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Edinburgh Napier University

The Wilderness Library: Libraries of The World Edamalakudi

How far would you travel to borrow a library book? Into town on the bus? One Edinburgh Napier campus to the other? How about trekking 18 kilometers through a forest in which you may or may not stumble across the occasional wild elephant? I’ll be honest – I probably wouldn’t bother. The patrons of the library in the remote Idukki district of Kerala in southern India, however, are prepared to do just that.

The library in Edamalakudi doubles as a teashop, which no doubt comes as a huge relief to the patrons who have climbed uphill through an impenetrable forest to pick up their paperbacks. Kerala is India’s most literate state, and the residents here – while poor and marginalised – are ardent readers. When it was first established in 2010, the library stocked precisely 160 books – all Indian classics – but over the years word of the library’s success has spread, and it has ambitions to collect a thousand more books. The library’s borrowing rate is high. We wish it a thousand books and a thousand more.

Read more about the Library here

Read our Post Libraries Around the World 🌏 for more fascinating information on different world libraries.

By Lesley McRobb

Welcome back to campus

Picture of Library staff

Welcome back to our returning students. We hope you enjoyed your summer and are ready for the new academic year. You will find there are still some covid-19 precautionary measures in place in the library and here is a short guide to let you know what has changed and what has stayed the same:

The Library opening hours can be viewed here.

Hand sanitisers are still at library entrances, and sanitizing stations are still positioned throughout libraries.

We are still operating social distancing measures, so some study spaces are unavailable. Where spaces are not in use you will see a cross on the desk and the chair will be covered up.

Group study rooms must be booked using Resource Booker, but individual spaces do not need to be booked.

Our Click and collect service continues, and you can still request books from your home campus.

Books and Lapsafe laptops which have been on loan over the summer will be due back by 1st October. After that, books will have a loan period of up to 4 months providing they are not requested by another user. Lapsafe laptops will be 14-day loans.

From 14th September you will be able to make requests for items that are out on loan.

Soft furnishings have been returned to the libraries allowing social spaces and relaxation spaces to be opened up.

The SCONUL access scheme is set to re-start in November.

If you have any questions, you can contact the library at any time.

By Vivienne Hamilton

War Poets Collection: Remembering Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon

September is the time when we celebrate the acclaimed war poet Siegfried Sassoon.

Siegfried Sassoon was born 8th September 1886, and died in 1967, on September 1st. Sassoon was a talented poet, writer and soldier. He received the Military Cross for bravery during the First World War.

He wrote fervent pieces that spoke of compassion for his fellow soldiers, and his anger towards those he believed could have ended the war sooner but instead prolonged it.

Sassoon continued to write for the rest of his life, publishing many important works such as Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man and Memoirs of an Infantry Officer.

 

Sassoon was sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital (Now our Craiglockhart campus) during World War One. Here he met Wilfred Owen during his convalescence, and together they produced some of the finest war poetry ever written.

Craiglockhart War Hospital (old Hydropathic Hotel) photographs of Staff and patients

Craiglockhart War Hospital

You can visit our permanent exhibition area containing more than 600 unique items. It allows visitors to get an insight into war through the experiences of the poets. Access to the War Poets Collection remains limited due to social distancing, so if you would like to visit please contact us first.

The War Poets collection at Craiglockhart campus

Not only do we have many items in our permanent exhibit, but we also have a treasure trove of exciting new material. It has been loaned to Edinburgh Napier’s War Poets Collection for the period covering the Centenary of the First World War Armistice on November 11th. The new exhibits, which will be available for public viewing, include original photographs of celebrated war poet Siegfried Sassoon, work privately printed by him and an original of his famous war protest letter of July 1917. Read more about it here.

If you would like to read some of his works, here are some sources:

 

For Library Members

Siegfried Sassoon: poet’s pilgrimage

Siegfried Sassoon : (1886-1967)

Dr W. H. R. Rivers: Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves ‘fathering friend’

You can check out Librarysearch.napier.ac.uk for access to many more wonderful University materials

Online

10 Siegfried Sassoon Poems Everyone Should Read

The Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship

 

Thank you for reading.

 

Sources

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/sassoon_siegfried.shtml

https://siegfriedsfellowship.wixsite.com/siegfriedsassoon

War Poets Collection

 

 

 

Starting University in September?

It can be both an exciting and a daunting time in your life… starting university! Perhaps you are moving to a new city or accommodation and feeling a whirlwind of different emotions.

University offers you a specific area of study to help pursue your career goals as well as everyday life independence and networking.

Here are some tips below to plan your next steps:

· Talk to friends, family, and colleagues about any concerns or tips for starting university.

