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An Oyster full of Opportunities: National Career Development Month

An Oyster full of Opportunities: National Career Development Month


With the end of November coming, and with that, the end of National Career Development Month: an oyster full of opportunities. Today, we are going to reflect, looking at what Napier can do for you.

Background and Information…

Spanning from the 1st of November to the 30th of November, National Career Development Month returns  to promote the significance of career progression and planning. This is a month-long campaign by the National Career Development Association. All since 1967.  Introduced with the primary objective of encouraging an increase in comprehensive career services and assistance. And providing a platform for organisations, educational institutions and careers advisors to actively assist individuals with their career journeys through the provision of effective support, guidance and resources. To support whether seeking a career change, trying to reach professional goals and excel in their current role, or require assistance with progressing into a specific career pathway.

What is a career?

The simple and widely recognised definition of a career is the occupation and position of employment which an individual holds. And usually, one which involves specific training and specialised learning. It is also an over-arching definition for a lifetime of learning and progression in an individual’s ‘journey’. With personal development, extensive training and acquiring new skills along the way.

Our Student Futures Team…

Student Futures is our dedicated team of career professionals who can help with anything career. From CV writing to interview support. And more information about them and their resources can be found here.



Remember at some point in our childhoods being asked what we wanted to be when we grew up?  In relation to which career we wanted to pursue in the future.  And some people are still figuring out their career. If you find yourself relating to this, there is a vast range of support and resources out there.  Available on Library Search.

Thinking about Postgraduate study,  we have a blog post

by Rachel Downie

Photo source Javier Allegue Barros

A History of St Andrew’s Day

St Andrews Day 

Today is our patron saint’s day! St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. Although 30th November is not a national holiday, there will be various celebrations taking place in Scotland on and around that date, from ceilidhs to fun runs. 

The History of St. Andrew’s Day

St. Andrew is believed to have been born around 5AD and to have come from Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. He became a fisherman like his brother Peter, who later became Saint Peter. At first, he was a disciple of St. John the Baptist, but later was one of the 12 apostles of Christ. It is thought that he travelled extensively preaching in Scythia, and Thrace, and The Chronicle of Nestor adds that he preached along the Black Sea and the Dnieper River as far as Kyiv, then Novgorod in Russia. He became a patron saint of Ukraine, Romania, and Russia as well as Scotland following his death.

A 4th-century account reports Andrew’s death by crucifixion. He is said to have been crucified on an X-shaped cross, or saltire, at his own request as he felt he was not worthy of being crucified on the same type of cross as Christ. Patras (modern Patrai) in Greece claims the death took place there.

St. Jerome records that Andrew’s relics were taken from Patras to Constantinople (modern Istanbul) by the command of the Roman emperor Constantius II in 357 AD. From there, the body was taken to Amalfi, Italy (church of Sant ’Andrea), in 1208, and in the 15th century, the head was taken to Rome (St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City). In September 1964 Pope Paul VI returned Andrew’s head to Patrai as a gesture of goodwill toward the Christians of Greece. 

In Scotland, the town of St Andrews lies in Fife and legends prevail regarding the naming of the town. One claims that it is where Andrew came to build a church that pilgrims from all over Britain visited to pray. Another story claims that after Andrew’s death it harboured the relics of St. Andrew, which were brought here by a bishop, St. Rule, from Patras. 

How he became Patron Saint of Scotland

How Andrew became Scotland’s patron saint is also steeped in legend. A 16th-century text claims that Oengus II, king of the Picts from 820-834, vowed to make Andrew Scotland’s patron saint after Andrew appeared to him in a vision before a battle with the Angles. Oengus was told to watch for the sign of the cross of Christ in the air. Having seen a cloud formation in the shape of a saltire in the sky, his army went on to win the battle despite being heavily outnumbered, and the Picts agreed to venerate Andrew.

Scotland’s Flag

Scotland’s flag, known as the Saltire, is easily recognisable as a white cross on a blue background and the design could symbolize the clouds against the sky as seen in Oegus’s vision. This design has been in use for centuries and in 1385 the Parliament of Scotland decreed that every Scottish and French soldier (fighting against the English under Richard II) “shall have a sign before and behind, namely a white St. Andrew’s Cross”. Whatever the truth, Scotland has long been associated with St Andrew and will continue to remember him each November 30th.

By Vivienne Hamilton

Read more Posts by Vivienne such as: The Bridges of scotland

International Games Month is back

International Games Month is back!

It’s that time of year again when, between Halloween and the anticipation of Christmas, libraries all over the world celebrate International Games Month!

This initiative, which arrived in the UK from the other side of the Atlantic, more than ten years ago, has been celebrated among public, academic, health, school, and specialist libraries.

