Neurodiversity Celebration Week is on the 13th – 19th of March this year and is a wonderful chance to embrace and learn about neurodiversity.
The term Neurodiversity encompasses a wide variety of neurological differences. The brain can be wired in a multitude of ways. This leads to many variable and complex possibilities for processing and understanding information. Although the use of labels is not always important, many in the community use the term “neurodiverse” to refer to people who may identify as having Dyslexia, DCD (Dyspraxia), Dyscalculia, Autism and ADHD.
Although often the focus is on the challenges associated with being Neurodiverse, there are also many strengths. Therefore, Neurodiversity Celebration Week is a chance for us to focus on the fantastic talents and special gifts that Neurodiversity can also give individuals.
Did you know people with ADHD are often highly creative and great at thinking outside the box? Autistic individuals can be incredible at spotting patterns and details often missed. Oh and we can be funny. Check out comedian Hannah Gatsby and her incredible standup. Not to mention fantastic actors, The renowned Anthony Hopkins is Autistic. Oh and don’t forget the incredible Chris Packham who not only has a brilliant career working with animals but does amazing work helping others in the community. This week join us outside of the box and learn about how great being neurodiverse can be!
Love is in the air this week! To celebrate Valentine’s Day, why not drop by the library and help yourself to some love heart sweets until stocks last. Leave us a little note telling us what you love about the library or what we can improve. We love getting feedback!
Information on all the services the Library provides can be found on the My Napier Library Webpage. Useful information includes opening hours, how to search for and borrow books, using our Click and Collect service, and how to order Inter-Library Loans. As well as finding information relevant to your subject area using our Subject Guides. And much much more. Have a little browse. Additionally, if any important updates come in about the library, you will find them there.
One of our best resources is LibrarySearch. We love to boast about it but we may be biased. It is the quickest and easiest way to search across our three libraries for the books and online resources you require. You can find hundreds of thousands of ebooks and subscription resources online without leaving your home. It really is that amazing.
Don’t forget, if you have any questions about the library, you can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0131 455 3500. We are here to help.
Today is the 1st of February and the 1st of February is the start of the celebration of LGBTQ+ History Month in the UK. Throughout the month, events are held nationwide to raise awareness and celebrate achievement and diversity while combating prejudice.
Events and celebrations are organised by the LGBTQ+ History Month organisation which was founded in 2004. The first LGBTQ+ History month was in February 2005 by was run by Sue Sanders and Paul Patrick. The organisation has three taglines ‘claiming our past, celebrating our present, creating our future’. The main aims are ‘increasing visibility, raising awareness and advancing education’. Whilst ‘working towards creating safe spaces and promoting welfare’. You can find all events that are taking place this month on the LGBTQ+ Plus History Month website here.
Behind the Lens
The organisation runs a theme each year in order to raise more visibility of lived experiences. This year is ‘Behind the Lens’, celebrating LGBTQ+ peoples’ contributions to cinema and film. Looking at directors to animators, from special effects to lighting directors and beyond. As ‘at, a time when LGBTQ+ lives are in the media we also encourage you to look ‘Behind the Lens’ and listen to LGBT+ peoples’ lived experiences.’ Check out the LGBTQ+ History web pages here.
Here at The Library
Each campus library will have a display with information and books to celebrate the theme ‘Behind the Lens’, please feel free to have a look and you can borrow any book that takes your interest. Follow our social media for upcoming posts celebrating and happy LGBTQ+ History Month. You can also check out our LGBT+ bookshelves on the blog.
We have many, many more books and articles for you to read here at the Library so why not check out what’s available in our library catalogue: Librarysearch.napier.ac.uk
Australia Day takes place on 26th January and is the country’s national day which celebrates national unity and acknowledges its citizens and their contribution to the country. It marks the date in 1788 of the landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove. Around 750 mostly petty criminals were transported from the UK along with around 300 medical and military personnel to establish a colony which has since become a desirable place to live and a vibrant tourist destination. Between 1945 and the early 1980s many UK nationals emigrated to Australia through the £10 ticket programme which sought to bring in migrants to fill labour shortages. The programme saw more than a million UK nationals leave for Down Under. Nowadays it’s one of the world’s top destinations for backpackers hoping to experience some of the enviable Australian lifestyle.
