday of the month, 4.30pm-5.30pm

A reading group for 8-12 year olds, a time to have fun with people your own age talking about books you like, quizzes, competitions and prizes.

Creative writing with AMBA African and Caribbean Heritage Writers Group

Every fourth Tuesday of the month, 5.45pm-7.45pm

This mutual support group welcomes novelists, short-story writers, playwrights, poets and other creative writers of all abilities and experience. Free 18+ and facilitated by Ngoma Bishop, please contact: houseofamau@gmail.com

Creative writing for children

Every first Wednesday of the month, 4.30pm-5.30pm

Are 7-14 years old? Come and take part in this fun writing group.

Hackney Film Club

First Thursday of every month, 5.30pm

Showing new and cult films from international film festivals. Free film screenings for all library members aged over 16 years. For more information and bookings see the Facebook page, ask library staff or contact maria.colucci@hackney.gov.uk.

Adult reading group

Every fourth Friday of the month, 6.45pm-7.45pm

Come along to this session to discuss the month's chosen book. 

Children's film club

Last Saturday of every month, 2.30pm to 4pm

Classic and new children's films that parents will enjoy, too. Free popcorn. 

Councillor surgeries 

The surgeries are held on a rota basis as follows, drop-in sessions: 

  • First Thursday of the month, 6.30pm-7.30pm
  • Second Saturday of the month, 12 noon-1pm
  • Third Friday of the month, 6.30pm-7.30pm 

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Hackney Central Library

Coffee, cake and book Group

Thursday 26 February (every fourth Thursday of the month), 10.30am-11.30am

A lively book group focusing on classics and international texts, for lovers of Austen to Tolstoy via Dostoevsky and cake. This month's book is The Temporary Bride by Jennifer Klinec. Copies are available at the main counter or reserve from your local library site. To join the mailing list please email: adrian.morris@hackney.gov.uk. Jennifer Klinec will be visiting the library on Wednesday 4 March.

Discover the arts in Hackney - Werewolf Club Rules

Saturday 28 February, 2pm-4pm

Performance poet and playwright Joseph Coelho brings the poems from his book Werewolf Club Rules off the page with a series of interactive performances.

The Health Spot: Gardening workshop with The Sharp End  

Tuesday 3 March, 11am-1pm 

Sow and grow salad, greens and herbs in a box for window, balcony or garden. Learn how to sow seeds and pot a variety of different salad leaves & herbs in a container.   

The workshop will involve hands on sowing into small containers to take home. All plants and containers provided.  Places are limited, so please book by contacting Hackney Central Library. 

The Health Spot: Breast Cancer UK 

Tuesday 3 March, 12pm-2pm 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. However, the sooner breast cancer is diagnosed, the more effective the treatment may be. 

Both women and men can be affected by it, so it's important to be breast aware. Breast Cancer Care will be in the Health Spot m providing information on how to spot early symptoms and be breast aware.

Jennifer Klinec on The Temporary Bride

Wednesday 4 March, 6.15pm

Jennifer Klinec will be talking about her novel, The Temporary Bride, which uses food and romance to explore the collisions and misunderstandings between Western and Islamic cultures.

Reading activists

5 March 2015, 5pm-6pm

Every first Thursday of the month.

Discover the arts in Hackney - Discovering arts through PlayCreative

Saturday 7 March, 2pm-4pm

Take a magical mystery tour to discover Hackney's Global Creativity with Universal Board Games play and design sessions. Something for everyone ages 6 and up: play games from around the world, draw artworks for the game, sculpt fantasy game pieces or design your own game.

Discover the arts in Hackney - Telling the story

Saturday 14 March, 2pm-4pm

With Inmediate Theatre. Come and listen to a story before taking on the role of storyteller in an interactive session. Bring the story to life using props, costumes, instruments, drama and story-telling games.

Chatterbooks Reading Dragons

Thursday 19 March 4-5pm

A reading group for boys aged 8-12. Do you enjoy books and reading? Do you like quizzes, competitions and games? Do you want to have fun with people your own age and talk about the books you like? A reading group for boys only. March's book is Tom Gates : A Tiny Bit Lucky by Liz Pichon.

Discover the arts in Hackney - Singing stories

Saturday 21 March, 2pm-4pm

With Tara Franks, cellist, composer and founder of the Sounds Creative Project. Discover the stories behind folk songs from around the world. Sing, listen, explore and conjure up your own ideas. Choose a story and create a new song with the group.

