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Summer Reading Challenge winners

What's on in Hackney Libraries

Summer Reading Challenge

Organised by The Reading Agency charity and the public library network, the Summer Reading Challenge, aimed at 4-11 year olds and their families, is fun and free. Your child just needs to read six or more library books during the summer holidays. They'll receive a certificate as well as rewards along the way.

You can sign up at your local library. Pre-schoolers can take part in the mini-challenge and parents or carers can join the six book challenge themselves and get their own rewards and certificates. For more information contact monica-sever@hackney.gov.uk.

Are you interested in volunteering at the library during the challenge?

If you're aged 11-17 and looking for something to do this summer, join our summer reading volunteers. You'll gain skills and experience for your personal statement or CV and, at the same time, give back to your community by helping younger children complete the challenge. Contact your local library for more information or email monica.sever@hackney.gov.uk.

Arts Award

A set of qualifications for children and young people to help them get involved in culture and the arts. Free to join. The first step is Arts Award Discover where children look for examples of the arts in everyday life, take part in activities, find out about artists and their work, and share their discoveries. Children who complete Arts Award get a certificate from Trinity College London, who manage Arts Award in association with Arts Council England.

  • Clapton Library: 28 August, 4.30pm-5.30pm
  • Homerton Library: Every Thursday from 23 July-27 August, 2.30pm-4pm
  • Shoreditch Library: 5 September, 2pm-4pm. 
  • Stoke Newington Library: Every Thursday from 23 July-27 August, 2.30pm-4pm

Clapton Library 

University of the 3rd Age (U3A)

U3A is a continuously evolving self-help group for people who are no longer in full-time employment, but believe that 'learning is for life'.

  • First Tuesday of the month, 2pm-4pm, science.
  • Fourth Tuesday of the month, 2pm-4pm, book reading group.
  • First and third Friday of the month, 2pm-4pm, philosophy.

The Wordlovers Society

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

A group for anyone interested in poetry and creative writing. Bring your own work to read or perform to the group. All abilities welcome. Facilitated by writer KG Lester. For more information email tyaxx@hotmail.com.

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? Join Chatterbooks. Come along and join the fun. Contact cordula.vonderassen@hackney.gov.uk or call 020 8356 7480 for more information.

Under 5s session

Every Thursday, 11am-12 noon

Term time only. Stories, games and toys for children and a place for parents and carers to make new friends.

Reading group for adults

First Thursday of the month, 6.30pm-8pm

Find out what we're reading on Clapton Library reading group's blog. To join the group please email cordula.vonderassen@hackney.gov.uk, call 020 8356 1620 or come in to the library.

Afterschool arts awards club

Every Friday, 4.30pm-6.30pm

Come along and join the fun. Get creative with crafts, discover the arts all around you and meet other children.

Regular class visits from local schools

If your school is interested in regular class visits, contact Clapton Library to speak to a member of library staff.

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Dalston CLR James Library

TEDx talks at Hackney Libraries - Age is but a number

Wednesday 16 September, 2pm-4pm

Inspiring talks about things that matter originally given at TED conferences held all over the world. Two pre-recorded, short talks by inspiring speakers, followed by a group discussion. All sessions are free, but please book a place by contacting Lucy McMenemy on 020 8356 2919 or lucy.mcmenemy@hackney.gov.uk.

Isabel Allende: How to live passionately no matter your age

In this candid talk, meant for viewers of all ages, author Isabel Allende, 71, talks about her fears as she gets older and shares how she plans to keep on living passionately.

Jane Fonda: Life's third act

An extra 30 years have been added to our life expectancy within this generation. Jane Fonda asks how we can think about this new phase of our lives.

TEDx talks at Hackney Libraries - A stressful world

Thursday 24 September, 2pm-4pm

Inspiring talks about things that matter originally given at TED conferences held all over the world. Two pre-recorded, short talks by inspiring speakers, followed by a group discussion. All sessions are free, but please book a place by contacting Lucy McMenemy on 020 8356 2919 or lucy.mcmenemy@hackney.gov.uk.

Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice

Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a freedom central to western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.

Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend

New research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.

TEDx talks at Hackney Libraries - Looking forward

Wednesday 14 October, 2pm-4pm

Inspiring talks about things that matter originally given at TED conferences held all over the world. Two pre-recorded, short talks by inspiring speakers, followed by a group discussion. All sessions are free, but please book a place by contacting Lucy McMenemy on 020 8356 2919 or lucy.mcmenemy@hackney.gov.uk.

Dan Gilbert: The psychology of your future self

Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the "End of history illusion", where we somehow imagine that the person we are now is the person we'll be for the rest of time.

Kathryn Schulz: Don't regret regret

Using her own tattoo as an example, Kathryn Schulz makes a powerful and moving case for embracing our regrets.

TEDx talks at Hackney Libraries  

Thursday 22 October, 2-4pm

TEDx talks at Hackney Libraries  

Thursday 26 Nov, 2-4pm

TEDx talks at Hackney Libraries  

Wednesday 16 Dec, 2-4pm

NHS stroke drop-in

Second Monday of the month, 11am-5pm

Drop-in support session.

Reading activists

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.

NHS stroke drop-in

Fourth Monday of the month, 11am-5pm

Drop-in support session.

Hackney Community Law Centre

Tuesdays, 6pm-8pm

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

Chatterbooks reading group

Fourth Tuesday of the month, 4.30pm-5.30pm

A reading group for 8-12 year olds with quizzes, competitions and prizes.

Creative writing with AMBA African and Caribbean Heritage Writers Group

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+. Facilitated by Ngoma Bishop. Contact: houseofamau@gmail.com.

Ping pong for over 50s

Wednesdays, 11am-12 noon

Fun and fitness in this weekly session.

Creative writing for children

First Wednesday of the month, 4.30pm-5.30pm

Are 7-14 years old? Join our fun writing group.

Story time for under 5s

Thursdays, 11am-12 noon

Storytelling with music and refreshments.

Hackney Film Club

First Thursday of the month, 5.30pm

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

Councillors' surgeries

First Thursday of the month, 6.30pm-7.30pm

Held on a rota basis. Drop-in.

Dalston Comic Club

Last Thursday of the month 6.45pm-7.45pm, ages 18+ 

Do you make your own comics, or want to start? Get feedback from your peers, share ideas and find like-minded people to collaborate with. For more info email: dalstoncomicgroup@hackney.gov.uk.

Toy library for under 5s

Fridays, 10am-12 noon

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

Children's games club

Fridays, 4pm-5pm

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

Councillors' surgeries

Third Friday of the month, 6.30pm-7.30pm

Held on a rota basis. Drop-in.

Adult reading group

Fourth Friday of the month, 6.45pm-7.45pm

Come along to discuss the month's book.

Baby Rhyme Time

Saturdays, 11am-12 noon

Storytelling and rhyme with toys and musical instruments.

Councillors' surgeries

Second Saturday of the month, 12 noon-1pm

Held on a rota basis. Drop-in.

Children's film club

Last Saturday of the month, 2.30pm to 4pm

Classic and new children's films for all the family. With free popcorn.

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Hackney Central Library 

Asia House Festival presents The Tale of the Anklet

Wednesday 2 September, 2pm-3pm

Come and join storyteller Astrid Hilne for an enchanting, mysterious and funny Arabian Nights-style Cinderella Story for all the family. It's Cinderella but not as you know it. Free event. No need to book. For further details contact adrian.morris@hackney.gov.uk

Chatterbooks Reading Dragons - boys-only reading group

Thursday 10 September, 4pm-5pm

Are you aged between 8-12 years old? 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. September's book is Compton Valance Super FARTS versus the Master of Time by Matt Brown.

Hackney Community Law Centre pop-up shop

Mondays, 2pm-5pm. Returns Monday 7 September

Speak to qualified advisors about your housing issues - such as rent arrears, landlord issues, eviction notices and more. The sessions are kindly sponsored by the Council and Matrix chambers. No appointment necessary. Free. Residents only.