· Pack essentials: kitchen accessories and utensils, food, laundry basket, bedding, stationery, laptop, and any other technological devices.

 

Utensils and Food

Utensils and Food

· Start a group on Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to get to know your flat or course mates! There is also a freshers page on Instagram you can join for 2021 you can keep up to date with https://www.instagram.com/napierfreshers/?hl=en

· You may also want to think about joining a society and finding people who have the same interests as you: https://www.napierstudents.com/

· Discount!? UNiDAYS and Student Beans offer discount on food, clothing and more. You can find this via the links: https://www.myunidays.com/GB/en-GB https://www.studentbeans.com/uk

 

Remember you have got this and you can always contact Napier for support too! https://www.napier.ac.uk/about-us/contact-us

You can find more help on starting at university in the link below: https://www.napier.ac.uk/study-with-us/undergraduate/getting-started-at-uni

 

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Welcome to the Library: Introduction Sessions

Welcome to the Online Library

welcome sign outside library

This session will give you a quick introduction to using Edinburgh Napier University Library resources online.

We’ll demonstrate how to:

  • Find ebooks using LibrarySearch.
  • Find ejournal articles using LibrarySearch, and where to find specialist academic databases
  • Download the correct citation and permalink for items so that you can reference them in your University work.
  • Use LibrarySearch to organise your reading and search faster.

Welcome to the Library: Introduction Sessions

Welcome to the Physical Library

This session introduces the Campus Libraries and signposts to further support.

person holding booksWe’ll demonstrate how to:

  • Use the App to book study spaces, check your library account, add print credit and more.
  • Use the machines in libraries, like our printer/scanners, self-service checkouts and laptop loan safes.
  • Find a book on the shelf using the shelfmark number.

Introducing a new database: IBISWorld

IBISWorld

Are you a student or member of staff looking for UK Industry Market Research data? Well the good news is that the Library now subscribes to the research industry database IBISWorld.  Covering a wide range of topics from accommodation and food service activities, to construction and transportation, it’s sure to have what you’re looking for!

The database has an easy-to-use and intuitive layout.  Each industry report has the same menu options; covering a variety of topics, including industry at a glance, industry performance, operating conditions and key statistics. In addition, you can create your own presentations with access to easily downloadable formats including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and PDF.  Whats more there are also new interactive charts allowing you to manipulate the data to work for you!

Interested? Access the database from the link on Keith Walker’s Business School Subject Guide or go to LibrarySearch  and navigate to it from the Databases link.

As a starting point I’d suggest going to your profile in the top right-hand corner of the screen.  You’ll find FAQs, useful tutorials and a short video to help you make the most of IBISWorld.

Right, I’m off to find information on the chocolate and biscuit production in the UK!

By Cathryn Buckham

 

The First Modern Olympics

Despite Covid, Tokyo hosts the delayed summer Olympics of 2020 this month representing the ultimate challenge to the world’s top athletes.  Organisers estimate some 11,000 athletes, from 205 countries will compete in 330 events in 28 sports in front of TV audiences numbering billions. Today’s intense interest, however, contrasts markedly with the more haphazard nature of the very first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896.   

 

Reproduction of the cover of the 1896 Olympics Official Report (Olympic Studies Centre)

Reproduction of the cover of the 1896 Olympics Official Report (Olympic Studies Centre) 

 

Then, 300 competitors, all men and mostly local, took part in 43 events in athletics, cycling, swimming, wrestling, weightlifting, fencing, gymnastics, shooting and lawn tennis. 

These sports, with the exception of shooting and tennis, would have been broadly familiar to any ancient Greek. However, some of the events, one armed weightlifting for example, appear slightly odd to us today. 

The indifference shown by the established sporting authorities to what they all then regarded as a passing fad meant that the non-Greek competitors tended to be sportsmen of the amateur and gentlemanly kind rather than necessarily the world’s best. 

Take the tennis, for example, a sport pretty unfamiliar in Greece at the time. The singles was won by an Irish undergraduate, named John Boland. Boland was spending the Easter holidays in Athens with a friend and had no intention of competing. However his friend, one of the local organisers, persuaded him to enter the tournament at the last minute. A recreational player, with little experience of competition, Boland ended up winning all his matches. 

He then repeated the feat in the doubles forming a scratch partnership with German player, Fritz Traun. Their success no doubt helped assuage Traun’s disappointment at having previously lost both in the singles and also in the 100 metres sprint.   

Unlike future winners of Olympic tennis, Boland did not enjoy a stellar career in the game. In fact there is no record of him ever winning anything again. He did, however, go on to serve as an MP for 18years. 