Discover the arts in Hackney

Saturday 28 March, 2pm-4pm

Join a guest artist for our end of project celebration.

Gentle yoga and meditation with Amarjit

Mondays, 12.30pm-1.30pm

A 6-week class in gentle yoga and meditation. Amarjit will take you through basic practices and exercises. Learn how to relax and reduce stress with these free sessions. All levels and abilities are welcomed, no booking necessary. For further information please speak to Amarjit before or after class.

Free community law shop sessions

Mondays, 2pm-5pm

These free sessions let Hackney residents speak to qualified advisors about their housing, employment, immigration, welfare benefits and debt problems. The sessions are kindly sponsored by the Council and Matrix chambers. No appointment necessary.

Afterschool arts awards club

Mondays, 4pm-6pm

Come along and join in the fun. Be creative with crafts, discover the arts all around you and have fun with other children.

Allergy self-help group with Fredericka

Tuesdays, 1pm-3pm

Local author, Fredericka Charles, will be hosting a self-help group for parents and carers of children who suffer with eczema and other allergies. The sessions are intended to offer parents help, support and a way to share experiences and useful tips in an informal setting. Join us at our next meeting and let Fredericka know what you would like from the group.

Teenage reading group

First Wednesday of the month, 6pm-7.30pm

The teenage reading group is a reading group for young people aged 13 and over. Why not join our group? You get to choose the book, have a great time talking about it and it's a fun way to meet new people. Please speak to a member of staff for further details. 

Punchy brunch

Third Thursday of the month, 1pm-2.30pm, women only

Ladies, are you busy trying to get your cash flow going, networking, planning your next venture or multi-tasking to the hilt? Is the big question 'when do you find time for you'?

Come along to Punchy Brunch to share your tips and ideas with other like-minded women on how we can live our lives at optimum health by making sure we balance both body and mind. Each month we'll discuss a different topic (new topics welcome) and occasionally we'll have a guest speaker. Relaxed yet informative. Bring along your light brunch and let's get on the road to being healthy and wealthy. 

Kids' chess club

Fortnightly on a Saturday, 2pm-4pm, ages 7-14

All players welcome - from beginners to the more advanced. 

Health checks with TLC Care Services and the Stroke project.

Fortnightly on a Wednesday, 11am-4pm

Everyone is at risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes or kidney disease. The good news is that these conditions can often be prevented - even if you have a history of them in your family. Have your free NHS health check at these special drop-in sessions at the Central library and you will be better prepared for the future and be able to take steps to maintain or improve your health.

The ESOL carry on reading group

First Thursday of the month, 6pm-7.30pm

A group for English learners who want to improve their reading and speaking and meet new people, run by an ESOL qualified teacher. This is not a class, it is an informal group where we read and discuss books. For further information please contact Lisa on lisa.mcdermott@hackney.gov.uk or phone on 020 8356 3000.

Under 5s story session

Fridays, 11am-12noon

These sessions will not run during the summer holidays. Please contact the library for dates.

Toy library

Tuesdays, 10am-12noon

A wide range of toys to play with and borrow. Age 5 and under - just turn up. Run by the Ann Tayler Children's Centre (Term-time only).

Exhibitions at Central library

Did you know the Central library has exhibition space available for the use of local people, community groups and organisations? If you are interested in putting on an exhibition or for further details please contact adrian.morris@hackney

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Homerton Library

Homerton Library user group

Monday 9 March, 7pm-8pm

Let us know what you think of the library; which aspects you like and what you feel could be improved. Refreshments provided. Three times a year. Contact: Homerton Library 020 8356 3000 for more information.

Homerton reading group for adults 

Monday 16 March, (every third Monday of the month), 6.30pm-8pm,  Library hall - first floor

This meeting we'll be discussing Travels with my Aunt by Graham Greene. New members welcome. For more information please email teresa.szechter@hackney.gov.uk.

Vital EET Supplementary School

Mondays and Tuesdays, 4pm-6pm and Saturdays, 10.30am-12.30pm

Vital EET Supplementary School offers Primary, Secondary and 6th Form academic tuition for age group 5-18 years during both term and holiday time as well as various adult courses and the Mayor of London Brighter Futures Mentoring Programme for boys aged 10-16 in Hackney.

To find out more and/or register, call: 07970 327 743/07541 909 634 or email: enquiries@vitaleet.org

Storytime for under 5s

Tuesdays, 11am-12pm

A fun storytelling and toys session for under 5s in the children's library. Come and listen to stories, music, play, participate in simple activities and socilaise with other parents and children. Just turn up. Term time only.