Afterschool arts awards club

Mondays, 4pm-6pm

Come along and join the fun. Get creative with crafts, discover the arts all around you and meet other children.

Toy library

Tuesdays, 10am-12 noon, ages 5 and under

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

Allergy self-help group with Fredericka

Tuesdays, 1pm-3pm

Local author Fredericka Charles hosts a self-help group for parents and carers of children who suffer with eczema and other allergies, offering 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.

Young adult carers' lunch club

Wednesdays, 12 noon-2pm

Are you aged between 14-25? Do you help look after someone with a disability, illness, mental health issue or addiction? Do you need help with finding a job, career advice or writing a CV? Join us at this free drop-in session. Travel money and snacks provided. For more information please contact kaye.medcalf@hackneycarers.org.uk or phone 020 8533 0951.

Teenage reading group

First Wednesday of the month, 6pm-7.30pm

A reading group for young people aged 13+. Choose the book, have a great time talking about it and meet new people. Speak to a member of staff at the library for further details.

The ESOL Carry On Reading group

First Thursday of the month, 2pm-3.30pm

A group for English learners who want to improve their reading and speaking and meet new people, run by an ESOL qualified teacher. An informal group where we read and discuss books rather than a class. For further information please contact Lisa on lisa.mcdermott@hackney.gov.uk or phone on 020 8356 3000.

Reading Activists

First Thursday of the month, 5-6pm

Are you 11-19 years old? Then why not get involved with your local library with opportunities to volunteer, run events and contribute to reading activists websites. For further details contact monica.sever@hackney.gov.uk.

Punchy Brunch

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

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'?

Share your ideas and tips for how we can live our lives at optimum health and make sure we balance body and mind. We'll discuss a different topic each month and occasionally we'll have a guest speaker. Relaxed yet informative. Bring along your brunch and let's get on the road to being healthy and wealthy.

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. Get your free NHS health check at these special drop-in sessions at Central Library.

Story time for under 5s

Fridays, 11am-12 noon

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 meet other parents and children. Just turn up.

Kids' chess club

Fortnightly on a Saturday, 2pm-4pm

Ages 7-14. All abilties welcome.

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

Family film club

Saturday 5 September, 2pm-4pm

Join us for a film showing at your local library. Contact the library for film details. Free. All ages welcome (no unaccompanied children or adults).

TEDx talks at Hackney Libraries - Love and secrets

Friday 2 October, 2pm-4pm

Inspiring talks about things that matter originally given at TED conferences held all over the world. Two pre-recorded, short talks by inspiring speakers, followed by a group discussion. All sessions are free, but please book a place by contacting Lucy McMenemy on 020 8356 2919 or lucy.mcmenemy@hackney.gov.uk.

Hannah Brencher: Love letters to strangers

When Hannah Brencher felt herself bottom into depression after college, she wrote love letters and left them for strangers to find. The act has become a global initiative that rushes handwritten letters to those in need of a boost.

Frank Warren: Half a million secrets

The founder of postsecret.com shares some of the half-million secrets that strangers have mailed him on postcards.

TEDx talks at Hackney Libraries 

Friday 6 November

TEDx talks at Hackney Libraries 

Wednesday 18 November

TEDx talks at Hackney Libraries 

Friday 4 December

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 or register, call: 07970 327 743/07541 909 634 or email: enquiries@vitaleet.org.

Reading group for adults

Third Monday of the month, 6.30pm

Refreshments provided. New members welcome. For more information please contact teresa.szechter@hackney.gov.uk.

ESOL assessment

Tuesdays, 10am-12 noon (Term times only)

English assessments for speakers of other languages.

Story time for under 5s

Tuesdays, 11am-12 noon

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 meet other parents and children. Just turn up. Term time only. Contact: Homerton Library on 020 8356 3000.

Chatterbooks

First Thursday of the month, 4pm-5pm, ages 8-12

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

NHS stop smoking drop-ins

Fridays, 10am-1.30pm

Help for people who want to stop smoking.

