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Edinburgh Napier University

ENU Alumni Network

ENU Alumni Network

You might be graduating. Exams may be over; dissertations may be handed in and studies completed. But that doesn’t mean your time with Edinburgh Napier is over. Join the ENU Alumni network today.

ENU Alumni Network

165,000 members

183 countries

1 ENU Alumni Network

What is ENU Alumni Network

The alumni community has members across the world. There is no sign-up required as alumni are automatically enrolled on graduation day. The Alumni Team is responsible for helping these graduates stay in touch with each other and the University and organising opportunities that will help them advance in their careers.

Benefits of Joining Alumni Network:

There are opportunities to get involved with the alumni community all over the world. This network can help you take your career to the next level, breathe new life into your business, help you reminisce about University life and more.

Events programme

The Alumni Team runs a robust international events programme. Activities include business networking events, programme celebration reunions and alumni receptions.

Career opportunities

Alumni retain access to Student Futures’ careers support for two years after graduation. Entrepreneurial graduates have lifelong access to Bright Red Triangle, the University’s enterprise hub. The Alumni Team also organises other initiatives that will support graduates throughout their careers, such as digital networking groups.

Study Opportunities:

Looking to do a postgraduate degree at Edinburgh Napier, as an alumni member, you can receive a 20% discount on tuition fees for the first of your full-time course (Terms and conditions apply). Library access is free when applying 12 months after graduation. After this, it is 50% off library membership meaning for £20, you can have full access to library books and spaces. Please note you won’t have access to e-resources.

Keeping in touch

The above are just a couple of examples of how the Alumni Team supports the Edinburgh Napier alumni community, however, there are many other opportunities and benefits available to graduates. It’s important that alumni to keep their contact information up to date and follow the alumni’s social media channels so the Alumni Team to share information with them.

Learn more about the ENU Alumni Network: https://www.napier.ac.uk/alumni

Or contact the Alumni Team on: alumni@napier.ac.uk

Alumni can join networking groups to meet fellow alumni, share ideas or ask for advice. By keeping in touch with the University after graduation, you will also receive invitations to networking events, reunion get-togethers, further study opportunities and hear about upcoming activities that will help you in your future career.

Keep in touch and stay connected.

And remember the library blog for all updates.

 

Coeliac Disease Awareness Month 2024

Coeliac Disease Awareness Month 2024

Coeliac disease is recognised as a serious autoimmune condition affecting 1 in 100 people throughout the UK. But it may be the case that approximately 7 out of 10 people are undiagnosed. This could mean a staggering half a million people are suffering from symptoms with the cause being unknown. Throughout the entire month of May this year, the charity Coeliac UK aims to find these individuals and assist them with managing these symptoms whilst raising awareness of the condition itself.

Symptoms and Signs…

The NHS website lists a range of both gut-related and more general symptoms. One of the most common symptoms is diarrhoea, which results from the small bowel (intestines) struggling to fully absorb nutrients (malabsorption). Some other gut-related symptoms also include bloating, recurring pain in the abdomen, constipation, being sick and indigestion. If left untreated, the coeliac disease will not allow the body to digest food properly which can lead to more general symptoms such as sudden weight loss and fatigue (extreme tiredness).

Other more general symptoms can also include:

  • Dermatitis herpetiformis, which is deemed to be an autoimmune reaction to gluten does not always evolve from coeliac disease primarily but can be a symptom of the condition, nonetheless. It is an itchy and often painful rash which causes blisters to emerge on any area of the body.
  • Fertility issues and difficulties getting pregnant.
  • Numbness and a tingling feeling in the hands and feet (also known as peripheral neuropathy).
  • Ataxia, which is an issue with coordination and balance.

Triggers for coeliac disease…

Gluten is recognised as a huge trigger for symptoms of coeliac disease. Gluten itself is a structural protein which is found in certain grains such as wheat, rye and barley, and is what gives bread and baked products a soft and chewy texture. One of the substances which makes up gluten, named gliadin, is what triggers an abnormal immune system response in individuals with coeliac disease as the immune system will misinterpret the substance as a danger to the body. As a result, antibodies emerge which lead to inflammation of the surface of the intestines. This disrupts the villi (known as tube-shaped growths) around the surface area of the gut and makes it more difficult for them to aid with digestion.