Today libraries are using games to engage, entertain and educate their users across sectors. So we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to promote games, play, libraries and learning altogether.

To do that, we have brought back some of the most popular initiatives to engage you. Furthermore, there is a chance to win some Amazon vouchers, whether you want to participate on a paper version or are a distance learner.

You’ll find links to all our activities (and Terms & Conditions for the games) here:

Win an Amazon voucher! 

As in previous years, we’re giving students multiple opportunities to win an Amazon voucher!

Play online, send your completed puzzle/quiz from your university email address to with the subject line ‘International Games Month’. Correct entries will be entered into the draw to win a voucher.

Complete the Logie the Lion Jigsaw  

Library Words Word Search 

Again, we encourage you to give a go to the 2023 edition of our Plot Keywords Quiz! Use the keywords provided to work out the title of the book which has been made into a film!  Click on the link to access the quiz sheet.

Paper copies of the Word Search and our Plot Keywords Quiz are available at each campus library if you prefer to hand in a paper copy.

Additional Games for you to play for fun! 

A great way to brain-train yourself and get a break after studying and focusing on assignments is to take your mind off the books and enjoy our additional games to play. You will find them with the rest of the resources.

Reading List

And finally, if you want to find more useful resources on the importance of gaming, video games and effective fun learning, please check our updated Reading List.


We’d love to have your feedback on our International Games Month events.  Complete the feedback form with short questions to help us out!

By Emi Pastor

National Tree Week

National Tree Week

This year National Tree Week . It runs from 25th November until 3rd December and marks the start of the tree planting season. It’s a chance for us to celebrate our trees and, if you can, volunteer to take part in tree-planting activities. These are organized by volunteer groups and conservation bodies. If you can’t manage to do this, you may be able to find a little Tree Time to connect with trees.

Trees are an important part of ecosystems across the planet and provide food, homes and shelter for many species and help stabilize eroding riverbanks. Also, as climate change is an issue of global concern, trees can help mitigate it. By storing carbon in tree tissue and sequestering atmospheric carbon from the key greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide releases oxygen.


Most of Scotland’s native tree and shrub species colonised the landscape after the last Ice Age (which ended roughly 9,000 years ago). Their seeds are dispersed by wind, water, and animals. Scotland’s native Caledonian pine forests used to cover the entire country. The landscape was dominated by ancient oaks and Scots pines, which have all but disappeared. Several events have contributed to the decline in tree numbers over millennia.

Over 4000 years ago the climate changed to become cooler and wetter. Trees were then unable to grow on higher ground. Around the same time, woodlands began to be cleared for agriculture. This has continued for centuries with even more being cleared to accommodate housing and infrastructure such as electricity pylons.

Early in the 20th century many trees were lost as part of the World War 1 war effort. Following the war and with the passing of the Forestry Act in September 1919, the Forestry Commission was founded to restore the nation’s woods and forests. The Commission bought large amounts of agricultural land on behalf of the state, eventually becoming the largest manager of land in Britain. At the time large pine plantations were established, but as time passed it became apparent that these densely planted, single-species plantations were not providing the range of tree species required to provide diverse wildlife habitats. The emphasis is now on a much wider range of species such as broadleaved and open ground specialist species.

In recent years Scotland has been battered by some severe winter storms. In particular Storm Arwen in November 2021. It is estimated about 16 million trees in Scotland were affected. Damage and loss were particularly significant in the north east and south of the country.

Furthermore, diseases such as Dutch Elm disease have wiped out many of Scotland’s trees.

The Future

Following devolution the Scottish government became responsible for forestry and set up Scottish Forestry  with its own strategies and long-term plans. The website has lots of information about our native woodlands and much more!

Here in Scotland many volunteers, conservation groups and private estates are re-planting trees. So as to try to increase tree coverage and biodiversity through the benefits trees provide. Project Laxford is taking place on the Reay Forest Estate in Sutherland. One of the aims of the project is to boost North Atlantic salmon numbers in the River Laxford. Estate workers had noticed a massive decline in numbers and one of the measures suggested by scientists was to re-generate tree coverage which had been lost along riverbanks. Salmon are sensitive to rises in water temperature which may be caused by climate change. It is hoped that tree leaves will provide shade to help the salmon, invertebrates will fall into the river from the trees. This increases food stock and dead trees and branches which fall into the river will provide a habitat for spawning and feeding. In all, one million trees are to be planted across the estate to enhance biodiversity and improve the habitat of the river and surrounding landscape.