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Shoreditch Library

Record Breaker Rhythm, Rap & Rhyme

Friday 28 August, 2.30pm-3.30pm

Celebrate the record breakers with comedy poet, Neal Zetter. Then try your hand at a simple verse then illustrate it to become a poet yourself. Free. Ages 5-11. No booking necessary.

Adult reading group

Thursday 10 September (Every 2nd Thursday evening), 6.30pm-7.45pm

Our first meeting back after our break over the summer. We'll be discussing 'Her Fearful Symmetry' by Audrey Niffenegger. You can pick up a copy of the book in the library. For more information contact Siobhan Downes on siobhan.downes@hackney.gov.uk

Therapeutic reading group

Every Monday, 1pm-3pm

Read short stories and poems aloud and talk about them in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. You're particularly welcome if you've been suffering from depression or mental ill-health. For more information please ask library staff or call Leon Oliver on 020 8316 8736 or e-mail fheatherhayes@gmail.com.

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.

Baby Rhyme and Book Crawl

Every Wednesday, 2pm-3pm

Join us for a 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-12 noon

New pre-school play session at Shoreditch Library for under 5s and their parents, guardians and 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, 2pm-4pm

Just drop in.

Hoxton East and Shoreditch Ward Councillors' surgery

First Saturday of every month, 10.30am-11.30am

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Stamford Hill Library

Chatterbooks reading group 

Thursday 27 August, 2.30pm-3.30pm

Calling all keen readers aged 8-12. Join in our special fun session with poet Neal Zetter and get some goodies too. 

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.

Springfield and New River wards councillors' surgeries

Second Monday of the month, 4pm-5pm

Stay and play

Tuesdays, 10am-3pm (first floor)

With toy library.

Toy library

Tuesdays, 10am-12 noon 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.

Chatterbooks reading group

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.

Folk dancing

First Wednesday of the month, 10.30am-12.30pm

From U3A.

Hackney Health Hub

Last Tuesday of the month, 1.30pm-3.30pm

Advice on and support with stopping smoking, NHS health checks, maintaining a healthy weight, alcohol and sexual health. Also Healthy Start for All information and vouchers for free vitamins.

Under 5s session

Wednesdays, 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 every time you collect five stickers you will get one of the ten beautiful Book Crawl certificates.

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.

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.

Springfield ward only councillors' surgeries

Last Sunday of the month 1pm-2pm

Meet your local councillors to discuss issues affecting your area.

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Stoke Newington Library

Games Club for children and teenagers

First Tuesday of the month, 6pm-7.30pm

Are you aged 7 or up? Do you love a challenge? Join Games Club and learn to play a variety of exciting boardgames and fantasy/strategy games: Formula One, Warhammer, Monopoly, dominoes, chess, draughts, cards and more. All abilities welcome, from beginners to advanced players. Bring your favourite board game with you. Free refreshments.

Richard's reading group

Second Tuesday of the month, 7-9pm (adults)

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

Jamie's reading group

Last Tuesday of the month, 7-9pm (adults)

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

Story time for under 5s

Wednesdays, 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. Collect four Bookcrawl stickers for a certificate.

Getting started with computers for people aged 50+

Thursdays, 11am-12 noon

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. For more information please ask in the library, or call 020 8356 3000 and ask for Stoke Newington Library.

Chatterbooks reading group

Third Thursday of every month, 4pm-5pm

Are you aged 8-12? Do you enjoy reading and meeting new people? Borrow this month's book from the library and join in the discussion. Refreshments provided. For more information, please call the library on 020 8356 5235.

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.

Rhyme time for under 5s

Every Saturday, 11am-12 noon, in the children's library

Stories, toys and musical instruments for little ones and a place for parents and carers to make new friends. Come, learn new rhymes and songs and sing along. Refreshments are provided. Collect four Bookcrawl stickers for a certificate.

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Woodberry Down Library

There are no events scheduled at the moment.

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Page updated: 27 Aug 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)