Carl Schuhmann was the most successful athlete at the games, winning both the individual vault and contributing to the Germans’ success in both team gymnastic events.  

 Bizarrely, Schuhmann then fought his way to the final of the wrestling where he faced local man, Georgios Tsitas. The contest turned into a two-day affair. Darkness forced an end to proceedings on the first day with Schuhmann winning his 4th medal on resumption the next morning.  

 

Carl Schuhmann and Georgios Tsitas at the 1896 Wrestling final (ac-wuestenrot.de)

Carl Schuhmann and Georgios Tsitas at the 1896 Wrestling final (ac-wuestenrot.de) 

 

To huge national acclaim the marathon, which actually started in Marathon, was won by an Athenian mineral water salesman Spyridon Louis. Hailed as a national hero, his colourful later life included serving jail time for falsifying papers. 

Rather than spending millions on purpose built stadia, as is the norm today, the Greeks used what they had available. The swimming events took place in the sea off Piraeus, 2 out of the 3 open events being won by a Hungarian Alfred Hajos. Entry to a fourth event was peculiarly restricted to members of the Greek Navy.  The Panathenaic Stadium hosted 4 sports, and the formal ceremonial. It was a refurbished facility excavated out of solid marble on the site of a stadium that hosted the ancient games dating back to 144CE.  The track, a narrow horseshoe shape, caused some runners problems when cornering. It’s still possible to channel one’s inner Olympian today and run round that same track provided you pay the stadium tour entrance fee of 5 euros. 

 

The Panathenaic Stadium Athens (Greeka.com)

The Panathenaic Stadium Athens (Greeka.com) 

 

Oddly no Gold medals where awarded. Gold, silver and bronze medals didn’t appear until St Louis in 1904. The first winners each received a silver medal and a laurel branch, runners up a copper medal. There was nothing for coming 3rd.  

Retrospectively, however, the IOC upgraded gold, silver and bronze to the top 3 in all the Athens events. 

From this fairly modest start and despite the initial lack of international enthusiasm the Games developed into the multi-million dollar extravaganza we are now enjoying. 

 

By John Baillie

Lions’ Gate comes to Craiglockhart and Sighthill Campuses!

Many of you will have visited the Lions’ Gate garden at Merchiston campus  (you get a good view of it from the Library’s Relaxation Space!). Well the good news is that Callum Egan, the garden co-ordinator (working with ENSA, the Business School and the Development Office), has secured funding from the Scottish Government’s Community Climate Asset Fund to develop areas at Craiglockhart and Sighthill campuses. 

Raised beds, a water harvesting kit, top soil and compost have already been purchased, along with plants with culinary and medicinal benefits.  The fund has also been used to buy apple and plum trees.  The team working on this would like to create a micro-forest at Sighthill, and at Craiglockhart there’ll be a small orchard and a thinking walk around the grounds.   

Interested? Read more about it in the Lions’ Gate blog 

https://blogs.napier.ac.uk/thelionsgate/university-community-an-orchard-and-a-micro-forest/ 

The good news is that the Craiglockhart orchard has now been created.  I was lucky enough to be part of a group of 15 helping out with the planting of 2 plum and 10 apple trees. Take a look next time you’re on campus. It’s directly opposite the chapel entrance.  Before and after photos below. 

 

Orchard, Chapel Lion's Gate Garden

Orchard, Chapel Lion’s Gate Garden

Plants Lions' Gate Garden

Plants Lions’ Gate Garden

 

On a library-related note!  Check out the Garden Collection of books held at Merchiston Library.  Merchiston campus too far away?  Request items via LibrarySearch. 

 

By Cathryn Buckham

Summer escapes

                                                                                             Eilean Donan Castle

Now that it’s summer we are longing to get out and about a bit more to see what the UK has to offer, but the cost of staycations has rocketed and many of our home attractions seem as out-of-reach as foreign parts. If you feel you need an escape from the city and your studies, you could try a virtual escape using Box of Broadcasts, our online off-air service. BoB is your passport to the best of the British countryside, seaside, lochs and mountains:

Scotland – Grand Tours of Scotland; Grand Tours of the Scottish Lochs; The Skye Trail

North of England – Britain’s Most Beautiful Landscapes (The Lake District); The Yorkshire Dales with Paul Rose; Robson Green: Walking Coast to Coast

UK walks – Britain’s Best walks with Julia Bradbury

Rivers and Canals – The Thames with Tony Robinson; The River: A Year in the Life of the Tay; The River Wye with Will Mallard; Great Canal Journeys

Railways – Great British Railway Journeys; Walking Britain’s Lost Railways

Find them all here: BoB

By Vivienne Hamilton

 

 

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