Edinburgh Napier University

Category: Library Information (Page 1 of 10)

British Library Cyber Attack

 British Library Cyber Attack

If you’ve ever used our inter-library loan service, the chances are your book or article was supplied by the British Library (BL). On the last weekend in October BL was subject to a cyber-attack. The ransomware group Rhysida claimed to be behind the attack. Access to the catalogue, website, ordering process and research services was lost.

Cyber Attack: Why does it matter?

With one of the largest book collections in the world, The EThOs doctoral theses collection and access to millions of journal articles, maps and music scores it is a huge loss to those who are studying or doing research.

Our inter-library loan service used BL to supply journal articles directly to the requestor. The online self-service BL On Demand was used to renew books quickly and easily for users.

BL had service standards regarding the delivery of items-articles were usually supplied on the same day or the next day after being requested. Books usually arrive within a week.

How are we sourcing requested items now?

We are now relying on partners, such as other universities and institutes to supply books and articles. In order to find out which partners have requested items we use JISC Library Hub Discover. This allows us to see who has the book or journal which the requested article is from. In the case of journals, holdings are displayed so we are able to see if an institution has the journal for the year the article was published.

The timeframe for partners supplying can be much slower than BL’s. This is because we are using other universities and institutions whose services are dependent on the availability of staff who will also be dealing with their own students and staff. They will prioritise their own members so if their own libraries are busy with students needing assistance, satisfying inter-library loan requests will not be prioritised.

Books will not be supplied by a partner if they are on a reading list or currently on loan. This may mean we have to try more than one partner to try to get a book supplied. We are dependent on our partners following up on our requests, which will take longer at certain times such as the start of the new semester.

How are we coping?

We have coped very well. There has not been very many requests which could not be supplied. We are receiving requests from partners for books and articles available at Edinburgh Napier and our interlending team are supplying to them. This generates an income stream as we make a small charge for each item we supply.

Slow progress

BL have recently partially re-instated their catalogue, but not all materials are currently searchable. BL’s Reading Rooms in London and Yorkshire are open, but access to the collection and online resources is limited. BL anticipate restoring more services in the next few weeks, but disruption to certain services is expected to last for several months.


If you had created your own BL account…….

Edinburgh Napier has a BL account to request and renew articles and books. You may have your own account so there are some things to be aware of. The attackers released some of BL data onto the dark web including some personal user information. It is recommended that if you use the same password for non-BL services as you use for your BL account. Then you change this password for the other services. BL intend to alert anyone whose data has been compromised and they are collaborating with the Metropolitan Police. BL’s data protection officer can be contacted at data.governance@bl.uk if you have any queries.


If you have any questions or concerns regarding the BL cyber attack you can  contact the library or talk to staff at any of the library helpdesks and we will try to assist.

Photo Source Andrea De Santis

By Vivienne Hamiliton

Unfamiliar with Inter Library Loans, you can read here 

Out and About in Scotland update

Out and About in Scotland update

If you enjoyed our Out and About in Scotland post last summer, you might be interested to know that Anna Wells has just become the first woman to complete a round of Munros (a mountain in Scotland with a height of over 3,000 feet (914.4 m) in one winter. Only 3 others have completed the challenge men.

Completing all 282 Munros during the summer months is a big enough challenge it takes many people years to complete. Tackling them in the winter is particularly challenging with snow, high winds, reduced daylight and access causing more problems. However Anna has managed to overcome all the difficulties, followed safety advice (see the previous post) and completed the round within the astronomical winter, which starts on the shortest day and ends with the spring equinox.

Now that the days are getting longer and the weather is improving you may be thinking about getting out and about more so why not take a look at the Out and About in Scotland post (July 2023) for some advice before you set off.

You can use Library Search to find books and articles on exercise and fitness.

Whatever you are planning to do and wherever you are going this weekend stay safe and hopefully, the weather will be kind!

Useful websites:

Long-distance walks:  https://www.scotlandsgreattrails.com/

Munro bagging:  https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/munros/

Water safety https://watersafetyscotland.org.uk/advice-hub/water-safety-code/



HM Coastguard: https://hmcoastguard.uk/in-an-emergency

Mountain Rescue: https://www.scottishmountainrescue.org/

SSSI guidance: https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/protected-areas-and-species/protected-areas/national-designations/sites-special-scientific-interest-sssis

You can use Box of Broadcasts to view episodes of the Adventure Show and Library Search to find books and articles on wildlife, plants, first aid and land law.

You can read more about Scotland

By Vivienne Hamilton

Photo Source: Claudia De Wet

Library Training

Library Training

The library offers a wide range of training events to help you with your studies.

