Edinburgh Napier University

Author: julietkinsey (Page 3 of 10)

Jane Austen Day

Jane Austen Day  

Picture, if you will, a walnut tripod table by a window in a country house. It’s tiny, with twelve sides and a moulded edge. Imagine a small figure writing at this table in secret, on small scraps of paper, alive to the sounds of footsteps carrying visitors into the room. Notice as this person swiftly hides those scraps away from prying eyes. The image you now have in your mind is that of Jane Austen, perhaps the best-loved author in the English-speaking world. Imagine a world without those scraps and their transformation into the six sparkling novels that she completed. How impoverished that world would be.

Jane Austen: A life

Jane wrote in secret because she was a young, unmarried woman in the late 18th century, and it was considered unseemly for ladies to indulge in anything as vulgar as writing fiction.

Luckily for us, she privately pursued her literary passions throughout her tragically short life, and the novels she bequeathed us – all published within a six-year time frame – have been in print ever since. The many television and cinematic adaptations of her work attest to the fact that literary audiences today are as hungry for her work as they were 200 years ago.

Jane Austen lived a quiet, unspectacular and financially constrained life in southern England. She rarely travelled and never married, and yet her keen and witty observations of societal norms and her brilliant insights into human relationships sing out from every page of her works. Her novels were instantly popular, but she was only identified as their author a few months after she died.

Today we celebrate Jane’s birthday, and she lives on through her characters who are as fresh and modern today as they were when she wrote them into existence: Elizabeth Bennett, the Dashwoods, Fanny Price, Emma Woodhouse, Catherine Morland, and Anne Elliot.  Oh, and the dashing Mr Darcy (be still, my beating heart!)

Resources for Jane Austen Day

You’ll find all her novels and TV adaptations on LibrarySearch.  Why not binge-read them over the holidays.

Edinburgh Napier University Login Service

In order of publication:

Sense and Sensibility (1811)

Pride and Prejudice (1813)

Mansfield Park (1814)

Emma (1815)

Persuasion (1817)

Northanger Abbey (1817)

For more information:

The Jane Austen Society UK

By Lesley McRobb

Spanish Christmas Traditions

A Spanish-style Traditional Christmas 

Christmas in Spain is not so very different from Christmas elsewhere, but there are one or two traditions that may sound slightly exotic to Scottish ears, and I’ll set them out here.

First of all, our festive period is longer, running from the 22nd of December until the 7th of January. We celebrate the end of Christmas with presents brought from faraway lands by the Three Wise Men (traditionally marked by the Epiphany). This, of course, makes the youngest members of the family very merry, but it pleases the grownups too. Traditionally Santa Claus has never been recognised in Spain, but nowadays that is changing, and like the reyes mago” (3 wise men), he now sometimes brings presents too.

The Spanish Lottery

A more recent, and much more secular tradition, is El Gordo, the Spanish Christmas Lottery. This, too, is celebrated on the 22nd of December. It’s the most popular draw of the year in Spain and is considered the biggest worldwide since it was first celebrated in 1812. Winning El Gordo’s jackpot is one of the best Spanish Christmas presents you could hope for.

As in many other parts of the world, Christmas trees, fancy city lights, and splashes of red, green, and white decorations make their appearance during the festive period. However, something quite particular we have is the Portal de Belén: tiny models of Bethlehem representing the Nativity, with many accompanying structures such as the desert, town, angels, shepherds and farm animals.

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Movember: Supporting Men’s Health

Movember: Supporting Men’s Health

Are you growing a horseshoe, or a handlebar?  A walrus, or a chopper? Or maybe you’ve decided to devise your own style and reconfigure your facial hair to your own specifications?

I’m asking you men, of course – the men of Edinburgh Napier who are doing their bit for men’s mental and physical health services by growing a moustache for the month of November. Whatever style you go for, we’re delighted that you’re supporting the various projects across mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer. By signing up and getting sponsored, you’ll not only fundraise but, perhaps more importantly, you’ll be visible, and your visibility will start a conversation. Sometimes men are reluctant to discuss intimate health concerns, but talking is a vital starting point for both physical and mental well-being.