Australia has come a long way since 1788 when that first penal colony was established. There are iconic and innovative buildings and architecture such asSydney Opera HouseandSydney Harbour Bridge.Australia now celebrates its indigenous heritage in the form ofAboriginal art and culture. There are also stunning natural wonders: vast outback, Uluru,Great Barrier Reef (A UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the vast outback and spectacular coastlines. The Australian wildlife is pretty unique, there are those cute koalas and bouncing kangaroos. Sydney also hosts theMardi Grasone of the world’s largest Pride festivals. Australia boasts top-flight cricket and rugby teams, tennis players and let’s not forget surfing which must be the country’s national sport. Then there’s the barbecue-the country’s best-known foodie export. Simple cooking on coals outdoors works well in Australia; perhaps we should have left it to them. We’ve all been to a barbecue in this country where the sausages have been burnt or which has been cut short because of the weather.
Long before remote teaching was introduced for students during the covid pandemic, Australia had been remotely educating students living far from the nearest school in the outback.School of the Airlaunched in 1951 using radio to deliver classes to these children. Now wireless technology is used enabling better communication and faster marking!
We couldn’t think about Australia without giving a mention to what must be Australia’s most famous export – the soap opera Neighbours. Launched in 1985 it quickly became a daytime tv favourite of students. Set in the fictional Ramsay Street in the suburb of Erinsborough, Melbourne it’s the show that launched a thousand pop careers (Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Stefan Dennis to name a few). With far-fetched storylines, impossibly good-looking residents and seemingly endless sunshine it’s no wonder that for 30 minutes each day from Monday to Friday we were quite happy to be whisked away to the other side of the world. In 2022 it was announced that Neighbours would end, and the final episode aired on terrestrial tv on 28th July 2022. Only a few months later Amazon Freevee announced the return of Neighbours on their platform in 2023 so loyal fans will still be able to follow their favourite soap once again.
Finally, Happy Australia Day to all our Australian staff and students!
You can useLibrary Searchto find books and articles on Australia, soap operas, and Australian tourism.
January 22nd marks Chinese New Year, a holiday that is celebrated by 20% of the global population. Also known as the Spring Festival, it marks the end of the cooler months, taking place between 21st January and 20th February, lasting for 16 days.
Chinese New Year Traditions
Chinese New Year involves a lot of traditions involving decorations, food, and customs which symbolise blessings and good fortunes. Traditionally, it is a time spent with family (usually visiting elders of the husband’s side first), and large feasts are prepared particularly on New Year’s Eve which is considered a time for family reunion. Feasts are seen as offering to the gods and blessings for the New Year where ingredients’ names and appearances can symbolise good fortune.
Fireworks are set off at night and in the morning. According to the myth, night fireworks scare off monsters and bad luck, particularly the monster Nian (年) who was a monster that lived at the bottom of the sea. Once a year, he would scare people into mountains out of fear of eating them and their livestock. However, people soon realised that loud noises and the colour red scared off the monster and so began to fill their homes with red decorations and set off fireworks. And speaking of red, elders will give children red envelopes that contain money. It can be given to friends as well and now digitally. It is known as New Year money, carrying the hope of good fortune.
Year of the Rabbit
2023 marks the year of the Rabbit and unfortunately, if this is your zodiac, it means a year of bad luck. Rabbits are seen to have pure characteristics and are extremely kind. They are the fourth animal out of the zodiac. The legend is that Jade Emperor told the animals that the order of the zodiacs will be determined by which of the animals would arrive at his party. The Rabbit was confident of his speed so he decided to have a nap. By the time he woke up and went to the party, three other animals had already arrived before him. For any Rabbits out there, there is more information on how your 2023 will be at ChineseNewYear.net
If it’s your first Winter in Edinburgh: you’re in for a treat! Edinburgh tends to get crisp and cold between December and February (ok, sometimes wet, and dreich too…) but there’s plenty going on and our city is buzzing over Christmas and the New Year.
