A Jewish Childhood in Brent – Zoom-based talk, on Thursday 28th January, 2.30pm-3.30pm

We would like to invite you to an online event with the library.  This is an illustrated talk from former local resident Louise Dryden who will tell us about her experiences as a Jewish child growing up in Brent and her family history.  Her talk will last about 45 minutes, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions about the talk. More information is on the poster below.

This is a Zoom event.  If you would like to participate then please email to prestoncommunitylibrary@gmail.com and we will send you a link.

A special video message from our Children’s Laureate, the children’s author Saman Shamsie

We are thrilled to present a special video message  from our Children’s Laureate, the children’s author Saman Shamsie,  recorded under lockdown at her home in Karachi.

Saman has been supporting our library campaign for the best part of eight years joining in Children’s Events on National Libraries Day and many other occasions. When the library was first started in  the office of Notary Public, Jackie Bunce-Linsell, Jackie  commissioned Saman to write a delightful short story for the children of the library , The Hurricane Fairy, which Saman reads here:

 The other two videos are short readings from her books:, The Adventures of Slothful Slough-Off

and The Magical Woods,  published by Oxford University Preface.


Saman’s ongoing work with the Library – The Creative Writing Challenge

In  2015 Saman, launched the Saman Shamsie Summer Creative Writing Challenge. 0pen to young writers between the ages of 4-14, this unique project asks entrants to create their own stories and make them into book form with covers designed to include key features of published books.

The stories are collected in tree volumes.  Sir Michael Morpurgo the distinguished children’s author, has written a Preface to the ‘Young Writers’ Anthology’ as it is called. The inaugural volume was launched and ‘published’ – placed on the Library shelves – by the children themselves.

To date, some sixty-five budding authors have received impressive Certificates from the hands of Ms Shamsie.

This year, Saman was unable to come to the UK from Pakistan where she teaches at Karachi Grammar School because of travel restrictions. She is extremely grateful that our local writer,  Hashi Mohamed, author of People Like Us,  has kindly agreed to present the Certificates  in her stead.

Carl Gabriel’s Art Work – Preston Community Library:19 Sep to 13 Dec

Below quote from https://www.brent2020.co.uk/site/assets/files/1015/brent_biennial_2020_leaflet_small_size.pdf

“New and existing work by artist Carl Gabriel is presented outside of Preston Community Library. Gabriels’ sculptures often depict the human form and have appeared on carnival floats and community processions across the country and internationally for decades.
His practice is anchored in carnival culture, and draws on its traditions and themes. In the wire structures he creates, he draws on the Caribbean tradition of wire-bending. Bamboo and wire frames are covered with layers of paper and PVA, and hand painted or sprayed.
For his presentation at Preston Road Library a series of these sculptures are displayed as static works, alongside a new off-site commission that has been developed in conversation with library staff. In addition, a presentation of photographs and paraphernalia from
the artists’ archive presented online and at the library chart the development of his ‘social sculpture’, and its relationship to community and identity.”


Dear Library members and supporters,


In light of recent UK Government advice that public venues should no longer be visited, we have made the difficult decision to close the library with immediate effect, for the time being. 

We have decided this with the health of our community in mind and apologise for the inconvenience that this will cause. We feel that this is the responsible approach to minimise the transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure the safety of all of our volunteers, visitors and members.

Be assured that we will continuously review the situation as it evolves and will post further updates as necessary through our mailings and social media. We ask that you bear with us during these unprecedented times and thank you for your ongoing loyalty and continuing support of the library.

We intend to resume our services as soon as possible.

Other Precautions 

If you have the virus, or have been in contact with someone who has the virus, then follow the link below:
NHS advicehttps://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ 

For Facebook and twitter, see: https://www.facebook.com/prestoncommunitylibrary/ and @PrestonLib  

with regards,

Linda Green
Preston Community Library

A Woman is a Woman – [Certificate 15] Film, Saturday 1st February, 2020 doors open at 7.15pm for 7.30pm start.

This Saturday, together with Queer East Film Festival and The Hidden Voice Film Festival, we are co-hosting a special screening of the Hong Kong transgender drama ‘A Woman is A Woman’, as part of LGBT+ History Month. This will be a ticketed event. Tickets will be free, but donations are requested.

Please book tickets using the link below:

Film website:  https://www.awomanisawoman.org/about

The film is widely considered as a landmark in Hong Kong cinema, for both it’s portrayal of transgender characters from Hong Kong and for being the first feature film production in the region where women occupy all of the key production roles.  The story follows two transwomen, one going through puberty and the other midway through her life, who both crave integration and acceptance in a hostile environment. The Film is in Cantonese with English and Chinese subtitles.

Author Julian Daizan Skinner reading from his book Rough Waking: Tuesday 17 September 2019 at Preston Community Library 7.30pm

Tuesday 17 September 2019 at Preston Community Library, 7.30pm

Please join us for an evening with Julian Daizan Skinner Roshi, the first Englishman to go to Japan and become a Zen master in the rigorous Rinzai tradition. He will be talking about and reading from his new book, Rough Waking.

Dazian is also the teacher of Samantha Warrington, Preston Community Library’s yoga and meditation teacher.

Rough Waking is a project to raise funds for and awareness of people who are homeless or in prison, and to provide them with yoga and meditation, under the motto:

These are the three elements to the book.

Prize-winning photographer and meditator, Laz, uses words and images and an intimate knowledge of homelessness to illustrate his path through brokenness to creativity.

