Edinburgh Napier University

Author: julietkinsey (Page 1 of 7)

World Music Day 2022 🎵

World Music Day 2022: Fête de la Musique

Is there anything better than when your favourite song comes on? Whatever grey clouds are there, good music brings a little bit of sunshine. And that’s what World Music Day 2022 🎵 is all about.  An annual celebration that occurs every 21st of June, originating in France.

The first ever World Music Day took place in Paris in 1982, organised by the Minister of Culture for France. Its objective was to promote music by encouraging amateur and professional musicians to perform in the streets and organising free concerts to make more music accessible. Since it first began, over 130 countries have taken part in celebrations, as well as over 1000 cities worldwide.

Why not try out some World music events right here in Edinburgh this summer! Check out what’s on here.

Resources for World Music Day 2022 🎵

The library has a wide range of musical databases that celebrate musical talent which you can find at our LibGuides

Or search for the vast amount of music scores and CDs available through LibrarySearch 

And of course, our Spotify account!

SO why not spend this day wrapped up in music? Listen to all your favourite songs and dance like no one is watching!

By Maya Green

Find out more about what the Library has to offer over the summer here.

Photo by C D-X on Unsplash

Refugee Week 2022

Refugee Week : 20th-26th June 2022

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word refugee originates from two Latin words: “fugere” meaning to flee and “refugium” – a place to flee back to. But specifically, the word refugee was first noted in 1685. It referred to the 50,000 Huguenots, French Protestants who fled religious intolerance in their home country.

There are no identifiable Huguenots today, but that’s the point about refugees – as local, national and global circumstances change, so do the movement of people and the labels we attach to them. Wherever there is war, famine, natural disasters or a clampdown on human rights, there will be refugees.

So, there have been refugees since there have been established human communities around the world, but it wasn’t until 1951 that there was an international standard on how to treat them. The Refugee Convention defined a refugee as someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted.

A refugee’s journey can be long, dangerous and highly publicised, but in fact, most refugees don’t travel far. Most stay in neighbouring countries until it’s safe enough for them to return home. Those who travel the furthest often feel the most alienated and are often least welcome in their host countries.  With this in mind, Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival that celebrates the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.

Refugee Week 2022 this year

This year’s festival runs from 22th-26th June. Its theme is healing – a celebration of community, mutual care and the human ability to start again. It will promote a programme of arts, cultural, sports and educational events alongside media and creative campaigns.

Here at Edinburgh Napier University, we have an amazing project designing refugee housing by Lara Alshawawreh. Check it out here.

In addition, if you want to get involved, please see here: https://refugeeweek.org.uk/

For more local information, get in touch with

https://www.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk/

https://www.rst.org.uk

https://www.bikesforrefugees.scot

https://www.scottishactionforrefugees.org

In addition for information available in the library why not use librarysearch.napier.ac.uk

Need help using Librarysearch? Check out our article here.

By Lesley McRobb

Photo by Levi Meir Clancy on Unsplash

National Insect Week 2022

National Insect Week 2022

Love them or loathe them, insects are an important part of the earth’s ecosystem. Furthermore, they are a vital source of food for birds, fish and animals. In addition, they pollinate crops and plants and break down plant and animal matter. Over one million species of insects have been discovered and described, but it is estimated that there may be as many as 10 million species on earth. Scientists estimate that insects make up to 90% of all species of animals on the planet and more than half of all living things.

All insects have:

  1. Six legs.
  2. Three body sections (head, thorax and abdomen)
  3. Pair of antennae.
  4. Compound eyes.
  5. Most have wings.
  6. Three or four stage life cycle (egg, larva or nymphs, pupa and adult)

Insects can be found in every habitat on earth from hot deserts to snow-covered mountains, some such as termites and ants live in large colonies. Others, like the praying mantis and some bees and wasps, are solitary only coming together to mate.

Insects in trouble

It has been well documented in recent years that insects are under pressure due to loss of habitat, climate change and chemicals used in farming. It is estimated that every minute an area of rainforest the size of a football pitch is being cleared, displacing the insects that occupied it. In addition, Insects are also being killed by pesticides and herbicides designed to increase crop yields.

To reduce the impact scientists are trying to develop disease-resistant crops. This will lessen the need for harmful chemicals. Also farmers are being encouraged to develop wildlife strips to try to boost insect numbers.

Honey bees are also under threat from the varoa mite . It attaches to the body of the bee and sucks out fat bodies and also feeds on the larvae in bee hives. Moreover, these mites are a vector for at least five different debilitating bee viruses contributing to the current higher levels of bee losses worldwide.

How can you help this National Insect Week 2022?