If you’re willing to wrap up warm, why not take a walk around Arthur’s seat? Arthur’s seat is an extinct volcano in the centre of Edinburgh, near to coffee shops on the Royal Mile if you need a gingerbread latte to warm up afterwards.
Another lovely place to go in the frost or snow is Dalkeith country park – there are festive events on too! There are many trails to walk in this beautiful park, set over 1,000 acres. The park has a rich history, having been in the Buccleuch family for over 300 years. The site dates back to the Roman times.
Another option is to head up Calton hill for a panoramic view of the city lit up in full Christmas mode – it’s not a difficult walk up the steps. You can also see the National Monument and Nelson monument. This is a popular spot on Hogmanay to take in the fireworks too.
A little further afield but worth a trip is the lovely Roslin Glen. You can see the ruin of what was once Scotland’s largest gunpowder mill. You can also see the impressive and partly ruined Roslin Castle. A short walk through the glen takes you to the famous Rosslyn Chapel, founded in 1446 by Sir William St Clair. In the New Year, you might see the snowdrops starting to come out in the Glen.
Finally, another bracing walk in the wintertime is a walk along the promenade at Cramond. If you so desire, you can walk from Silverknowes along to Cramond and if you’re feeling adventurous and have checked the tide times , you can walk over to Cramond island. According to the Cramond Association, Cramond is the oldest known site of human habitation in Scotland.
If you’re looking to soak up some festive illuminations, there are a number of options in Edinburgh!
At the west end of Princes Street garden, you’ll find Santaland, with a festive family funfair.
George Street also boasts Christmas lights and an enormous Christmas tree which can be seen at the top of the mound – apparently this tree has a history, and is a gift from Norway each year. This tradition dates back to WW2.
Looking for more lights? The Botanic Gardens hosts a light trail each year, which is pretty spectacular, and you couldn’t ask for a nicer backdrop. Have a look at Christmas at the Botanics for more information.
Another light spectacular to take in this winter is Edinburgh Castle’s ‘Castle of Light’. This involves projecting light onto the castle’s walls and ramparts and a historical walking tour.
Last but not least, Edinburgh is well known for its Hogmanay celebrations, and in 2022 Edinburgh will host its giant street party once again. For the uninitiated, Hogmanay is the Scottish word for New Year’s Eve.
The celebrations also include live music and a huge fireworks display at midnight. Lots of kissing, hugging, and dancing ensues!
Looking for something quieter?
If you’re looking for a cosy corner to curl up in when it’s cold and snowy, come to one of our campus libraries. You can check our festive opening hours here.
You can borrow Library items from Friday 9 December 2022, and you won’t need to return them before Monday 16 January 2023. Full details can be found here.
Remember, we’re always here online too – you can continue to access ebooks, ejournals and databases usingLibrarySearch, even if physical libraries are closed.
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.
The Mexican Day of the Dead known as Día de los Muertos is a two-day holiday celebrated from the 31st of October to the 2nd of November to honour and reunite the living and dead together. It is a reunion where the spirits of children join on October the 31st and the spirits of adults join on November the 2nd.
Day of the Dead face paint
The ritual originates from the Aztec and Nahua people who saw death as an eternal part of life. The Nahua rituals were held in August where food and water were to aid the deceased in the journey to the Land of the Dead and therefore contributed to the traditions of today.
It is a very colourful celebration and altars are decorated with marigolds, and photos of their loved ones, and food and drinks are consumed. The Marigolds are golden pathways to guide and attract the spirits. Families gather either at home or in the cemeteries at night to light candles and play music. There is no crying or grieving but to enjoy and appreciate all human associations and comforts on a spiritual journey.
Printmaker and cartoonist José Guadalupe Posada used the skeletal figures to mock politicians. La Calavera Catrina is the most iconic work that features a female skeleton in ornate clothing. Sugar skulls known as Calaveras are decorative skulls made from sugar or clay to symbolise that death is not all that bad. They are often embellished with jewels and face painting. In contemporary Day of the Dead, skulls masks are worn, and treats are consumed. Pan de Muerto is a simple sweet bread that is consumed all year round!
Pan de Muerto and Marigolds
You can find lots of articles on the Mexican Day of the Dead in our LibrarySearch
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 civilisation’ Source 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.