History

The Movember movement started in Australia, a country with a reputation – warranted or not – for a macho culture that discourages discussions of male health. It’s all the more to their credit that two “Mo Bros” turned that on its head in 2003. In that year they raised no money, but since then the movement has gone worldwide and raised millions for men’s health projects.

Get Involved this Movember in Supporting Men’s Health

If you want to be involved in the movement, or support it quietly in your own way, you can find out how to do that here. https://uk.movember.com

Many UK projects are being supported by Movember this year. Everything from farming and rural community support to digital skills improvement. And there are prizes to be won. To be in with a chance of winning, why not start your own Big Moustache on Campus challenge. To find out what that’s all about, see here:

https://uk.movember.com/mospace/network/moustacheoncampus

And don’t forget to pop into any of our campus libraries to show off your whiskers. We’d love to salute your chevron!

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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Daylight Savings: The clocks are going back

How time flies! It’s Daylight savings once again. It hardly seems any time since we were reminding you to put your clocks forward for British Summer Time and now it is time to put them back again. We had a better summer than usual with lots of warm, sunny weather and we hope you enjoyed it.

Clocks go back by one hour at 2am on 31st October and that means shorter days and longer nights. This could be the perfect time to take up a new interest such as baking, knitting or yoga and you will find lots of useful tutorials on YouTube. You can also find a good variety of programmes to watch on the Box of Broadcasts database which can be accessed through Library Search.

You may want to join Edinburgh libraries to borrow or download books and catch up on some of the great ones available and the link to the main webpage is here.

Although it’s colder and darker there is still plenty to do such as winter walks and with covid restrictions eased there are lots of museums and galleries to visit and theatres are open for performances too. For more ideas read our article Edinburgh in the Autumn.

By Vivienne Hamilton

Image Source: Photo by Malvestida on Unsplash

 

Come visit our Library and see…

Come visit the libraries and see…

 

What delights lie behind the cover of an unopened book?

What adventures could you embark upon, and what new things you will learn, by simply turning the pages one by one?

Who’ll be hiding there amongst the pages, friend or foe you’ve never seen or met before, or someone that seems a little familiar to you, someone you know?

What places will your imagination create and visit? what other delights

and challenges will you overcome and experience?

OR will you just delve into something academic?

To learn and expand your understanding & knowledge of your subject area?

But this can be done in so many ways, by firing your imagination and taking the plunge outside of your comfort zone.

Working together in a group study area or having a quiet conversation, exchanging ideas whilst searching the web to cross-reference.

Will you delve into something new, or just dip in your toe?

There’s so much to choose from, drama, thriller, horror, fantasy or an autobiography and maybe even a little poetry, to mention a few.

Then there’s all the academic books and journals, shelf help and DVDs too. The list is pretty much endless I believe.

Will you find an interesting new genre to read, a new favourite writer, who knows?

Will you carry your books in your bag remembering to self-issue them?

Or choose to read them online instead?

Will you use the library catalogue with exact search terms to narrow and focus your search?

Or maybe not to broaden the results to see what else comes up or falls into that category of yours?

Will you ask for help if you’re unsure of what to do, to find what you’re looking for?

We promise we’ll do our best to assist.

Will you chop and change your study environment, find what suits you best, or choose to work from home?

I’ll leave that decision up to you.

But do come to visit the library and see what you could read to broaden your mind and how the environment has changed and is different from a long, long time ago.