You may think that there’s little you can do to help the insects’ plight, but there are some simple and cheap things you can try at home. Should you have a garden, you can leave a wild area where you don’t cut the grass, let weeds and nettles flourish and leave tree branches where they fall. This provides shelter and dedicated space for insects to thrive. Also, you can try planting flowers and shrubs which are good for insects in your flower beds or planters.

Don’t have a garden? You could plant up a window box with bee-friendly flowers such as cornflowers, cosmos and pot marigolds. These can be bought for a relatively small price.

Bug hotels are a fantastic way to provide shelter and a breeding spot for insects. They can be purchased at garden centres and online, but you may like to try making your own. There are several tutorials on YouTube and it’s a great way of recycling old materials and garden waste which you might have lying around.

Alternatively, you could take part in citizen science projects to help scientists better understand how insects are coping and if their populations are in decline or expanding.

Examples of citizen science projects are:

Counting insect splats- https://cdn.buglife.org.uk/2022/05/Bugs-Matter-2021-National-Report-Summary.pdf

Tell us about your bee hotel- https://saviourbees.co.uk/citizenscience/

Garden butterfly survey- https://gardenbutterflysurvey.org/

UK ladybird survey-https://www.coleoptera.org.uk/coccinellidae/home

A future food source?

In some countries, insects are seen as delicious snacks. Walk around a market in many parts of Asia and you will almost certainly come across fried grasshoppers and mealworms on the menu. This concept seems very alien to us in Scotland, but some scientists believe that there is a need for us to start using insects as a food source. The ever-increasing global population and events such as wars put pressure on food commodities. This can cause shortages, which if they were long-term, could mean that we must consider some more unusual sources to feed the world’s population.

Edinburgh Napier has lots of books and articles about insects available at Sighthill campus library and online. Use Library Search to find them.

By Vivienne Hamilton

Want to read some more nature-inspired articles? Why not read Vivienne’s post in Ospreys.

Photo by Elegance Nairobi on Unsplash

Our Library over Summer

Our Library over Summer

The exams may be over, but our campus libraries are still open and offering a full range of services. That means that you still have access to laptop loans, printing, study space, and group study rooms. Also, Click and Collect and Inter Library Loans services are still operational. During staffed hours you can still contact us or come to the helpdesk for assistance.

Although you have finished your studies for the summer the library may still have something to offer:

Merchiston library has a wide selection of novels, poetry and photography books.

Craiglockhart Library has French, German and Spanish textbooks if you are interested in learning another language.

Sighthill library has books about birds, animals and plants for nature lovers.

Use Librarysearch to check out what is available!

You can also still access our relaxation spaces to take some time out or have some quiet time.

Don’t forget our online services where you are able to access electronic books and journals throughout the summer break. Also, Box of Broadcasts has lots of summer themed programmes to enjoy:

Countryfile Summer Diaries

Secret Scotland

Roads Less Travelled

Britain’s Best Walks with Julia Bradbury

Iain Robertson Rambles

All Aboard! The Canal Trip

Nature’s Calendar (Summer)

Travel Man (48 hours in….)

The Great British Seaside Holiday-Timeshift

And when the weather permits, why not visit the extensive grounds around Craiglockhart campus where you can take a walk or relax and take in the fantastic views of Edinburgh.

We hope you decide to use the library this summer, but if you don’t have a great summer and we will see you again in September!

By Vivienne Hamilton

For more Summer Ideas why not read our Summer Escapes article here!

 

 

Bike Week 2022: On yer bike!

Bike Week 2022: On yer bike!

No disrespect to Giovanni Fontana. I’m sure he meant well, but that bike he designed way back in 1418 really wasn’t practical.  For a start, it had 4 wheels and its gears were connected by rope. Still, he was on to something, and a mere 400 years later German baron, Karl von Drais, invented what is regarded as the first modern bicycle – or the steerable running machine as he called it. So what if it didn’t have pedals and the rider had to push it along the ground with his feet? It was the big bang of cycling – the realisation that mechanized personal transportation was a thing, and that thing was here to stay.

Not long afterwards the first pedal-driven bicycle with rear wheel drive was invented by a Scotsman – yay! He was either Kirkpatrick MacMillan or Thomas McCall. It’s been disputed since the 1860s – and that’s when cycling really started to, erm, motor.

Today, of course, bike technology is so advanced that there is a type and model for every type of cyclist, whether you’re into racing, mountain-biking, recreational weekend tootling, getting to work or just nipping down to the shops. And of course, cycling is not just a convenient way to get around, it’s healthy and good for the environment too.

According to charity, Cycling UK, British cyclists notched up 5.03 billion miles in 2020, and the trend is going up by an average of 3 billion every year.  We’re still lagging well behind our European neighbours, though.  Out of 28 countries surveyed, the UK came 25th for cycling.  So let’s all get saddled up and bump up those statistics.