Trimester 2 is rolling in and not to add panic but soon assignments and exams will be coming up. Here at the library, we want to help where we can. We run sessions that are in-person or online to help with your studies. Workshops and events are here to help you get started with the skills you need for success at University. There are bookable sessions on a range of different topics and regular drop-ins on different campuses.

Training Calendar

You can find them all on our training and events calendar. Sessions are available for all modules and levels and can range from a basic introduction to using LibrarySearch and academic journals for first-year students to subject-specific research sessions for postgraduate students and staff.

We have basic information sessions or more in-depth sessions looking at literature reviews, references management and copyright. These sessions run throughout the year so don’t worry, they are not a one-off.

If these times don’t work or you prefer a one-on-one session, you can contact your subject librarians or contact us via email, phone or ask at the help desk.

Subject Guide Training

We also have our subject guides that are created and designed by your subject librarian.  Here you will also find out more about the resources and support available from the Library.  ​You will also find libguides which are also created by subject librarians. There, you will find more information about courses and databases.

And you also read our previous posts about helpful library information.

Leap Year: Origins and Interesting Traditions

Leap Year: Origins and Interesting Traditions

Today is the 29th of February, so read about Leap Year: Origins and Interesting Traditions

Introduction: Why do we have a Leap Year?

Happy new (leap) year from the blog team everybody! Ever wondered why February has that one extra day added to the calendar every four years? It is all primarily to do with the sun, and how the Earth’s orbit around it is not completely aligned with its rotation on the sun’s axis. Because of this, it takes our planet 365 ¼ days to rotate around the sun.

Even though this is only a tiny discrepancy, it would eventually knock our calendar year off course. So an extra day was added to make up 366 days every four years to establish a strong synchronisation with the solar year and calendar year. Nevertheless, we also skip a leap year every century unless the year is divisible by 400 to maintain this synchronisation. You know just to make things seem even more confusing! So, for example, we have skipped a leap year in the years 1700 and 1900, but not in the years 1600 or 2000. This means that the year 2100 will be a common year in future terms.

History and Origins of Leap Year

For centuries, different cultures have strategized and tested various ways of keeping the calendar year aligned with the seasons. There were a few cultures who did not only add an extra day when the necessity arose. They would sometimes add an extra week or even an extra month! Then, in 46 B.C., Roman Emperor Julius Ceasar proposed adding an extra day to February every four years. This was the advice given by astronomer Sosigenes. From this emerged the Egyptian solar calendar which divided the 365 ¼ period into twelve months each containing 30 or 31 days in total, albeit February. This has been nicknamed the ‘Julian Calendar’ because of its founding father.

Nevertheless, a tiny discrepancy remained which led to the first introduction of the Gregorian Calendar in 1582. Several European countries such as Italy, France, Spain and Portugal were first to adopt the Gregorian Calendar in 1582. This reformed calendar saw the leap year being skipped when any ‘century’ years not divisible by 400 arose. By the time the Gregorian Calendar was introduced in England, this error had increased to a total of eleven days. A decision was made in the year 1752 for the 2nd of September to be followed by the 14th of September, skipping the days in between. These are often referred to as the ‘lost days’ – and their loss was felt majorly.  There were outbreaks of rioting and civil unrest, people demanding these eleven days to be brought back. These riots were known as The English Calendar riots of 1752.

Romantic Traditions of Leap Year

Love is in the air – across the world, leap year is known to have a few unique romantic traditions. The most notable one is that women will often propose to men on the 29th of February. This tradition emerged after Queen Margaret of Scotland brought in a new law that permitted women to propose to men on leap day in  1288. Women will also traditionally don a red petticoat on this day to make their intentions clear. If their man rejected the proposal, he was obligated by law to provide either enough fabric to make a dress or twelve pairs of gloves. It has since spread vastly across Europe and beyond.

Superstitions and Statistics…

The chances of being born on the 29th of February are extremely slim – one in 1,461, to be precise. This is effective because a leap day only occurs every 1,461 days. In Scotland, it is even believed to be unlucky to be born on a leap day.  The negative superstitions about leap years do not stop here as well. During the Roman era in Italy, the month of February was associated with death. And its extension was viewed to be prolonging this alleged period of doom and gloom. In Greece, it is widely believed that weddings which take place during a leap year will soon be followed by divorce.  It’s not all about those romantic traditions.


Despite the superstitions surrounding leap year, many still like to toast the occasion and celebrate it. In fact, there was a famous alcoholic beverage made to traditionally celebrate Leap Day at the Savoy Hotel located in London.  Invented by famous bartender Harry Craddock. Its ingredients consist of Grand Marnier, gin, lemon juice and vermouth.  The recipe for this cocktail can be found in Craddock’s famous The Savoy Cocktail Book, should you wish to mix your own this year.