Contact: Homerton Library 020 8356 3000.

ESOL assessment

Every Tuesday 10am-12pm (Term times only)

English for speakers of other languages assessments.

Homerton Library Chatterbooks 

First Thursday of the month, 4pm-5pm

A new group. If you're 8-12 years old and enjoy reading, then why not come and join our Chatterbooks reading group? For more info contact Homerton Library on 02083563000 or email myrna.glaze@hackney.gov.uk.

NHS Stop Smoking drop-ins

Every Friday 10am-1.30pm

Help for people who want to stop smoking.

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Shoreditch Library

Arts club

Saturday 28 February, 2pm-3pm

Come along and join in the fun. Be creative with crafts, discover the arts all around you and have fun with other children.

Adult reading group

Thursday 12 March (every 2nd Thursday), 6.30pm-7.45pm

We'll be discussing A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood. You can pick up a copy of the book in the library. For more information contact Siobhan Downes on siobhan.downes@hackney.gov.uk

Baby rhyme and bookcrawl

Every Wednesday, 2pm-3pm

Join us for an enjoyable storytelling and baby rhyme sessions with toys and musical instruments. Refreshment provided. These sessions will not run during the summer holidays.

Mini Builders

Every Thursday 11am to 12pm

New pre-school play session at Shoreditch Library for under 5's and their carers. Make friends while you build towns, farms and animals or robots from Duplo. Free event during term-time.

Computer sessions for people with learning disabilities

Every Thursday, 2-4pm

Just drop in.

Chatterbooks reading group

First Monday of every month, 4pm-5pm

Are you aged between 8-12 years old? Do you enjoy books and reading? Do you like quizzes, competitions and games? Then why not join Chatterbooks? Contact the library for more information.

Drop-in sessions

Every Friday, 10.15am-1pm in the ICT suite

  • Computing for beginners
  • Employability skills
  • Book club
  • Level 1 award in personal money management
  • Combined teacher/assessor (PTLLS) course

Interested? Just turn up or Contact Tanya 020 7467 1327 or Phil 07880 558 695.

Hoxton East and Shoreditch Ward Councillors' surgery

First Saturday of each month, 10.30am to 11.30am

Therapeutic reading group

Every Monday, 1pm-3pm

An informal group meets to read aloud and discuss short stories and poems in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. People who have been suffering from depression or mental ill-health are particularly welcome. For more information please ask library staff or call Leon Oliver on 020 8316 8736 or e-mail fheatherhayes@gmail.com.

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Stamford Hill Library

Under-Fives Storytelling (World Book Day special)

Thursday 5 March, 11am-12pm

Join Rosie Wellesley and Pinny Grylls as they read their books, Moonlight Bear and The Very Best Sheepdog - two heart-warming tales for 2-6 year olds.

Why not bring your favourite cuddly toy too, and Rosie will help you draw your own full-moon adventure with them.

World Book Day Story mashup

Thursday 5 March, 4.30pm-6pm

Join illustrator Tanja Wilmot as she transforms three World Book Day stories and joins them to make Hackney's very own concertina book. Children will receive a mystery envelope with words and a character in it, to create a page in our new story set in Hackney. One thing is certain - we'll end up with a mashed up, marvellous Hackney picture book of our very own.

Dance, drama and creative writing

Mondays, 10.30am-2pm

From the University of the 3rd Age, a self help group that believes that learning is for life.

Pilates and Tai Chi

Mondays, 2pm-4.30pm

From the University of the 3rd Age, a self help group that believes that learning is for life.

Stay and play 

Every Tuesday, 10am-3pm (first floor)

With toy library.

Folk dancing

First Wednesday of the month, 10.30am-12.30pm

From the University of the 3rd Age, a self help group that believes that learning is for life.

Councillor's surgeries

  • New River ward. 2nd Monday of the month 4pm-5pm and last Sunday of the month 1pm-2pm.
  • Springfield ward. 2nd Monday of the month 4pm-5pm.

Meet your local councillors to discuss issues affecting your area.

Meditation for the over 50s with Amarjit

Every Friday, 1.30pm-2.30pm

Learn how to relax and reduce stress with free meditation sessions.
For further information or to become an AgeWell member contact 020 7241 5909.