Inspired by Zen Master Shinzan’s joke that Zen life combines prison and homelessness, “Autumn in the monastery and other poems,” by Julian Daizan Skinner depicts pains and joys arising through his three decades in the Zen world.

Zen artist Kazuaki Okazaki who, after 18 years incarceration on death row was executed last summer, contributes a sequence of images depicting a spiritual journey from lostness and wandering, through the intense confinement of Zen training, and then onwards into a new homelessness – a vastly expanded realm of liberation and service.

The whole book underscores the Zen emphasis on direct confrontation with reality and how for all of us that alone leads to liberation. 

Please join us for this unique event.

For further information, please contact Samantha Warrington on

07801 697712

By Kazuaki Obazaki; numbered limited edition shikishi card print
Julian Daizan Skinner Roshi


Invitation to Local Artists to Produce Art Work for the Library

For the Brent London Borough of Culture 2020, the Council is commissioning local artists to work with each of the libraries.  This includes the four community libraries.  More information, including the brief for Preston Community Library, is on the LBOC website. Go to  https://www.lboc2020.com/opportunities, then look at column headed Museum of All Brent Life: call out for artists and click on link to download the brief. The closing date for submissions is Friday 12th July at noon.

October 30: 6.30pm. Elisa Segrave talks about her book ‘The Girl from Station X’

October 30: 6.30pm at Preston community library, Elisa Segrave talks about her book ‘The Girl from Station X’ – a moving story of a hidden life about her mother, among the first women to enlist, who worked throughout WW2 at Bletchley Park and elsewhere.

Elisa Segrave event

Police Surgeries at the Library

Police Surgeries at the Library 
The Preston Safer Neighbourhood Team have organised weekly contact sessions at the library. Residents can report crime in person to a Police Officer of seek general help and advice.  A Police Offer will drop in at the dates and times below.  Their contact details are: prestonwardsnt@gmail.com or 07920 233 753.

Dates they will attend:

Friday February 23 5-6pm
Saturday March 3 3-4pm
Friday March 9 2-3pm
Friday March 16 4-5pm
Saturday March 24 12-1pm
Saturday March 31 12-1pm
Friday April 6 5.30-6.30pm
Friday April 13 2-3pm
Friday April 20 5-6pm
Saturday April 28 12-1pm

On Saturday 7th October 2017 Documentary: ‘The Night Cleaners – The Story of a Hidden Strike 1970 – 72 at the Ministry of Defence Which Defined an Era’ – to be Shown At Preston Community Library

On Saturday 7th October 2017 Documentary: ‘The Night Cleaners – The Story of a Hidden Strike 1970 – 72 at the Ministry of Defence Which Defined an Era’ – to be Shown At Preston Community Library


Tickets are free at: thenightcleaners.eventbrite.co.uk or from the library.

Our film this week is a documentary ‘The Night Cleaners’.  The producer,

Humphry Treveyan, will introduce this film made 1970-72, about the campaign to unionise women who cleaned office blocks at night and who were being victimised and underpaid by their employers.

1960s Film Night – Saturday 30th September

On Saturday 30th September 2017

Join us at Preston Community Library for celebration of 1960’s Films.


Tickets are free at: sixtiesfilmnight.eventbrite.co.uk or from the library.

Do you remember what it was like going to the cinema in the 1960s?  Did you go to the ABC or into the West End to see the latest film?  Was it a big occasion or did you go every week?  What stands out from the experience – the films, the cinemas, the atmosphere, the advertisements?
 Over the last 4 years, University College London has run a research project on 1960s cinema.  They collected memories from almost 1000 people of ‘going to the pictures’ half a century ago. Come to the Library on Saturday, September 30 at 7.15 and the team will tell us about the fascinating results of this project. We will also watch a film from the period and discuss our own memories of going to the cinema in the 1960s.
1960s filmnight

Saturday 23rd September 2017 -free screening of: THAT’S A WRAP! THE STORY OF WEMBLEY PARK STUDIOS

On Saturday 23rd September 2017

Join us at Preston Community Library for a special free screening of:



followed by a Q & A with the film’s director, James Smith,


The event is free, but please book a ticket on Eventbrite 


Presented by Ray Turner “The Story of Wembley Park Studios” tells the fascinating history from the 1920s onwards of the film and television studios located in Wembley Park, North West London. Recorded before the studio’s closure the film hears from celebrities and crew who were involved in the early days of film and television right through to modern day shows. Hear about shows including On The Buses, Ready, Steady, Go!, The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent which were all recorded at Wembley during it’s near-100 year history.

Wembley Park Studios film (1)

Friends of Preston Library QUIZ NIGHT Monday 14th Aug 2017 at The Preston

Come as a team or come on your own and join a team on the evening.

Everyone is welcome. There is also a raffle.
Donation: £5.00 (£3.00 concessions).
Doors: 7.30 for a 8.00 pm start.
Proceeds to the Library campaign.

The Preston, (opp. the Preston Library building)
161 Preston Road, Wembley, HA9 8NG.
Only food and drinks purchased from the bar may be
consumed on the premises.

August Quiz

Summer 2017 Event at Preston Community Library

We had a great summer event at Preston Community Library. There were yoga taster sessions, stalls, music from Leon Rosselson – and the Bake-Off competition produced a wonderful selection of delicious cakes. The winner of the PCL Bake-Off award was Brigitte, seen here with runners-up Frances and Jessica.

There are more photos on our Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/pg/Preston-Community-Library-Hub-142892935766252/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1386635011392032