Links

https://my.napier.ac.uk/library

Read more on our blog:

Such as how to use LibrarySearch, our online Catalog in our article: A Quick Guide to finding a book with LibrarySearch or how to find a book on the shelf in our article: The Dewey Decimal Classification System

Places to Visit in Lesser Known Edinburgh

Places to Visit in Lesser Known Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyrood and Greyfriar’s Bobby statue are some of the most popular attractions for visitors to Edinburgh.  However, there are lots of other attractions which are less well-known but just as interesting and pleasant to visit. Here are a few of them:

Museum of Childhood

This can be found on the Royal Mile but is often overlooked by guidebooks. A treasure trove of old children’s toys, games, clothes and playthings.

The People’s Story

Housed in the Canongate Tolbooth at the bottom of the Royal Mile it houses collections which tell the stories of the working-class people of Edinburgh from the late 18th century to the present day using oral history, reminiscence and written sources.

The Pentland Hills Regional Park

Just south of Edinburgh these hills are the highest points around the city and are often covered in snow in the winter. There are many walks over the hills with an abundance of wildlife. There is also a dry ski slope should you want to try out a new pastime. Easily accessible on public transport.

Dean Village

Situated five minutes away from Princes Street, visitors can find the Dean Village, a beautiful oasis right by the Water of Leith. In the past the village housed mills of various kinds, and the remnants of the industry can still be seen today. Look out for mill stones and carved stone plaques with baked bread and pies. Follow the walkway along the Water of Leith and you will come to the impressive Dean Bridge designed by Thomas Telford, and the classical temple of St Bernard’s Well.

Places to visit in Edinburgh Dean Village

Surgeon’s Hall Museums

Just a short walk from the Royal Mile, the Surgeon’s Hall Museums are a unique collection. Full of surgical tools, fascinating paintings and more than a few body parts in jars. Learn about the evolution of surgery throughout the ages and find how great Scottish minds brought us some of the medical breakthroughs we take for granted today. The present Surgeon’s Hall was designed by William Henry Playfair and completed in 1832. It is a category A listed building.

Gardens Dr. Neil’s Garden

This is located beside Duddingston Kirk on the lower slopes of Arthur’s Seat. Created from a wilderness by Drs Nancy and Andrew Neil. Two features of particular interest are the physic garden, which grows medicinal plants, and Thomson’s Tower. It was constructed in 1825 and was originally built for the Duddingston Curling Society. This was back when frozen lochs were the grounds for curling and other winter sports.

Kyoto Friendship Garden

This Japanese garden can be found in the grounds of Lauriston Castle in the Edinburgh suburb of Cramond. With bamboo shelters to picnic in, breath-taking views over Cramond Island to the Firth of Forth, avenues of blossom trees and calming water features. It’s no surprise that it is rated one of the top three Japanese gardens in Britain. The garden was created to celebrate the twinning of the towns of Edinburgh and the prefecture of Kyoto in Japan. It was opened in 2002. Its official name is ‘Castle Garden to Water and Beyond’. Continue reading

Black History Month

Black History Month

October marks Black History Month in the United Kingdom.

Known as the ‘Father of Black History, Carter Godwin Woodson brought forward the celebration of Black History in 1926 in the United States. Initially, it was the second week of February, as Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass celebrated their birthdays. But in February 1969, at Kent State University, it was proposed that it should be a whole month and the first Black History Month was celebrated at Kent State a year later.  President Gerald Ford became the first President to recognise Black History Month in 1976.

Black History Month in the United Kingdom

Black History Month was first celebrated in the United Kingdom in October 1987. That year marked the 150th anniversary of Caribbean emancipation, the centenary birth of Jamaican political activist Marcus Garvey and the 25th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity. October also coincides with the start of the Academic year. It was seen as an opportunity to bring in mainstream education. As organiser Akyaaba Abdai-Sebo recalled

I was stirred up in the mid-1980s by the identity crisis that Black children faced. A crisis of identity faced us squarely despite the Race Awareness campaigns of the Greater London Council and the Inner London Education Authority. More had to be done and so I conceived an annual celebration of the contributions of Africa, Africans, and people of African descent to world civilisationSource Link

At first, there was a focus on Black American History, but the emphasis shifted to ‘recognise the contributions and achievements of those with African or Caribbean heritage in the UK (BBC)

Decolonising our Collections

Here at the Library, all our Librarians are working hard to decolonise and improve the diversity of our Library collections. We realise the importance and significance of the work we need to do here at the Library. Not just when celebrating Black History Month but all year round to make our Library inclusive to all.