Anthony, a small town in Texas, is recognised as the Leap Year Capital worldwide as it is a global hub for celebrations and festivals. This all began in 1988 when neighbours Birdie Lewis and Mary Ann Brown, who were both born on leap day, proposed the creation of a leap year festival. Since it’s approval, it has been celebrated every four years and evolved into a four-day-long event with people travelling from all over the world. It consists of parades, food, music, and even hot air balloon lifts. If you were born on a leap day, that sounds like the ideal location to celebrate!

To Conclude…

And this does indeed mean that our campus libraries will be open for one extra day this year.  We have just the book for you:  ‘The Observer’s Year: 366 Nights of the Universe Moore’ should you want to learn more about leap year. But otherwise, we hope you have found this blog post to be interesting and informative!

By Rachel Downie

Photo sources Glen Carrie

LIke superstitions, you can read previous articles here 

Changes at Craiglockhart Library

Changes at Craiglockhart Library

We wanted to let you know about some changes which have been made to the study spaces at Craiglockhart Library. Following the removal of the rolling stacks, a bright and spacious area was created and it was decided to move the collaborative desks there. Some social seating has been installed in the space created once the desks were moved, and this is already proving popular. The relaxation space will be made slightly larger too. We hope you like the changes!

Craiglockhart libraryCraiglockhart library Craiglockhart library



Remember we always love feedback, you can email anytime at library@napier.ac.uk

Check out our library webpages for the latest updates 


And you read previous posts about the changes to our library

By Vivienne Hamilton

World Radio Day

World Radio Day

13th February marks World Radio Day  🎶 play Radio Gaga by Queen 🎶

What is World Radio Day?

Declared by UNESCO in 2011 and then proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2012, February 13th became World Radio Day. The objective of the day is simple, to celebrate the radio, as a public service, as a network and communication. February 13th was chosen to celebrate the anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Radio in 1946 (Wikipedia.org/World Radio Day). And as UNESCO states on their website ‘In an era marked by the dizzying speed of technological innovation, the radio beginning in its second century as dependable and widely utilize’ (UNESCO.org)

The History of the Radio

Canadian Reginald Fessenden is the pioneer of the radio and in December 1906, his voice was broadcasted.  The radio was crucial to the First World War and heavily relied upon. It wasn’t until the 1920s that radio resembled what it is today, filled with speakers and music. The 1950s saw a boom in radio broadcasting programmes (dramas to comedy), music and adverts.  it is considered the Golden Age.  One of the most famous programmes was the War of Worlds.  However, soon Radio would be competing with the world of television (Britannica/radio)

The radio was a huge revolution in the world of communication. News became instantly accessible. It changed consumer world with advertising. It transformed the world of music, making it the venture it is today. (university of Minnesota) 

The Radio and the Library

Interested in radio, you can browse our expansive library catalgoue till your hearts content.  This includes databases such as the wonderful world of Box of Broadcasts.   You can also browse the school of Creative Arts and Industries subject guides. Here you can find more of the impact of radio.


Interested in more United Nations Day, have a browse here


Photo Source Anmol Arora Unsplash 


Love Your Library

Love Your Library

Love Your Library 2024

It’s back! It’s that time of year again. The old cliché of chocolates, flowers, and books. We joke but it is Love Your Library Week. Hearts rejoice. This week we will be running our annual feedback drive. Every year around Valentine, we ask what do you love about the library? But also, what do you hate? And you can be honest. This is your library.

Love Your Library in the Libraries

Our libraries will be pretty in pink with their displays. There will be post-it notes, heart-shaped of course. And you can tell us what you love and what you hate.  There will be a display at each library campus. If that isn’t enough, we will also be handing out sweets. We will be running this all week so you have plenty of time to let us know. We love getting feedback, it helps us understand what we are doing right and what we need to improve. And we listen to all feedback. It can be anonymous.

 All Year Round

We should add that we appreciate feedback all year round. Each library has a comment box, and you can always contact us or give us a shout on social media. Let us know what you think about our library services.

Read previous posts on our library services and our previous feedback drives here.

Physiotherapy and Sports & Exercise Science Resources

Physiotherapy and Sports & Exercise Science Resources

Happy Friday everyone. We have promoted our Physiotherapy and Sports & Exercise Science Resources this week. You might have seen our book display at Sighthill Library Campus. Or our digital signage slides promoting different resources the past few days. Or even our social media posts. If not, don’t worry we have you covered with this article.  We will summarise this week and highlight all the Sports and Physiotherapy resources. If you have an interest in the sports sciences or are a student of either Applied Sciences or Health & Social Care, then we have you covered.

On Monday, we gave a shout-out to our physical book display and reading lists.