Bike Week 2022

This month the national Bike Week takes place from the 6th to the 12th. To see how you can get involved, see here:

Bike Week 2022 | Cycling UK

And for more local information, check out: Edinburgh Festival of Cycling | Cycling UK

We at Edinburgh Napier are keen to promote safe cycling in and around the city.  To see what resources are available and how we can encourage you to get on your bike, please see here:

Cycling (napier.ac.uk)

By Lesley McRobb

Exercise is a great way to practise self care and get fit. For more ideas why not check out some of the books here.

Celebrating Pride Month

Celebrating Pride Month

The start of June is upon us which means the start of Pride month. After all, June is the month of pride. Why June you may ask? Well…

The History of Pride 🏳‍🌈🌈🏳‍🌈

Celebrating Pride month in June is to commemorate the Stonewall riots that happened on the 28th of June 1969. New York Police raided the Stonewall inn which was a prominent gay club in Greenwich Village in the early hours of the morning. As police turned violent, and a build up of social discrimination and continuous police harassment grew, the raid became a riot and a protest. Led by Marsha P. Johnson, it lasted for 6 days. It saw large media coverage and spilt out to the streets of Greenwich.   This was the ‘catalyst for gay rights and activism in the United States and the world’ (Source)

Known as ‘Mother of Pride’, it was Brenda Howard who organised the first pride march to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Stonewall riots. This became America’s first ever Pride parade. It was not until the 1990s however that Pride Month became more popular (Source). Bill Clinton became the first President to acknowledge June as Pride Month.

Pride Month is not necessarily recognised internationally. However, it is increasingly becoming more recognised outside the United States.

Avoiding Tokenism 

Here at the Library, we love to celebrate Pride month, but we acknowledge that working towards equality is something that needs to happen all year round. We are working hard to promote and diversify our collections to be inclusive of all people, and to redress the imbalances we find in our collections to become more representative of everyone.

Library Resources

The Library has a wealth of books and articles on the subject. From the history of LGBTQ+ rights to current Legal information to keep you informed. Use LibrarySearch to find what you are looking for, or contact us for help with any of your research needs. 

Here are some items available through the Library to get you started: 

Same-sex, different politics: success and failure in the struggles over gay rights

Lgbt Activism and the Making of Europe A Rainbow Europe  

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people (LGBT) and the criminal justice system

University Support

If you are an LGBTQ+ student you can join Edinburgh Napier’s LGBTQ+ Society or find out more about the student LGBTQ+ community on the Queer Napier site. Staff can join the University’s thriving LGBTQ+ Network or visit our web pages to learn more about becoming an ally.

More Resources here on the Blog

Check out our Diversity Bookshelves to see some of the books we have available.

Or read more articles on Pride, LGBT+ History Month and Alan Turin.

By Maya Green

The Edward Clark Collection

Hidden treasures: The Edward Clark Collection

The Edward Clark Collection, housed in the library at the Merchiston campus, is not as well-known as it should be. It is one of the only two surviving examples of what was once a widespread phenomenon in Britain: printers’ libraries. The other survivor is St Brides Library in London.

The Edward Clark Collection consists of around 5,000 items illustrating the development of the book from the 15th century. More specifically, it concentrates on the development of typography, the techniques of printing illustrations, and fine bindings. The collection is located within the Campus Library at the University’s Merchiston Campus.

Printers’ Libraries

The first Edinburgh printers’ library was established in 1858. The technical and reference collections continued to be used up until the end of the 19th century, afterwich it is not clear what happened to them. Formal educational requirements for printing apprentices were established after World War I. The Clark Collection was put together as a teaching resource, mainly in the 1930s, to illustrate printing technologies, type design and book production from the 15th century to the present day. As well as the treasures highlighted on the Collection website it is a treasure trove for the historian of print.

Over the last 2 years, whenever access was possible, I have consulted type specimens, trade journals, company histories, technical manuals and books about print production and the design and making of books. These included James Watson’s History of Printing in Scotland (1713), Caleb Stower’s Printer’s Grammar (1808) and T.C. Hansard’s Typographia (1825), and looked again at a long-standing favourite of mine – John McCreery’s poem The Press, printed in Liverpool as a type specimen in 1802.

It is a privilege to work with this collection, and I am very grateful to all the library staff who have made this possible.