You can see some newly added books on our BIPOC virtual bookshelf.

More Information

Remember to check out our library/book displays at each campus site.

You can find out more including details on all the events that are taking place across the country at:

https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/

Also, check out our Library catalogue for more information on Black history and to see new titles we have added.

By Maya Green

National Poetry Day 6th October

National Poetry Day 6th October

Today is National Poetry Day. An annual celebration whose aim is to celebrate excellence in poetry and to increase its audience. Poetry is a vital service, according to the statistics. The National Literacy Trust tells us that in 2020 66.5% of children and young people agreed that writing poetry made them feel better during lockdown. Furthermore, in the same year sales of poetry books rose by 33% in October. And a report by Runnymede Trust and Penguin Random House found that poetry is the most common way for secondary students to encounter a Black, Asian or other minority ethnic author.

The NPD was founded in 1994, 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.

Do you know your haiku from your limerick? Your ode from your epic? There are dozens of different types of poetry. You’ve probably had a go at a few of them yourself, and if you’d like to participate in this year’s celebration, see here:

Events – 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

World Heart Day 2022: Defibrillators

World Heart Day 2022: Defibrillators

Awareness of the importance of defibrillators has become much more prevalent in our society. So much so that they have been placed around the country in useful places. The university has Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) available on all our campuses.

Why have AEDs?

Portable AEDs are lightweight devices that are relatively easy to operate and are intended for use in emergency situations. They can be used when a casualty has a serious cardiac rhythm disturbance causing unconsciousness, such as a heart attack. AEDs are not effective for all cardiac emergencies, but they are of benefit in a small proportion of acute emergencies.

An AED acts to correct abnormal heart rhythms by applying an electric shock to the chest. It detects the electrical activity of the heart and gives automated instructions to the operator on what to do. The automatic diagnostic sequence ensures that they will only operate under appropriate circumstances thus preventing their incorrect use. The quicker lifesaving first aid and a defibrillator are used on a casualty, the better the outlook for survival. The Resuscitation Council (UK) guidelines strongly promote the availability of AEDs and the fact they can be operated by any person is widely publicised.

Is an AED difficult to use?

The type of AED installed by the University has been chosen as a type that is suitable for any person to use. It will not apply an electric shock to a casualty unless it is appropriate. At every stage the equipment talks to the user, instructing them on what to do. Whilst many First Aiders have also received additional training in the use of AEDs, training is not a pre-requisite for use.

Do you know where they are situated?

AEDs are provided by the University at the following points:

  • Merchiston Campus: adjacent to disabled toilets – bottom of stairs
  • Sighthill Campus: left of reception outside lift
  • Craiglockhart Campus: left of the reception desk

In addition to the above locations, AEDs are also located in several other areas throughout the University.

  • [EN]GAGE, Sports Centre, Sighthill Campus – located behind the reception desk
  • School of Applied Sciences, Sighthill Campus – outside room 3.C.13
  • School of Applied Sciences, Sports Centre, Sighthill Campus – 0.F.07
Next steps

Should an emergency occur and you are using the AED, ask someone else to contact (0131) 455 4444 (Security Control available 24/7) giving precise details of the location – building, floor and room number and they will call for an ambulance. If you are alone with the casualty, you will need to do this yourself.

If you wish to familiarize yourself with some common first aid techniques, there are books available in the library for you to read:

First aid manual: the authorised manual of St John Ambulance, St Andrew’s First Aid and the British Red Cross.

Practical First Aid

New First Aid in English

Written By Vivienne Hamilton

Learn more about our Campuses below:

Merchiston

Craiglockhart

Sighthill

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