It remains unknown why many people end up with coeliac disease, and why some people experience more severe symptoms than others as well.

A gluten-free diet…

Coeliac disease is mainly managed and treated by avoiding foods which contain gluten. It is recommended by the NHS that those following a gluten-free diet should not eat the following foods unless it is stated on the labelling that the specific food item is a gluten-free version.
• Pasta
• Gravies
• Cereals
• Cakes and pastries.
• Biscuits and cookies
• Crackers
• Pizza and pies
• Bread

• Sauces including soy sauce and some pasta sauces

Living with Coeliac Disease…

There is no doubt that living with coeliac disease and managing symptoms can be very challenging. There is a wide range of support available for those diagnosed with coeliac disease or who suspect they may have the condition. This includes:

  • Make an appointment with a dietician who can help with putting together a step-by-step plan for cutting out gluten from your diet and adopting a gluten-free lifestyle.
  • Joining the Gluten-Free Food Service. More information is available on the NHS Inform website through the following link: Gluten-free Food Service.
  • Information and support sites, charities, and organisations such as Coeliac UK. More information is available on Coeliac UK’s website about local support groups.
  • The Gluten Free Scanner App.
Some gluten-free brands…
  • LazyDay: Specialises in a range of gluten-free, milk-free, egg-free and vegan cakes and confectionery. Some of their products are in  Sainsburys, Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons and Ocado.
  • Garofolo: A brand which offers a range of gluten-free pasta options. Available through Amazon and in Ocado.
  • Bread brands such as Schar and Dillon. These are available to order online and are available in some selected stores.
  • GO-FREE Cereals which are available in supermarkets such as Sainsburys, Morrisons, Tesco, Asda, Ocado and the Co-op.

For more information:

Check out some of the library books and ebooks. Links  below:

Read about colour blindness day 

Photo by Wesual Click 

By Rachel Downie

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week

When was the last time you went for a walk, run or swim? Danced to your favourite song? Flew a kite? Strolled through the park and stopped to smell the flowers? We suggest that now is a good time: the sun is shining*, the city’s gardens are in full bloom, and you’d be amazed at how much of a tonic even a tiny bit of physical activity can be.

It’s with this fact in mind that the Mental Health Foundation has chosen “movement” as their theme for this year’s mental health awareness week, 13-19 May.

You don’t have to run a marathon or bag a Munro. We’re not even suggesting a couch-to-5K.  A gentle walk around the block, a spot of gardening or even a few stretching exercises can be enough to make you feel better. It releases those “feel good” hormones, gets your circulation going, stretches the muscles, aids your digestion and improves your sleep. All these factors play into mental well-being.

Mental Health Foundation | Everyone deserves good mental health

And if today you find that you’re not feeling so great, and even the idea of getting out of the house is too much, know that you’re not alone. Health in Mind is a local organisation that is there for you. Give them a call:

Health in Mind | Homepage (health-in-mind.org.uk)

And remember that we are here for you too!

Wellbeing Support and Inclusion (napier.ac.uk)

We’d love to see you in our libraries. Drop into our relaxation zones and check out our well-being resources.

Relaxation Spaces (napier.ac.uk)

Online Relaxation Space

Home – Wellbeing Collection – LibGuides at Edinburgh Napier University

*true at the time of writing, but this is Scotland so we can’t guarantee it’s true today.

By Lesley McRobb

Time to bring back library items

Time to bring back library items

Reached the end of your course, well it’s time to bring back library items.

You’ve reached the end of your course, you’ve passed all your exams and so on Graduation!

It’s that time of year when we say Love Your Library, please clear your library record before you leave!  Unsure whether your record is clear? Sign in to LibrarySearch and select Library Card, you’ll find any loans and fines detailed here.

