Edinburgh Napier University

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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

Library FAQ part one: Library Spaces and books

Library Spaces and books


Welcome and Welcome back.

It’s good to see everyone back on campus. And we thought it would be a good idea to go over some Frequently Asked Questions. Today we will be covering the library spaces and most importantly library books. And of course, if you want to find out any more information, check out our library webpages.

Library Spaces

Three campuses mean three campus libraries. You can find out the opening hours and much more information on our web pages. The libraries are similar. All have relaxation spaces, wellbeing collections, silent study spaces, Lapsafe lockers, printers and study rooms. And don’t forget our library help desks where our friendly staff are there to help with any library enquiry. The libraries particularly with the book stock match what courses are taught at that campus. Sighthill covers Applied Science, Health and Social Care, Craiglockhart covers law and business and Merchiston covers computing, engineering, built environment and creative arts.

We like to think that our library spaces are safe and inclusive for all our staff and students. However, if you think anything can be improved, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at library@napier.ac.uk


Oh books, don’t think it’s an overestimation by saying books are crucial to any library. We have thousands upon thousands of them. You can borrow up to 30 books at a time, and loan periods are 4 months. All books are 7 days but they renew automatically every 7 days up to 4 months, you don’t need to do anything, they simply renew themselves. But please look out for your emails as other students can request books and you will then need to bring them back.

Finding books at Napier is simple. We have LibrarySearch. You can find this on myNapier dashboard or our web pages. Even googling Napier Library Search is fine. And if you are actually at the libraries, we have dedicated computers for Library Search.  You can search book titles and authors, or if you don’t really have a clue about what you are looking for, you can simply use keywords for your research. Here it will you where the books are, what campus or they might be even online. If that is the case, make sure you are signed in. Follow the links and you will get there.  But if it is s physical book you have, LibrarySearch will tell you where to find it. Once you have it, use one of our self-issue machines to issue it or bring it to the help desk.

Stay tune this afternoon for part two of Library FAQ



If you have anymore questions, please get in contact or read our previous library posts 

Library FAQ part two: Lapsafe laptops and MFDs

The Library FAQ part two: Lapsafe laptops and MFDs


Welcome back to Library FAQ part two: Lapsafe laptops and MFDs

Lapsafe Laptops

Each Library campus, the JKCC and Bainfield Accodomation have Lapsafe lockers which is a self-service laptop borrowing service. All you need is your student card to scan. Lockers have been updated over the summer so if you don’t have your physical student card, you can use the digital version on your phone.  Lapsafe Lockers have an easy access option if you need further help, please ask at the help desks.  Laptop loans are 14-days and unfortunately, we can’t extend the loan period. However, once you return your laptop you can take another one straight afterwards.  Please, don’t save any of your work to the laptop as it won’t be saved.

You can read more about our laptop loan guidance, availability and how to use the Lapsafe Lockers.

If you need a long-term laptop, there is a Digital Access Scheme.


Moving on to the next technology, printers or as some may call them MFDs (Multi-Function Devices). All libraries and computer suites have MFDs that can print, scan and copy. You need to have print credit on your account which is all managed on the Edinburgh Napier app.  

You can print from any PC or Mac on campus or use your personal device. It doesn’t matter what printer you use on campus, they are all on the same network so you can use any. And all work is kept for 24 hours so you don’t have to print straight away. Once you have sent your work to the printer simply tap your student card, if you have forgotten, there is a keyboard button and log in with your Napier email and password.

To scan or copy, it is the same login as printing then you select what you would like to do. Photocopying is the same price as printing, scanning does not cost but there needs to be credit on your account. Find out more information here including printing/photocopying prices.

For dissertation or specialised printing, please contact the Print Hub 

And for more library information, look at our previous blog posts 

Uncovering Hidden Histories: Provenance research internships in the Edward Clark Collection

Uncovering Hidden Histories: Provenance research internships in the Edward Clark Collection

During July, the University’s Heritage Collections department hosted two student interns whose intrepid research skills greatly helped us to find information about past owners, donors and custodians of the rare books held within the Edward Clark Collection. Here, Wik Lyszczarz (MSc in Publishing) talks about their experience of their internship.