Adult reading group

First Thursday of the month, 6.30pm-7.30pm

For more information please contact kwadjo.baah@hackney.gov.uk or call 020 8356 1964.

Computer sessions for people with learning disabilities

Every Wednesday, 10am-12pm

Just drop-in.

Under 5s session

Every Wednesday, 2pm-3pm

Join the staff at Stamford Hill Library throughout the year for storytelling and baby rhyme sessions, craft activities, musical instruments and toys. We provide refreshments and give away stickers when you attend any of the sessions and everytime you collect five stickers you will get one of the ten beautiful Book Crawl certificates.

Chatterbooks

Last Tuesday of the month, 4.30-5.30pm

A fun reading group for children aged 8-12. For more information see the Chatterbooks website or contact kwadjo.baah@hackney.gov.uk or call 020 8356 1964.

Toy library 

Every Tuesday, 10am-12noon and 1pm-3pm

A wide range of toys to play with and borrow. Age 5 and under - just turn up. Contact Diane or Jess on 020 8806 4130 ext 22 for further information.

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Stoke Newington Library

Poetry appreciation group

Monday 9 March, 6pm-7.30pm

An informal and friendly group meets once a month to read and discuss a range of poetry. This meeting we'll be looking at Thoms Hardy poems suggested by group members. For more information please ask library staff or email calum.docherty@hackney.gov.uk

Richard's reading group

Tuesday 10 March, (second Tuesday of the month), 7-9pm

For adults. We'll be discussing Evelyn Waugh's jazz-age satire 'Vile Bodies'. To express an interest in joing the group, e-mail richard.boon@hackney.gov.uk

Classical music appreciation group

Monday 30 March, 6.30pm-7.30pm

If you love classical music, why not join our group? Come and listen to and discuss music famous classical composers. Next session: Sibelius (b. 1865) with highlights from his orchestral, theatre and chamber music. Refreshments will be provided. All welcome. For further information please contact library staff or email chris.huckle@hackney.gov.uk.

Getting started with computers - sessions for people aged 50+  

Every Thursday, 11am-12noon

Are you new to computers? Would you like to practise searching the internet or finding information online?  Do you need help to set up an email account? Staff will be on hand to offer guidance, support and advice specifically for people 50+. Places are limited, so booking a PC in advance is advised - please ask staff to help. For more information please ask in the library, or call 020 8356 3000 and ask for Stoke Newington Library.

Jamie's reading group

Every last Tuesday, 7-9pm (adults)

If you are interested in joining the group, please contact jamie.mearns@hackney.gov.uk

Stokey teenage reading worms

Last Thursday of the month, 4.30pm-5.30pm

Are you 13-17 years old and love reading? Choose books to read, discuss them with your peers and meet writers. For more information please ask library staff or email calum.docherty@hackney.gov.uk.

Chatterbooks reading group

Third Thursday of every month, 4pm-5pm

Are you aged 8-12, enjoy reading and meeting new people? New members welcome to collect book from library and join in the discussion on the day of the meeting. Refreshments provided. Make new friends, enjoy activities, arts and crafts plus days out, games and competitions. For more information, please call the library on 020 8356 5235.

Under 5s storytime session

Every Wednesday, 2pm-3pm, in the children's library

Stories, games, toys and musical instruments for little ones and a place for parents and carers to have a chat and make new friends. Refreshments are provided. Bookcrawl certificates for children who have read four books and collected four bookcrawl stickers.

Rhymetime for underfives

Every Saturday, 11am-12pm, in the children's library
 
Stories, toys and musical instruments for little ones and a place for parents and carers to have a chat and make new friends. Come, learn new rhymes and songs and sing along. Refreshments are provided. Bookcrawl certificates for children who have read four books and collected four bookcrawl stickers.

Games club for children and teenagers

First Tuesday of the month, 6pm-7.30pm

Are you aged 7+ and love a challenge? Join our Games Club and learn to play a variety of exciting board and fantasy/strategy games - Formula One, Warhammer, Monopoly, dominoes, chess, draughts, cards and more. All level players are welcome - from beginners to advanced players. Bring your favourite board game with you to be played. Free refreshments.

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Woodberry Down Library

There are no events scheduled at the moment.

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Page updated: 27 Feb 2015 


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Contact details

Hackney Libraries
Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY
Opening Times
For renewals and information phone (020 8356 2539 - Renewals Line) Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, or email: info@hackney.gov.uk
Email: info@hackney.gov.uk
Tel:020 8356 2539 (Renewals Line)