It’s very easy to return items, just scan them through our self-service kiosks and pop them into the returns box.  Lapsafe Laptops can be returned to the Lapsafe and if you have a long term-loan laptop please return it to a Library Help Desk during staffed opening hours.   If you’ve fines to clear these can be paid through LibrarySearch or appealed if there’s been extenuating circumstances.  You can also post books back to us if that’s easier for you.  Here are our contact details if you need to get in touch library@napier.ac.uk or 0131 455 3500.  Don’t forget we’re also open as normal over the Summer!

Anyway, we’d just like to say we’re sorry to see you go and would like to wish you all the very best with your future career or studies!

Remember Alumni membership includes a free year of library access, you can find more on myNapier 

A little refresher with a previous post

 

By Cathryn Buckham

Library: Eresources and Accessibility

Library: Eresources and Accessibility

Library: Eresources and Accessibility.

We have a wide range of online resources at the library, ranging from ebooks, journals, databases, and subject guides. In fact, we have over 330,000 ebooks and over 220 online databases. More and more libraries and their resources are entering the digital sphere. With that, these resources must be accessible. And Edinburgh Napier University Library is committed to making sure that our online resources are accessible.

We are working with a range of tools and features for accessibility.

The tools and features available may depend on which platform the eresource is available on. By platform, we mean the website which hosts the resource. Sometimes we have the same resource available from multiple platforms, but often it will only be available from one platform.

In this article, we will be looking at the tools and features that make our eresources more accessible.

Accessibility Tool: Read Aloud

Read aloud tools (also known as text-to-speech) can be used to read out loud text on a webpage and PDF. How to use:

  • In Microsoft Edge, use the built-in Read Aloud tool. Look for the icon at the top of the page with a capital A and sound waves, or use the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + U to start. You can adjust the speed of the speech and also choose from different voices and accents.
  • In Google Chrome, try the ‘Read Aloud’ extension which can be added from the Chrome Web Store. You can adjust the pitch and speed of the speech.

These tools sometimes work less well if platforms have embedded ereaders. In these cases, try to download a PDF if available.

If you can download a PDF, try these options:

  • Use Microsoft Edge to open the PDF and use the Read Aloud tool.
  • Use Adobe Reader to open the PDF and use the Read Out Loud option under the View menu.
  • Use ClaroPDF to open the PDF and read aloud (part of the ClaroReadPlus package which can be accessed from AppsAnywhere).

Other tools

In ProQuest Ebook Central, you will need to switch on a text-only mode which will allow you to use read-aloud tools. To enable this, go to Settings in the top menu bar, then choose Profile, and select ‘Enable Text Only Mode’.

A few platforms have their own Read Aloud tools, such as VLeBooks and Gale. Look for the ‘Listen’ or ‘Read Aloud’ buttons if you are on one of these platforms.

Changing the colours, font and text size:

With most of our eresource platforms, you can use browser extensions to change various visual features of the webpage, including the text colour, colour background/overlay, font and text size.

We recommend the Helperbird extension (available for Chrome, Edge, Safari and Firefox).

You can change the colour of the text, links, and background, and apply a colour overlay. There are 30 different colour options to choose from, and the brightness of the colour overlay is also customisable.

You can choose from 25 font options, and six text size options, as well as customising word spacing, letter spacing, and line height.

After you have chosen your customisation options, the changes will be applied on any webpage you visit, as long as you have the Helperbird extension still switched on.

Helperbird also includes various other tools and customisation options which may be helpful. More information can be found at Helperbird tutorials.

There are some platforms which don’t work with extensions like Helperbird, usually because there is an embedded ereader rather than a plain text webpage. VleBooks and JSTOR are two examples. VLeBooks does have their own feature in Read Online mode which offers some colour customisation – look for the paint palette icon or the cog icon appearing in the top bar of the ereader.

If downloading a PDF is possible, you can open the PDF in Adobe Reader and navigate to Edit > Preferences. In the Accessibility settings for Document Colours, you can change both the background colour and the text colour, choosing from a wide range of colour options.

Keyboard Navigation

All of our major eresource platforms can be navigated using a keyboard only.