The internship with special collections Edward Clark Collection was very fascinating. I started this internship not knowing anything about the Edward Clark Collection within the University the whole time I have been here. Now that the internship is over, I have learned much about the collection and what it holds. I am grateful to know what all this time was hidden.

I entered this internship as a Master’s publishing student, and the thought of looking at books to see whose hands they have passed through was exciting. While looking through them, I could satisfy my publishing interests by looking at how the manuscripts and books were printed and bound.

We got to work after being trained on how to handle old books. Looking for provenance marks turned out to be a lot of fun, especially when you find something of note, the most exciting being names that we could research in the second half of the internship. However, the thing that has stuck with me most is that even though the books I looked at were printed from as early as the 12th century till the 16th century, during a time when the printing process was much more complicated, the books were more intricate. As someone who likes visual additions to manuscripts, there were many present in the multitude of manuscripts I was able to look through.

Here are some pictures of the exciting things I found, visual aspects of the manuscripts I liked, and some I would bring back to the publishing world today.


[Figure 1: Bookplate of Ernst Conrad Stahl (ECC B41).]

This image above features an Ex Libris insert that a previous reader put into this book. I found many of these within the books; they were handy when looking for people’s names, as the purpose is to show who the book belongs to. Most of the designs of these bookplates change depending on the owner; this one was my favourite as it is very intricate. This is something I would definitely bring back into use.


[Figure 2: Detail of a manicule in the Nuremberg Chronicle (ECC A18, fol. LXXIr).]

One thing I learned during this internship is that the hand in the image above is called a manicule. Manicules are a mark that has the appearance of a hand, one that is pointing. These used to be drawn by the reader to point out important parts of the text.

[Figure 3: Composition of illustrated initials, showing an illuminated ‘B’ (ECC A15, fol. 6r), a decorated ‘C’ (ECC A24, fol. 5v), and a woodcut of the letter ‘M’ (ECC B36, fol. 4r).]

Here are different types of letter embellishments. The first embellishment is an image of an illuminated letter; these embellishments were not typical in the books I went through. These make the manuscript feel a lot more luxurious and the colours used were very eye catching. The second embellishment is created by hand with ink. Each one of these varied within the manuscript this was due to them being hand drawn. Some manuscripts only used red ink as a secondary colour, whereas this one shown used both red and blue. This was a common practice; printing the actual text in black ink and then using red ink to highlight the beginnings of paragraphs, drop capitals and even the start and end of sentences. Lastly, the last embellishment is part of the printing process and has no colour, out of all of these it is not as eye cathcing, yet these can be very detailed. These tend to be the same design throughout the manuscript, however the design changes manuscript to manuscript.


[Figure 4: Calendar for the month of May (ECC B45).]

This is another thing I found out whilst doing this internship. The image above shows text with a border. The purpose of this border was not only for it to look good; in reality, it could also be so that people would be refrained from making annotations and notes about the text. These borders often feature in religious manuscripts.


[Figure 5: Press stamp (ECC B42).]

This image is of a printing press stamp, which shows you which old printer this manuscript was produced by. Not many of the books I looked at included these. The ones that were included always drew me in. Their design varies depending on the printer, some more intricate than others.

Another aspect of the internship I found informative was the second part. In the second part, we had to look up and research the numerous names we found throughout the books. Some of these names lead to nowhere, some names were misspelt or just didn’t have anyone they lead to. But some lead to some interesting people that were popular and known about in the past. A couple of these lead me down a rabbit hole. If I did not do this internship, I would have no idea that these people existed and what they did to become known.

I have really enjoyed my placement with special collections and the Edward Clark Collection and all the new things I learned and all the people I got to research. I will however be disappointed when I open my next book and there is a lack of quirks and stories to be found.