Research Databases

On Tuesday, we gave a shout-out to our research databases. Research Databases are a collection of online scholarly works that can be articles, case studies and periodicals. We have a database tab on LibrarySearch. There are 3 that we would like to highlight; Medline, PubMed and Sportdiscus:

  • Medline: covers a wide range of medical journal articles and references with a focus on biomedicine.
  • PudMed: developed by the National Library of Medicine in the USA. Thousands of articles and citations that range from biomed to life science.
  • SportDiscus: Provided by the Sport Information Resource Centre. It covers sport and fitness and related disciplines.


Half way the week, it was about the journals. We have 4 journals to promote. We want to add that not all journals can be found in databases but you can either search them individually on librarysearch or on the journal tab. Like the research databases, they covered a wide range from fitness to medicine.

  • International Journal of Sport Medicine
  • Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
  • British Journal of Sport Medicine
  • Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise

Non-Research Databases:

Not only do we have research databases but we have non-research databases. And it was our non-research databases that took the spotlight.

  • Anatomy.Tv (Also known as Anatomy and Physiology Online): Here you will find over 20 interactive Modules, 3D anatomy and media-rich content.  Case studies and quizzes are available.
  • Sage Research Methods: Research essential. Provides information on writing research questions, how to do a literature review, research methods, collecting and analysing data and much more. It covers all research methods used in the social sciences.

Once again, you can find these all on LibrarySearch.

We hope you found this post insightful. Don’t forget to check out the libguides and previous posts on databases

Lego Day

Celebrating Lego Day

It’s world Lego day today. Lego is one of those toys that is ubiquitous with childhood. Anyone growing up in the West will know immediately what you mean when you mention it. It is the joy of Children everywhere, and the thing that drives most parents mad. Is there anything more painful to stand on!?!

In fact, people who have regularly experienced walking on hot coals and broken glass say Lego is by far the worst thing to walk on (source). Feeling brave? You always have a go at the Lego Firewalk. Personally, I’d rather walk on glass or coals!


It was in Denmark, at Ole Kirk Christiansen’s workshop where Lego was firstborn. In 1934 it became called Lego after the Danish phrase leg godt.  They were originally called Automatic Binding Bricks, but less originally they were based on the Kiddicraft Self-Locking Bricks, already patented in the UK.

Over time Lego has grown to become the biggest toy company in the world and is not only used as toys but as movies, artworks and they even made an amusement park you can visit.

Mindfulness and Lego

Lego is no longer just for children; in fact, they have many Lego sets dedicated to adults. There is some fascinating research connected to mindfulness about how doing Lego can help our mental health. We actually keep a Lego set behind each Library Help Desk you can borrow for free. Why not check one out next time you visit…if the library staff aren’t already playing with them that is!

Learn More

We have a fascinating and diverse range of materials for you to read on Lego, from issues with Dentistry (teeth and Lego are a bad mix it seems!) to build your own Lego Robots. Check out Librarysearch.napier.ac.uk.. Just type in the word “Lego” and start reading!

By Juliet Kinsey

Sources: Wikipedia

Welcome Edinburgh Napier International College

Welcome Edinburgh Napier International College

Welcome and welcome back everybody. Happy to have campuses back being busy.

We would like to give a very warm welcome to students from the International College at Edinburgh Napier. As things are getting started and getting settled, we would like to cover our library services on offer and what the library can do for you. We do recommend this induction that covers all computing and library services.

Finding information: reading lists, subject guides and subject librarians

You will have a reading list for each of your courses. It is through LibrarySearch that you will find these items. Please remember to log in at the top right corner as a university member.  We also have subject guides and research guides that have been created by your subject librarian. These guides are designed to help you find information and develop research skills. You can find them here. Additionally, you can contact your subject librarian for more information or arrange a 1: 1 appointment for extra guidance. On who your subject librarian is, please refer to our web pages.

Library Resources: Books, Databases and more

We have an extensive catalogue, and it is all available through library search. Here you will have access to all our online resources and be able to locate where our physical resources are. You will also find access to journals and databases. You can borrow up to 30 physical items. Books are 7-day loans but they renew automatically up to a 4 month period unless requested. If you are looking for something we don’t have, we have an inter-library loan service.

Libraries: Physical and Online

At the library, you will find plenty of study spaces: we have silent areas and areas for talking if you have group work. There are study rooms, PCs and macs, with printers and scanners. Each library has a relaxation space with games, colouring sheets and comfy sofas to relax. We have a wellbeing collection that focuses on shelf help. If you can’t make it campus, most of these resources are now available online.

Useful Information

And more information you can find on our library web pages or you can contact us either in person at the help desks or email (library@napier.ac.uk) or phone 0131 455 3500. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we are here to help. Good luck in the trimester.

You can also find more library information from previous articles 

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