In a few cases, such as with VLeBooks, additional shortcuts may be needed to navigate to all areas of the screen, and these shortcuts are listed on the platform’s accessibility page.

Further Information:

You can find more information about browser extensions and other tools at Technology to help you study.

You may also refer to the web accessibility statements for all our third party products to find more information about specific platforms.

Need more support? You can contact the Library or the Disability & Inclusion team.

We have Ergonomic Equipment available at the Library Help Desks for loan.

Read our previous blog articles.

Star Wars Day

May the Fourth be with you! Star Wars Day

May the fourth is commonly known around the world by Star Wars fans as Star Wars Day. This is because May the 4th sounds a bit like “May the fourth”. Part of a very famous quote from the film “May the force be with you”.

The History of Star Wars

The Star Wars film franchise is probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest in the world. Created by the founder, former chairman and CEO of Lucasfilm, George Lucas. The first film came out way back in 1977. It was widely expected to be a flop and in fact, Lucas made a bet with Steven Spielberg that ended up costing him £40 Million! He traded a percentage of the takings that turned out to be the best bet Spielberg ever made. Here’s Spielberg talking about it

“[He  said] All right, I’ll tell you what. I’ll trade some points with you. You want to trade some points? I’ll give you 2.5% of Star Wars if you give me 2.5% of Close Encounters.’ So I said, ‘Sure, I’ll gamble with that. Great.’”

The film and its franchise have gone on to become one of the most beloved cult classics of our time. It still continues to grow and expand. The biggest spin-off so far is The Mandalorian and its scene-stealing star”Baby Yoda” aka Grougru.

Fun fact, did you know The Last Jedi was called “Space Bears” during its filming?

Why not have a quick Google search will have you lost for hours in all the amazing facts associated with this movieverse.

Star Wars Day

Events are held all over the world every year to celebrate this beloved Universe. From large get-togethers to home-based movie marathons. Why not host your own celebration this year? Get on some costumes and maybe try out some Star Wars recipes.

Library Resources

Want to watch the films right now? We can help! If you are an Edinburgh Napier University student or staff member then log into Box of Broadcasts (BoB) and you will be able to watch many of the films for free.

Also, check out librarysearch.napier.ac.uk for loads of fascinating items relating to Star Wars! We have a wealth of books, scores and articles.

All that’s left to say is “May the Force/fourth be with you!”

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/star-wars-movie-log-support-r2d2-2172948/

Read more form our blog on Geeky fun with our post on the History of Lego

Exams and Wellbeing

Exams and Wellbeing

The first day of exams is today. We will be looking at the important dynamic between exams and wellbeing.

Study Skills

To ensure success in exams, it is important to develop good study skills. These include organisation, time management, prioritising, and self-discipline.

Set aside time for studying. Create a revision timetable where you can have specific blocks of time to focus on particular topics. Set goals for what you want to achieve during each study session. Prioritising your studies will ensure that you get the most out of each session.

Do not make your study sessions too long. It is better to study for short periods. For example, three one-hour sessions with breaks in between will be more productive than one long three-hour study session.

Use flashcards to remember key information, phrases or concepts on a subject and use these to test your knowledge. This helps you to not only retain the information but to be able to retrieve it quickly.

Regular revision will help you build and retain knowledge. It will also help to keep you focused and avoid panicking.

Relax/Take a break

Exams can be stressful, so it is important to look after yourself. Healthy eating, drinking water and sleeping well are essential to support your learning and memory as well as helping to keep you focused and motivated.

Having regular breaks can help to ease the pressure so be sure to make time to relax and do something you enjoy.

Reward yourself for your progress by doing some kind of activity e.g., walking, running, swimming, cycling, etc. Of course, it does not need to be a form of exercise – just any kind of activity that allows your brain to relax. Meet friends, watch TV or a movie, read, do something creative – anything that allows your brain time to process what you have been studying while doing something you enjoy. You will then be better prepared for your next study session by being more focused and maintaining motivation.

Don’t Stress!

Please do not panic or become overly stressed about your exams. A small amount of stress can be good for us but not when we are overwhelmed by it.