Further reading

You can read more about the university’s Heritage collections or read previous blog posts

By Wik Lyszczarz

Roald Dahl Day

Roald Dahl Day

Roald Dahl is the best-known 20th-century author for his imagination and children’s stories such as Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, James, and the Giant Peach. Although, they are not your typical children’s books and can often take twists and turns with dark humour.

But did you know that James and the Giant Peach originally started off with a cherry?


Roald Dahl always had a spirit for adventure and even became an aircraftman in 1939 for the Royal Air Force. This inspired some of the characters and locations, like his family home in Buckinghamshire.

Dahl depicts heroic and villain protagonists from The Witches to Mr and Mrs Twit, to Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They are brought to life with humorous vocabulary that turns them into mischievous characters. Dahl played around with new words and names such as the Oompa-Lumpas featured in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Not only did Roald Dahl write children’s books, but between also wrote gruesome adult fiction; Sometime Never, Pig and Tales of the Unexpected!


But have you ever wondered who also illustrates the characters in the books?

Sir Quentin Blake is an illustrator and is most known for illustrating Roald Dahl’s stories. His first illustration was for Punch magazine before designing children’s books. Blake worked with Dahl in the 1970s and illustrated the Enormous Crocodile.

For Roald Dahl’s stories, Blake uses black ink and a fountain pen to create scratchy, inky and blotted designs. He usually begins with a gesture or facial expression like this example of the Charlie, the lucky finder of the golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:



Charlie and the golden ticket. Illustration by Quentin Blake.

Charlie and the golden ticket. Illustration by Quentin Blake.


You can find more about Roald Dahl’s work available in the library’s Box of Broadcasts:



You can find the ebook here:



We even have a Spanish adaptation on DVD of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Johnny Depp!




Image of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory DVD starring Johnny Depp in Spanish, available at Merchiston Library.

Image of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory DVD starring Johnny Depp in Spanish, available at Merchiston Library.


Get involved in Roald Dahl’s Children’s Charity:



Other links:

Roald Dahl Day


Library Relaxation Spaces

Library Relaxation Spaces

Physical relaxation Spaces

We know University life is devoted to study and learning, but we also want you to feel relaxed and comfortable every time you enter our libraries.  It’s essential to take time out, de-stress, and give yourself a break from your studies. Looking after your mental and physical well-being is crucial to your success at university.

With that in mind, we hope you’ll feel welcome in our relaxation spaces. These are small colourful areas we’ve designed for you to sit back, and enjoy the benefits of natural light and soft seating.

Each of our three campus libraries has its own dedicated space, ask the helpdesk for directions. In these spaces, we’ve provided puzzles, jigsaws, craft materials and colouring books and pens to help you feel relaxed and explore your creativity,  But maybe you just want to sit and do nothing for a while. That’s fine too – pull up a beanbag, talk to the plants, or just sit, put the notes down and let your mind wander. You’ll feel all the better for a break and ready to tackle your next assignment.

For more information on our relaxation spaces, please see here: Relaxation Spaces (napier.ac.uk)

Online Relaxation Space

Not only do we have physical spaces, but we also have an online relaxation space! Right here on the blog, we have an area dedicated to helping you take time out to relax from studying. Check out our online relaxation space at the top of this page. There is something for everyone, with links to breathing exercises, art therapy and relaxing music. To name just a few.

By Lesley McRobb

Welcome to the library

Welcome to the library

We would like to welcome all our new students to the library and, of course, the library blog. This is a place to keep you informed about the library, such as changes to opening hours, equipment for loan and our library spaces.  Furthermore, we will also post lots of fun items too (check out our Lego and Barbie posts), informative posts (Out and about in Scotland and International Moon Day) and posts raising awareness (World Ocean Day and Stress Awareness Month).

Opening hours

Opening hours are listed on our webpage. Hours will change during trimester 3 and at holiday periods.

Library Search

Library Search is our catalogue which lets you search for books and articles and gives you access to thousands of ebooks and articles.