Dr Helen S Williams

Honorary Edward Clark Fellow

h.williams@napier.ac.uk

National Biscuit Day

Today is the day: National Biscuit Day

Since 2014, we have been honouring May 29th as National Biscuit day

Biscuits can be dated back as long as there were baked goods, dating all the way back to Ancient Egypt but perhaps they would have been seen as more dried breads. The sugar trade in the eighteenth century changed and by the nineteenth century, we were seeing McVities, Crawford and Carr began setting up (daysoftheyear.com)

In Britain, we consumed the most biscuits of any other country (ScotsmanFoodandDrink). In fact, Brits eat roughly 52 biscuits per second! Now that’s a lot of biscuits. And now we all want to know what biscuit reigns supreme, the to go, the absolute fave. Well, it’s of course the humble yet delicious chocolate digestive. A third of the British population rank chocolate digestives as their favourites (ScotsmanFoodandDrink). This is followed by the chocolate hobnob then the Jammie Dodger, fourth favourite is the custard crème and in finishing off the top five is shortbread. Do you agree with the top five biscuit list or disagree, what’s your favourite biscuit. And most controversial is a Jaffa Cake a biscuit or a cake? So many questions to ponder about this national biscuit, mull them over with your favourite biscuit.

Read more about biscuits through Librarysearch.napier.ac.uk

 

By Maya Green

 

Meet your Subject Librarian: Rob O’Brien

Photo of Rob O’Brien and Tess Dalton (the woof), Rob’s fellow monster movie fan at home.

Meet your Subject Librarian Rob O’Brien

Rob is the subject Librarian supporting the School of Applied Sciences and the Department for Learning and Teaching Enhancement.

“I joined the Library at Edinburgh Napier in March, having worked in a similar role at Leeds Beckett University for the last few years, and I’m enjoying settling into my new team and life in Scotland.

The best part of working in a university library for me is getting to meet such a diversity of students and staff and learning about their learning and research interests. Not many jobs give you an opportunity to learn and have new thoughts every day. Also, I still can’t believe my luck in having constant access to a university library with all its space and collections. When I was boy, growing up in a seaside town in Ireland, my local library was about the size of a corner shop and I wasn’t allowed to borrow from the “grown-ups collection” (no matter how many varieties of fake moustache/beard combinations I wore to the service desk).

When not working, I like to read (forgive the librarian cliché), play guitar (terribly), cycle (well, pretend cycling on an e-bike), play badminton (if anyone can recommend a club in Edinburgh who might have room for a surprisingly bad player that would be most appreciated), and hang out with my four-legged friend, Tess (the most fun by far).

I’m looking forward to meeting all my new colleagues outside a computer screen very soon and introducing myself to the confectionery counter at Sighthill Café (which I have heard good things about).”

By your Subject Librarian Rob O’Brien

Check out Rob’s fantastic Libguide here for resources

Meet Another of our New Subject Librarian’s Maria here.

 

 

Meditation Day 21st of May

World Meditation Day– 21st May

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”

These words, attributed to an unknown Zen master, are probably the most famous, and arguably the wisest, words ever uttered on the subject of meditation.

The paradox is, of course, that the more you have to do, and the less time you have to do it, the more important it is to stop whatever you’re doing and take time out. Meditation is one of the best, and certainly one of the healthiest, ways to do that.

It can be hard to describe exactly what meditation is or how it feels. I’ve been meditating nearly every day for more than a decade, and I still struggle to define it, but at its heart I believe it’s a way to quieten the mind, relax the body and turn down the volume on the chatterbox in my head that is continuously spouting nonsense.

Types of Meditation to try this world meditation day

There are as many types of meditation as there are practitioners. You may have tried some of them: mindfulness, visualisation, walking meditation, mantra meditation, OM chanting, Vipasanna, and loving-kindness are just some of the many ways to do it. I’ve tried several of those, but my regular daily practice is TM – transcendental meditation. Whatever form suits you, the main thing is to do it regularly. Like any other practice, establishing it as a habit is the key to its success.

The benefits of meditation are well-known. It improves sleep and concentration, relieves anxiety and stress (exams, anyone?), can reduce cravings and pain, helps you to feel calmer, makes you more productive and creative. Some people claim to experience a feeling of bliss when they meditate. I can’t claim that, but I have always felt better after my daily session, and I feel less at peace if I miss one.

We have several books that give greater insight into this most ancient of spiritual practices. Log into LibrarySearch to access them:

Learn to meditate: the art of tranquillity, self-awareness and insight – Edinburgh Napier University (exlibrisgroup.com)

Wherever you go, there you are – Edinburgh Napier University (exlibrisgroup.com)

Meditation for everybody – Edinburgh Napier University (exlibrisgroup.com)

Meditation Day 21st of May

This year, Saturday, May 21st marks World Meditation Day. Why not treat yourself to a session?  It’ll only take 20 minutes – or an hour if you’re really busy.

By Lesley McRobb

Read more on Mental Health awareness here and here 

and don’t forget to check out our virtual relaxation space.

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