There are several services available to support you if you feel you need help.

Find out more about our support services here: Counselling & Mental Wellbeing

Also, you can check out our Wellbeing Collection for additional resources which offer further support.

Remember – always be kind to yourself.

Good luck!

by Sharon McMichael

Read our previous posts about exams 

World Copyright Day 2024

World Copyright Day

Today, 23rd of April, is a big day in the world of words. Massive. Not only is it Shakespeare’s birthday (460 years young and still going strong), but three world-famous writers all died on this day in the same year: Shakespeare again (rotten luck, Will!), Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes (he of Don Quixote fame), and Peruvian historian and chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. Phew. That’s a lot going on right there.

So, it’s no wonder that UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) chose this day to be recognised as World Copyright Day.

What is copyright?

Copyright is a way of protecting the integrity of a work of creation, be it a poem, a textbook, a film, a novel, a piece of music, a painting. Even blogs, websites and podcasts are covered by copyright, which legally defines the owner of the work (of course ownership can and does change). In this case, what you own is called intellectual property. And this is important because it protects the owner from theft, rip-off, or misappropriation of their work, and ensures that they are properly paid for the work they produce.

What does this mean for you? Well, in essence it means that you are responsible for knowing how much of another person’s material you can use in your studies. This covers, for example, how much you photocopy or scan, who or what you film, whose images you use, and how much you quote from books and articles. You need to know how much you can use, how to credit it, and what purposes it can be used for.

Now, we know that you’d never intentionally misuse someone else’s work, but we have plenty of resources in the library to keep you on the right side of copyright law. The best place to start is with our copyright LibGuides: Copyright – staying legal – Copyright guidance – LibGuides at Edinburgh Napier University

As the birthday boy himself said: “No legacy is so rich as honesty.” (All’s Well that Ends Well, Act 3, Scene 5)

by Lesley McRobb

Read about our open-access research 

Stress Awareness Month 2024: Distress and how to De-Stress

Stress Awareness Month 2024: Distress and How to De-stress

It is Stress Awareness Month, learn about distress and how to destress. First emerged in April 1992 in response to a heightening crisis where chronic and severe stress was spreading on a societal scale. Established to encourage open conversations and discussions about how stress can affect us individually. As well as a collective society as well as helping to reduce the stigma surrounding stress.

Stress and its Causes: Internal and External Factors…

As exam and deadline season commences, stress levels will be at an all-time high amongst our student and staff community. Coursework, exams, and looming deadlines may be the main source of stress for much of our student community. However, for some, there may be other external stressors and factors such as family, relationships, work, and financial problems. Some relevant examples could also include ongoing conflict, job loss, unemployment, and much more.

Stress can also be caused by internal factors such as feelings of uncertainty, failure, and low self-esteem. Or dealing with chronic health issues and illness. Internal and external stressors often go hand in hand. And sometimes, the nature of the stressor may be even more unique or complex as well.

An acute level of stress can serve both a useful and essential evolutionary purpose in some circumstances. Experiencing high levels of stress for a long period can have a negative and sometimes even severe impact on an individual’s physical, emotional, and psychological health and well-being.

Recognising Symptoms and Signs of Stress…

Physically, stress can significantly deplete your immunity levels if you experience profound levels of it over a long-term period. This can make you more vulnerable to catching frequent colds, flu, and viruses. Also making you more susceptible to skin complaints, indigestion, high blood pressure and heart problems. Emotionally, stress can also leave you feeling more irritable, anxious, frustrated, and cynical. Cognitive issues such as indecision, forgetfulness and inattention can also arise. Individuals experiencing profound and severe levels of stress may also develop unhealthy behavioural habits such as sleeping too much or too little, becoming isolated and withdrawn, procrastination and an increased intake of alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine. These often emerge as coping mechanisms for individuals looking to curb or distract themselves from the stress they are experiencing, but these habits often only end up exacerbating and worsening their stress and circumstances.