Book loans

Books can be borrowed from the self-service kiosks using your student card. Loans are for up to 4 months, provided the book is not requested by another user. You will receive a borrowing activity letter each week which will let you know whether your loans have been renewed or if they should be returned.

Click and Collect Service

You can make requests for books using our Click and Collect service. You can request books from any campus library and you can collect them from whichever campus suits you best.

Study spaces

All campus libraries have group study rooms bookable through Resource Booker. Additionally, We also have individual study spaces and collaborative desks which are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


All campus libraries have laptops for loan from our Lapsafes. Loans are for 2 weeks and the safes are self-service, operated using your student card.

Special events

Not only do we help you with all your studying needs, but in addition, we also run events throughout the year so keep a look out for posters and social media posts to see if booking is required. Previous events include an Easter Egg Hunt and Therapets visits.

Library tours

Want to learn about all things Library and get a head start on your studies? You can book a library tour to get all the information you need for your studies!

Get Connected

IT is offering Get Connected sessions at the beginning of term to help with connecting to university Wi-Fi, using the Napier app, multi-factor authentication and any other IT issues you may have. These are drop-in sessions at the times and places listed in the link.


Printers are available in all campus libraries-make sure that you have enough print credit to complete your job.

Relaxation Spaces

If you need to take some time out from your studies head to our Relaxation Spaces – there’s one on each campus. We have books, games, colouring sheets and suggestions to help you de-stress.

By Vivienne Hamilton

Information and the Library

Information and the Library

Coming into a library can be daunting for some. Whether it be for the first time or the eleventh time. Having a sense of not knowing where to start with all this vast amount of information available, it can be overwhelming. We understand. And we are here to help.

We want to give a quick breakdown of where you can find information or where to ask for information. Because like we said before, we are to here.

Library Webpages

Starting off the library portal on MyNapier. The library web pages are designed to help you navigate the library. You can find all the information you wish to enquire. From opening hours, to how to find books, to even what to do if the book you need isn’t in our stock. It is all there for you. You’ll find quick links to library search so you can access books, journals and much more. A link to your subject guides which helps you with your course.  There are even some referencing guides. It’s all there.

Contact the Library

If you can’t find what you are looking for on our library web pages, you can always contact us. You can always contact us either through email or phone. Email us at library@napier.ac.uk or phone 0131 455 3500. And you can always speak to us in person. Library Help Desks are at each campus library, open between Monday till Friday, 8.45am to 4.45pm.

Or you can even tweet us @EdNaplib or get in touch on Instagram. Follow our social media accounts for library updates. And of course keep an eye out for new blog posts.

photo source Kimberly Farmer 

International Dog Day

International Dog Day

Everyone knows Librarians love cats, but we are an open-minded and inclusive lot here at Edinburgh Napier and our homes are open to not just fluffy felines but delightful dogs too! Here we showcase some of our Librarian’s gorgeous pups.

So come meet a few of our Staff’s Dogs!

Continue reading

Bridges of Scotland

Bridges of Scotland

On the 30th of August, it will be 6 years since the Queensferry Crossing opened. If you have ever travelled to Fife and beyond by car then you will have crossed it! This lifeline artery was built as a replacement for the old Forth Road Bridge which was beginning to suffer from corrosion in the suspension cables. This resulted in a loss of strength with weakening calculated to accelerate. This would result in traffic restrictions to limit loading and would impact heavily on tourism, logistics and commuting from Fife, Perth, Aberdeen, Dundee and the Highlands. In 2007 Transport Scotland decided to proceed with a replacement bridge. Known as the Forth Replacement Crossing, the bridge was finally named in 2013 following a public vote with Queensferry Crossing receiving the most votes. Scotland has many interesting and attractive bridges and here are a few you may be interested in:

Sluggan Bridge

Remote from a town or village this tall bridge over the River Dulnain seems quite out of place to modern eyes, but at one point this was part of General Wade’s military road and a vital crossing. Originally the crossing was merely a ford, but a two-arch bridge was built in the 1760s. This was swept away in a flood in 1829 and was replaced in the 1830s with the single-span bridge you can see now. Major repairs were carried out to the bridge in 2001/02 by Sustrans as part of the National Cycle Network Route 7. Sluggan Bridge is category A listed and a scheduled monument. The Wade Road is an ancient right of way.

