Four seminal issues of The Times, available to explore via the Kensington library card: the very first paper (1 January 1785), the first paper using the name The Times (1 January 1788), the last paper with the classic single column and picture-free first page (2 May 1966), the first paper with a picture on the first page and a new logo (3 May 1966), and the paper reintroducing the old Times logo and celebrating the marriage between Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer (13 July 1981).

Covid-19 and its fallouts:

When the library is closed: go digital!

Kensington’s libraries are closed, but they still offer a great service for those equipped with a library card and a desktop PC, a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone.

Through collaboration with various newspaper/magazine/book/music websites, those with a Kensington library card have free access to:

  • digital versions of some 90 magazines, such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan, The Economist and New Yorker
  • digital versions of more than 6,000 newspapers from more than 100 countries in over 60 languages
  • thousands of digital books (eBooks), among them we notice Rachel Johnson’s brand new autobiography, “Rake’s Progress”, which was released 19 March
  • several hundred digitised comics (eComics)
  • over 600 best-selling audiobook titles

In some cases, accessing the books, newspapers and magazines require a specific app, which can be downloaded free.

The library card also gives free access to The Times’ fantastic digital archive (which contains every page of The Times between 1785 and 2012), as well as Punch’s digital archive (1841-1992), Nexos’ enormous music library and various online dictionaries, encyclopaedias biography listings, scholarly articles and language teaching resources.

Those who don’t have a library card can register online and then use all these resources immediately.

This informative newsletter from Kensington Library explains more and provides all the necessary links.

The home library service has returned

When the Kensington libraries first closed, the home library service was also suspended. But this service has now been restored, in order to help vulnerable residents who are unable to make use of the digital services mentioned above.

To find out more about the home library service, who are entitled to it, and how to enrol, go to the council’s home library service page for more information.

Free digital booklets and videos about scams

One of the drawbacks of the digital world is that it has, since the start, attracted conmen who try to trick people to hand over their money.

To help fight this, the Metropolitan Police has produced four short digital books/leaflets about various cyber and phone scams, as well as ten short videos about passwords, phising, wi-fi safety and many other things.

The videos and the booklets are available on the Met’s media page. Please note: Only two videos are immediately visible on that page, but the rest are accessible by clicking on the dots under them.

NHS advice: How to stay sane during covid-19

Public Health England and the NHS have jointly created “Every Mind Matters”, a website dedicated to help people get a healthier mind.

It has one page with practical advice for those feeling very anxious about covid-19: “10 tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus”,

and another which can make staying at home less of a mental strain: “Mental wellbeing while staying at home”.

The library card gives you access to thousands of digital books, some of them just released.

The library card also gives access to hundreds of comic books…

…as well as some 90 digitised magazines, covering everything from fashion, cooking and cars, to economy and science.

Punch’s digital archive, which contains every issue of Punch from the first (1 January 1841) to the last (1992), is also something the library card gives access to.

Three of the Met’s useful booklets about internet scams.

One of the Met’s videos, about the need to be smart when creating passwords.

First published 06/04/2020