Famous trees

Sycamore Gap Tree

It’s not often that a tree makes headline news, but the recent felling of the Sycamore Gap tree at Hadrian’s Wall did just that. Estimated to be around 150 years old the tree has been featured in TV and film productions (Robin Hood- Prince of Thieves and Vera). It was a popular photographic subject and had won England Tree of the Year in 2016. Investigations into the unauthorised felling are ongoing and there has been much anger and sadness following the event. Many people had come to the tree for special events such as milestone birthdays, marriage proposals, and to scatter loved ones’ ashes. It held great sentimental value to them. The tree has now been removed with police investigations carrying on.

The Glen Affric Elm-The Last Ent of Affric

This solitary tree is the only one of its kind in Glen Affric. Sometimes called the Last Ent after the tree creatures in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. It is thought that the tree’s remoteness has prevented it from being affected by the spread of Dutch Elm disease which has wiped out many of Scotland’s elms. It’s not known how old the tree is, but it is thought to be the last remnant of an ancient forest and was a worthy winner of Scotland’s tree of the year 2019.

The Fortingall Yew

Thought to be around 5,000 years old this ancient yew stands in the grounds of the churchyard of Fortingall in Perthshire and draws in many tourists to the area. Yew trees are either male or female and the Fortingall Yew is male. The trunk is showing signs of damage which may have been caused by ancient rights being performed around it. It was used in funerals until the 20th century when there was a practice of passing the dead body beneath its arching branches. This passing of the body beneath the arch was a way of guiding the righteous spirit into the Christian afterlife. The yew tree, although poisonous, is also associated with life and resurrection, probably because the branches can take root and regrow as trunks, like a resurrection. The pagan festival of Beltane, held on May 1 used the grounds around the Fortingall Yew as a setting for fertility bonfires. If couples wished to conceive a child, they would leap over the flames of the bonfires hand-in-hand. If they did so successfully, the legend said they would have a child. The fires took their toll on the tree causing considerable damage over the years. Further damage was caused by people taking cuttings from branches for luck. Walls were constructed to try to protect the yew, but in recent years it seems that it is suffering from stress as a branch appears to have become female after sprouting red berries in the autumn of 2015.

This demonstrates how we can have an adverse effect on our trees and makes the work being done by conservationists and volunteers even more important.

Find out more

You can find books and articles about trees and conservation using Library Search.

By Vivienne Hamilton

Image Source: Photo by Arnaud Mesureur on Unsplash

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse

November 18, 2023

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse

Who’d have thought the creation of a character with small stature and a plucky attitude would go on to become a household name and a global sensation symbolising hope, optimism, courage, resilience, positivity in the face of adversity, friendship and connection, creativity, imagination, perseverance, and leadership. The list of his attributes is endless.

The History of Mickey Mouse

Created by Walt Disney and Uniwerks at Walt Disney Studios, Micky Mouse made his debut appearance on November 18th, 1928, in the black and white feature film Steamboat Willie. It was the first animation synchronized to music and sound effects and premiered in New York.  Mickey’s first appearance and his unique characteristics and behaviour caught the audience’s imagination and connected him deeply in the hearts and minds of the American people during the great Depression.

The idea for Mickey Mouse came when Walt Disney lost creative control over his earlier creation, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, whilst working for Universal Studios. Similarities between the two characters can be seen in the early days.

Mickey Mouse Fandom

However, through the ages Mickey went on to become the most recognizable and loved mascots of Disney Characters and appeared on a range of merchandise, comic strips and inspiring the theme park, Disney Land. In fact, People became so absorbed in the character that they began to ask more in-depth questions, to understand what made Mickey Mouse who he was, and to understand his appeal to so many people from around the world. Questions included:

  • What’s Mickey’s middle name?
  • What’s Mickey’s favourite food?
  • What were his first words he spoke?
  • Is Minnie Mouse his girlfriend?
  • Is Mickey Mouse married?

Do you know the answer to any of those questions?

Legacy of Mickey Mouse

Did you also know he was the first cartoon character to speak, and the first cartoon character to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Back during the time of single-cell animation, Mickey Mouse cartoons could take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to complete and a seven-and-a-half-minute animation could include more than 10,000 drawings.

In 1935 the film Bad Concert saw Mickey’s transition into the world of technicolour. In 1993, Mickey Mouse’s toon town opened in Disneyland. And in 2024 Mickey appeared in his CGI form, in Mickey’s Twice upon a Christmas.

