Edinburgh Napier University

Month: October 2023 (Page 2 of 2)

National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day 5th October 2023

Today is National Poetry Day, a celebration that has been marked on the first Thursday of October since its inception in 1994. William Sieghart is a publisher whose stated aim is to help people “drop their fear of the p-word” . To that end, Sieghart founded this celebration of excellence in poetry, and since that first day,  NPD has reached an audience of more than 500 million people.

The celebration is not yet 30 years old, but poetry itself is as old as humanity. It may, in fact, be our oldest form of artistic expression; it certainly predates literacy. The word poetry comes from the ancient Greek poieo meaning “I create”, and humans have been creating down the centuries, using poetry to articulate every emotion as well as to record oral histories, and important events, to entertain and to offer prayer.

There are dozens of different types of poetry, from haiku to limerick, ode to epic.  But maybe you prefer one of the more modern free-verse forms. Maybe you’ve even had a go a writing a few of them yourself.  If you’d like to test your poetry skills on a wider audience, why not check out the various competitions currently open for submission. Find out more here:

National Poetry Library Competitions

The theme of this year’s National Poetry Day is Refuge.  Read more about the theme here:

About National Poetry Day – National Poetry Day

Library Resources for National Poetry Day

Of course, we have a huge range of poetry resources that you can access via LibrarySearch.

LibrarySearch Library Catalogue 

We have books on how to read it, how to write it, how the greats do it, and why it matters. We also have access to the Poetry Archive which houses recordings of poets reading their own work out loud. It features the works of contemporary poets alongside historic records of Seamus Heaney, W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot and many others.  Of course, we may be biased, but we believe that one of the best poems within the archive, is Library Ology, written and presented by Benjamin Zephaniah. You can listen to it here:

Library Ology – Poetry Archive

Or how about checking out Poets on Screen, a library of 879 video clips of poets reading their own and other poets’ work. We may be biased, but we love this tender and moving poem – The Keepsake – written and read here by Fleur Adcock (spoiler alert – it features witty librarian jargon).

The Keepsake Read by Fleur Adcock – Literature Online – ProQuest

Learn more about the power of reading in our post on International Literacy Day.

By Lesley McRobb


Image source: Unsplash Álvaro Serrano

Libraries Week 2023

Libraries Week 2023

Libraries Week is an annual celebration held to promote the best that libraries have to offer. This year, Libraries Week becomes Green Libraries Week!

From the 2nd to the 8th of October, libraries across the UK will celebrate the work they do related to climate change and sustainability. 

Find out what’s happening in libraries throughout the UK during Green Libraries Week 2023 by following @librariesweek  

Libraries Week 2023 Resources

You can search for library resources on all sustainability and climate change topics using LibrarySearch 

If you find a book is at another campus library, you can always request it through our Click and Collect service. 

Lions Gate Garden

Lions gate Garden

Adjacent to the Library at Merchiston campus is the Lion’s Gate Garden. You can see the garden from the relaxation area in the Library.  

The Lion’s Gate Garden is an interdisciplinary, permaculture learning and demonstration site. Functioning as a garden, outdoor sustainability laboratory, allotment, venue, performance, re-wilding, and relaxation space. Furthermore, It is designed to protect and enhance the biodiversity of Edinburgh Napier University campuses as per the University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy 

Find out more about the Lion’s Gate and the other green initiatives across the other campuses including the orchard at Craiglockhart and how you can become involved on the Lion’s Gate Blog. 

By Sarah Jeffcott

Read more on nature with these posts:

Wild Animals of Scotland

International Day of Zero Waste


Library and Study Skills

Library and Study Skills

Hello. Trimester 1 is on its way and things are settling. Assignments might already be creeping up. We know, too soon. But, today, we are looking at how the library can help in the upcoming weeks with essays, assignments, presentations and all.  Look at how the library can help with your study skills and highlight all the tools available online and at the library spaces.

Subject Librarians

Each school has a subject librarian, someone specialising in that subject material. Someone who can help you navigate databases, the library catalogue and even the dreaded referencing. You can find out who your subject librarian is on the library web pages. Additionally, they have crafted specialised libguides or subject guides covering all the relevant information you need and can read more about what they offer in a previous blog post. To top it all off, there is the training and events calendar highlighting workshops that will ‘help you get started with the skills you need for success at University’.

Resources for Study Skills

We have a study and research tab on our library web pages. We have a section on study skills which covers how to evaluate information, essay writing tips and tricks and even grammar guides. You will also find a wide selection of study skill books available on Library Search. There are even more specialised sections for Postgraduate and International Students.

Academic Skills

Out with the library, we have fantastic Academic Skills advisors who ‘help students get used to the different ways you may be expected to study, think and write at University’. You can find out more on the MyNapier web pages where you can attend workshops or book one-on-one sessions.


Please remember if you ever feel stuck, the library is here to help. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Good luck with your studies.

Photo sources Andrew Neel

Saving the Red Squirrel

Saving the Red Squirrel

Across the planet conservationists battle to save species from extinction due to habitat loss and invasive species. It’s no different here in Scotland with a successful breeding programme for our Scottish wildcats. And the successful re-introduction of the white-tailed sea eagle. The red squirrel is a native species which is under threat. And has sadly seen numbers decline due to different factors.  With reddish brown fur and tufted ears they are instantly recognisable. They were once found across the UK, but have disappeared from most of the country due to the introduction of grey squirrels and habitat loss. Now red squirrels are confined to Scotland, pockets of northern England and Wales and small islands off England’s south coast.

Causes of decline

This autumn if you see squirrels scurrying around in parks and gardens in Edinburgh looking for food to store. They are most likely grey squirrels which are not native to Scotland. Introduced to the UK from North America in Victorian times, the grey squirrel is larger than the red and can drive reds out of their habitat in a matter of years. In recent times they have also carried squirrelpox, which although harmless to themselves is fatal to reds which have no natural immunity.

Reds have also suffered decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation. Red squirrels need woodland to survive and can be found in coniferous, broadleaved and mixed woodland. When areas of forest are cut back to leave isolated pockets this leaves areas which are too small to support a thriving population. Squirrels rely on trees for food with their diet mainly made up of seeds and nuts. Pine seeds are a particular favourite, but they will also take hazelnuts, and the seeds of larch and spruce. Reds also use the trees for mating and raising their young.

To try to gain a widespread survey of the squirrel population, 2nd-8th October sees the Great Scottish Squirrel Survey which aims to collect data to improve understanding of how squirrel populations are changing over time and help direct conservation action.

Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels is an excellent website promoting awareness of the red squirrel and offering suggestions for activities such as Red Squirrel Rambles and puzzles, a map of sightings and news updates.

What can be done?

Campaign groups can put pressure on governments to reject planning applications for development in sensitive areas. They can also raise awareness through promotions such as The Great Scottish Squirrel Survey

Local landowners can seize the initiative and come to together to form their own projects such as Cairngorms Connect which aims to restore habitats and protect endangered wildlife.

You can put food out to encourage red squirrels if you live in an area with a population, and take part in citizen science projects such as The Great Scottish Squirrel Survey

If you would like to see red squirrels, but there aren’t any in your area you could try visiting RSPB reserve Loch Garten and Scottish Wildlife Trust Loch of the Lowes.     They both have red squirrel feeders so you are able to view the squirrels up close.

I was lucky enough to see a red squirrel in the woodlands at Scone Palace Gardens which has free entry in the winter months.

You can use Library Search to find books, e-books and articles on squirrels, conservation and ecology.

Read more Nature posts

Photo source Peasre O’Halloran

By Vivenne Hamilton


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