Craigellachie Bridge

This elegant bridge spanning the River Spey is the oldest surviving iron bridge in Scotland. Built between 1812 and 1815 it was designed by the world-famous engineer Thomas Telford. Telford allowed for floods and the bridge withstood a major flood in 1829 when the Spey rose by 4.7 meters. The spandrels are formed of diamond lattice to form a delicate design. The castellated towers that decorate the abutments are hollow with false arrow slits. The bridge, with minor modifications, continued in use until 1963–64 and was bypassed and closed to vehicles in 1972 when its pre-stressed concrete replacement just downstream, was opened. Craigellachie Bridge is now an outstanding historical and scenic amenity used by pedestrians and cyclists.

Forth Bridge

This iconic bridge is sometimes referred to as the Forth Rail Bridge, but that’s not its official name. It spans the Forth estuary carrying the railway lines connecting the north and south of Scotland, and when it opened it was the world’s longest single-span cantilever bridge. The first design to be approved for a rail bridge across the Forth was by Thomas Bouch. This design was abandoned following the Tay Bridge disaster because that bridge had also been designed by Bouch. In the end, the design by John Fowler and Benjamin Baker was chosen and the bridge opened in 1890. At the busiest point in construction, 4000 men were employed; unfortunately, 57 men died. The bridge carries 200 trains each day and 3 million passengers each year. In 2015 the bridge was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in its 125th anniversary year.

Skye Bridge

The short 500m crossing between Skye and the Scottish mainland was made by ferry until the Skye Bridge opened in 1995. The bridge is a concrete arch supported by 2 piers and it is 2.4 km long with the main arch being 35m high. Although the bridge is free to cross now, this was not always the case. The bridge was built with private rather than government funding. This meant that the private company that owned the completed bridge could charge a toll to cross it. This charge applied to locals and tourists alike which meant that whenever an islander needed to access services or visit family on the mainland, they had to pay the toll. A campaign group SKAT (Skye and Kyle Against Tolls) was set up and in 2004 the Scottish Government purchased the bridge and abolished the tolls. The bridge has made Skye much more accessible and in recent years this has caused a large increase in tourism due to exposure on tv programmes promoting the outdoors and the historical fantasy series Outlander. Islanders now complain of rubbish being dumped, busy roads and erosion of paths due to the large numbers visiting Skye.

Scotland’s newest bridge-Lossiemouth East Beach Bridge

The town of Lossiemouth in Moray relied heavily on fishing and when the industry fell into decline in the 1970s the town began to rely on tourism. There are many lovely walks and interesting attractions to visit in the area, but the town’s biggest asset is the several miles long sandy East Beach. With pristine sands and a large dune system, the beach was well used by tourists and in recent years supported a surf school. But in order to get to the beach, the estuary of the River Lossie had to be crossed. Access was by an old wooden bridge and in 2019 a member of the public reported hearing a loud crack as they crossed it. The bridge was surveyed, and it was decided it was a risk to the public, so it was permanently closed. This was devastating to local tourism with shops and hospitality businesses reporting large falls in trade and cancellations of bookings. The estimated collective annual cost of closure was £1.5 million. However, help was to come from an unexpected source. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020, the UK government put financial help packages in place for hotels, restaurants and shops across the country. This ensured that Lossiemouth’s businesses were protected not only from the effects of the pandemic but from the loss of its biggest tourist attraction.

Meanwhile a tendering process was carried out and eventually, preparation works for a new bridge began in November 2021. The new bridge was completed in April 2022 and was officially opened in May. If you would like to see the bridge, beach and do some people watching, then click here.


You can use Library Search to find books and articles on more bridges of Scotland, bridge construction and tourism pressures.

By Vivienne Hamilton

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