The #LittleByLittle Campaign…

The Stress Management Society reported this year that 79% of adults experience stress at least once within a month and that annually 74% have felt unable to cope with the stress they are experiencing or extremely overwhelmed. This year, they have launched the #LittleByLittle campaign which promotes the significance of making small and feasible changes within our daily routines and lives to effectively reduce the negative effects of stress. Stress often primarily emerges from feelings of powerlessness over one’s circumstances. Developing healthy and effective, manageable habits and making small positive changes may not completely erase the stress an individual is experiencing, but it can help them to feel more in control and develop a stronger sense of resilience and optimism in difficult times.

Some of the small habits the Stress Management Society recommend adapting to combat stress as part of their #LittleByLittle campaign are…

  • Connecting with others.
  • Making sleep a priority.
  • Movement and exercise.
  • Spending time outdoors and in nature.
  • Breathing techniques.
  • Practicing mindfulness.

It may not always seem feasible to incorporate these small actions into your daily routine, especially if your schedule is particularly hectic. Around exam and deadline season, this is likely the case as well! Nevertheless, it is worthwhile thinking about where you could slot in at least a few of these small but effective habits. For example, if it is a particularly sunny day, you could take a walk to your university campus or place of work instead of driving or using public transport. This effectively helps to incorporate some exercise and movement into your day as well. If this is not a feasible or realistic option, however, why not take the time to study out in the fresh air and sunshine when the opportunity arises, or even take your lunch break outside?

Destress at the library

The importance of eating for wellbeing, staying connected with others and taking regular breaks also cannot be over-emphasised as well. All three of our campus libraries have a wide range of facilities and resources available to aid with stress and well-being and support students in developing these effective habits, particularly during exam season. We currently have physical Exam Support Displays set up in each campus library with books displayed from both our research collection and wellbeing collection, as well as links and QR codes directing individuals to our useful webpages for study skills, exam support and our Libguide page. Each display also has bowls of free fruit available – do come along and help yourself!

You can also find more of the resources we have available in our wellbeing collection on our Libguide webpage through the following link: Wellbeing Collection – LibGuides at Edinburgh Napier University.

Alongside our wellbeing book stands, we also have relaxation spaces with couches, board games and pages for colouring. An opportunity to take some time away from their revision to relax and recharge.

Some of the books we have available to take out on loan or as an ebook from our Wellbeing Collection which promote and aid with developing effective habits to combat stress can be found below.

By Rachel Downie

Read about our article on beating exam stress.

Exams and Study

Exams and Study

We know we’ve been here before, echoing exams are upcoming. But it’s that time of year. And we can’t stress enough that the library is here to help and we have a wide range of resources for support.

We are running a book display at each campus library highlighting the support and help available. Here you will find books on study skills, exam guidance and how to take time out for yourself to unwind. As well as directions to online guides to subjects and wellbeing collections.

The displays will be there for the entire exam period, for you to have a chance to look at.

We also have everything online, if you don’t have time or the chance to make it to the library.

Exams and Study Skills

Feel free to browse the books on display and please note that all books are loanable. You can borrow them.  We have created a reading list for exam support, here you will find more books to manage exams. Some are physical items and some are online. Additionally, this reading list includes books on study skills and mindfulness during the exam period.

Our online tools for study skills include our training and event calendar which will direct you to sessions from Academic Skills advisors and subject librarians. There is a wide range of what it is offered and remember, you can also book 1.1 appointments.

Our subject guides cover all courses. These are designed by the subject librarians. Here you can find useful and more relevant resources for your course like databases.  There are also guides to Google Scholar and referencing and much more.

Wellbeing and Relaxation:

The exam period can be stressful. So it is important not to get burnt out.  Our displays feature books on mindfulness and well-being. At each library,  there is a well-being collection which is dedicated to navigating life at university. And a relaxation area where you take time to unwind with some jigsaws or light reading. If you can’t make it into the library, the wellbeing collection is available online and we have a virtual relaxation space on the blog.

Keep your eyes out for an upcoming article on the Wellbeing Collection. A deeper dive into what the Wellbeing Collections offers.

Good luck with your exams.

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