It’s true to say that Mickey Mouse means a lot to many different people. And his character has been analysed for its mass appeal and its symbolism. With so much information out there for you to peruse through and an incredible legacy of his own, all that remains to be said is……

Happy 95th birthday, Mickey Mouse

Why not head on over to Box of Broadcast and see the documentary about Walt Disney.

by Mo Almas

From one pop culture to another, read about Barbie

Photo source by Brian McGowan

International Student Day 2023

International Student Day 2023

International Student Day is celebrated on the 17th of November. A day to celebrate our diverse student community. Student life can be difficult to navigate for anyone, but international students face challenges. We want to raise awareness and offer support.

Origins of International Student Day

This is a day of commemoration. On this day in 1939, Nazis stormed the University of Prague. The students who stood up and resisted were rounded up and arrested,9 student leaders were killed and more than 1200 students were sent to concentration camps. In 1941, the Council of International Students in London chose this day to celebrate international students. (

It has now become a ‘’nonpolitical celebration of the multiculturalism of their international students’’ (Wikipedia). Therefore, it has become an occasion to ‘celebrate all students, especially those who have gone to great lengths to attain further education’ (daysoftheyear).

International Students and Edinburgh Napier University

We’ve welcomed students from more than 180 countries.

If you are looking to move to Edinburgh and study at Napier University, you can find out more information here on how we can support you as an international student.  And we have more information on starting the processing. And if you are already studying here, you can find out the support Napier offers.

International Students and the Library

For any student, libraries can be daunting. We’ve created a little guide filled with information on using our libraries. You can find on the library webpages. This covers both using the library online or in-person. And remember, if you need any help, library staff are here to help, you can email ( or call (0131 455 3500) or visit the help desk.

We have a training and events calendar that highlights useful sessions, and you can always for a personalised library tour.

And you can read more on library information on the blog.

Book Week Scotland 2023

Book Week Scotland 2023

Book Week Scotland

Book Week Scotland 2023 is here.

An annual celebration of books and reading, organised by the Scottish Book Trust to promote the joy of reading throughout Scotland. Between 13-19 November, a packed programme of in-person and online events and activities will take place in venues across the country. See the Scottish Book Trust website for more information about events taking place near you.

Every year, the Scottish Book Trust invite people from all over Scotland to write about their experiences and share their true stories as part of the Scotland’s Stories project. The theme for 2023 was Adventure. As part of Book Week Scotland, a collection of these stories has been published in a book which will be freely distributed in venues throughout Scotland. You can also read all the stories submitted on the Scottish Book Trust website.

Book Week Scotland at Edinburgh Napier

Edinburgh Napier University are pleased to be able to offer copies of Scotland’s Stories to students and staff. Pick up your copy in one of the campus libraries or student residences between 13-19 November before they’re all gone!

You can follow Book Week Scotland using all these social media platforms:




Don’t forget, you can browse the thousands of books and journal articles. All available to students and staff at Edinburgh Napier University by using LibrarySearch

Or you can read about their past themes on our blog 

Craiglockhart’s War Poets and the Legacy of Remembrance

Hertiage collections blog

Craiglockhart’s War Poets and the Legacy of Remembrance

The War Poets were a group of writers who emerged during and after World War I, capturing the horrors and emotional turmoil of the battlefield in their poetry. This group, which included iconic figures like Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, and Rupert Brooke, played a pivotal role in reshaping the public’s perception of war and its consequences. Craiglockhart War Hospital, (now home to The Business School), served as a crucial sanctuary for many of these poets, offering them a place to heal both physically and mentally, and ultimately influencing the way Remembrance Day is observed.

The poetry of the War Poets is characterized by its poignant and often bleak portrayal of war. These poets, who had experienced the horrors of trench warfare firsthand, sought to convey the grim reality of battle. Wilfred Owen, for example, wrote “Dulce et Decorum Est,” a searing condemnation of the glorification of war. In this powerful poem, he dispels the notion that it is sweet and proper to die for one’s country, instead revealing the agonizing truth of a gas attack on the front lines.

Craiglockhart’s War Poets

Siegfried Sassoon, another prominent War Poet, criticized the war and its leaders in his poetry. His poem “The General” is a scathing indictment of the military leadership responsible for the needless sacrifice of young soldiers. These poets gave voice to the trauma and disillusionment experienced by countless soldiers and conveyed it to the world through their verses.

Craiglockhart War Hospital became a refuge for Officers suffering from “shell shock,” now recognized as a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many experiencing psychological trauma, including Owen and Sassoon, found themselves at Craiglockhart for treatment and convalescence. The hospital provided a supportive environment where they could share their experiences, reflect on the brutality of war, and use writing as a form of therapy. The camaraderie and shared suffering among the patients at Craiglockhart fostered a creative atmosphere that encouraged them to express their anguish through poetry.

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day, originally known as Armistice Day, was established to commemorate the end of World War I and honour the soldiers who had fallen in battle. However, it wasn’t until the work of the War Poets that the day took on a deeper meaning. The poets’ verses, with their unflinching portrayal of the war’s toll, influenced the way people viewed the sacrifices made by soldiers. Their poetry moved Remembrance Day beyond a mere commemoration of the armistice to a day of reflection on the human cost of war.

The most famous War Poem, “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae, contains the iconic lines: “In Flanders fields the poppies blow / Between the crosses, row on row.” The image of poppies growing amidst the graves of fallen soldiers became a symbol of Remembrance Day. This poem, along with the works of Owen, Sassoon, and others, helped create a more profound and empathetic understanding of the impact of war on soldiers and society.

Today, Remembrance Day is a time to not only remember the fallen but also to reflect on the experiences of those who served in times of conflict. The War Poets and the atmosphere of healing and creativity at Craiglockhart War Hospital played a crucial role in reshaping this commemorative day, making it a solemn occasion that acknowledges the emotional and psychological scars carried by veterans.

The War Poets, Craiglockhart War Hospital, and Remembrance Day are intrinsically linked through their shared influence on how we perceive and honour the legacy of war. The poignant poetry of the War Poets, the healing environment of Craiglockhart, and the solemnity of Remembrance Day have collectively deepened our understanding of the human cost of conflict, ensuring that the sacrifices of soldiers are never forgotten.

By Ian Sudlow McKay

Read more about the Hertiage Collections

And you can read about previous posts about the WarPoets

Movember: Supporting Men’s Health

Movember: Supporting Men’s Health

Calling all our Mo Bros! It’s that time of year again. We want you to embrace your facial hair and grow a moustache for a month. Movember is the global phenomenon that has put men’s health firmly on the agenda and hair firmly on their faces.


It’s a movement that started 20 years ago in Australia when two mates met up for a beer and joked about reviving the out-of-fashion moustache. Why not combine their challenge with raising money for charity, they asked themselves. And why not make it a men’s health charity? After all, men are notoriously reticent in talking about their health – mental or physical.

The movement was born, and since then campaigns across the world have been fund-raised for prostate and testicular cancer research and treatment, poor mental health and physical inactivity. Perhaps more importantly, it has created a fundamental shift in the way we talk about men’s health and asks the questions that were previously unuttered. Why, for example, do Black men have twice the risk of prostate cancer diagnosis than other men? Why are first responders (emergency service workers and military veterans) at increased risk of poor mental health and suicide? Why do men find it more difficult than women to make social connections and how have the COVID-19 lockdowns affected that?

Get Involved this Movember in Supporting Men’s Health

There are all sorts of ways you can support Movember. You can grow a moustache, of course, but you can also host a mo-ment – an event that raises awareness. You can fundraise at work or among classmates and friends. Or maybe you’d like to buy some Mo merch.

However you do it, we’re sure you’ll mo your own way.

See here for details on this year’s happenings:

Movember – Changing the face of men’s health – Movember

By Lesley McRobb

Image Source: Photo by Alan Hardman on Unsplash

Read more articles on Mental Health such as World Mental Health Day.

Bonfire Night and The Gunpowder Plot

Bonfire Night and The Gunpowder Plot

According to market research Company Mintel, in 2018 UK consumers spent £316m celebrating the event variously called, `Bonfire Night’, ‘Fireworks Night’ or `Guy Fawkes Night’. The majority of that money literally went up in smoke, having been spent on fireworks and bonfires. Fireworks displays were recorded as the most popular way of marking the night, with up to 38% of the population attending some form of event. 

The Gunpowder Plot

This peculiarly British annual entertainment can be traced directly to the aftermath of a 17th Century religious and political event. The Gunpowder Plot was a failed conspiracy by a group of English Catholics. Led by Robert Catesby, they planned to blow up the Protestant King James, and his government, at the State Opening of Parliament on November 6th 1605. (Catesby had been involved in a previously failed rebellion against Queen Elizabeth from which he extricated himself only at the cost in today’s money of £6 million.) 

This was to be the prelude to a revolt that would replace James with a Catholic head of state. Ending the persecution suffered by many Catholics following the split with the Roman Church over half a century previously. 

Guy Fawkes

Though we now principally associate the name of Guy Fawkes with the plot, he was a minor player in the conspiracy. He was, however, literally left holding ‘the baby’ or in this case 36 barrels of gunpowder when, following an anonymous tip-off, the authorities searched the cellars of the Palace of Westminster and discovered the explosive cache. 

This ‘search’ continues today before every State Opening of Parliament, albeit ceremonially, with the searchers, the Yeoman of the Guard, being rewarded with a glass of port.  

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