Edinburgh Napier University

Tag: learning

International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day was originally founded by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and raises awareness of illiteracy globally.

Reading and writing are essential for our everyday lives, such as navigating signs, news, menus, and even labels on food. There are challenges with illiteracy, as approximately 771 million people still lack basic reading and writing skills.

UNESCO is holding a hybrid event and awards ceremony to remind everyone of the importance of literacy: You can find more information here

 

But what can be done to support literacy?

 

· Governments, schools, and communities can participate in activities to focus on illiteracy.

· Books can be donated to libraries and offer tuition to support success and development.

· Discussions, group sessions and 1-to-1s.

 

This year the theme is ‘transforming literacy learning spaces’ and at Edinburgh Napier University, we want to show how important spaces can be to ensuring inclusive education for everyone. For example, our group study rooms on resourcebooker.napier.ac.uk in the library provide a comfortable space for collaborative and group discussions, as well as technical equipment that can support development with researching and writing for dissertations and assignments.

 

What is the result of literacy?

Increasing literacy also gives people skills for employment with opportunities to develop and break the cycle of poverty, through small steps. It also provides people with knowledge and communication to express feelings and emotions.

 

You can find articles and books via the library search:

https://napier.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/44NAP_INST/19n0mho/cdi_gale_infotrac_456490000

https://napier.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/44NAP_INST/n96pef/alma9920385460102111

Our academic skills advisers are also here to help you on your university journey!

 

Further resources:

https://www.unesco.org/en/days/literacy-day https://nationaltoday.com/international-literacy-day/

Bridges of Scotland

Bridges of Scotland

On the 30th of August, it will be 5 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

Meet your Subject Librarian: Rob O’Brien

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

Meet your Subject Librarian Rob O’Brien

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

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

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

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

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

By your Subject Librarian Rob O’Brien

Check out Rob’s fantastic Libguide here for resources

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

 

 

Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day

“Imagine a gender equal world.

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Together we can forge women’s equality.

Collectively we can all” #BreakTheBias.

(Source: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/)

History of International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day! A global celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women. It took place officially for the first time on March 8, 1911 in Denmark, Austria, Germany and Switzerland (Source). Coinciding with the female suffragette movement at the time.

The United Nations started sponsoring International Women’s day in 1975 and the United Nations General Assembly stated it was…‘To recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security (Source)

March has since become the celebratory month of women’s contributions to history, science, culture and society. It started off as a week celebrated in California and eventually became a celebratory month recognised globally. The 1960s saw an increase in feminism movements which brought more attention to achievements and contributions made by women throughout history.

Break the Bias

This year’s theme is “Break the Bias”. It is asking us to stand up to the bias we see in the world and to take action! Read more on International Women’s Day at www.internationalwomensday.com/

Here at Edinburgh Napier University, there will be a number of activities taking place to show our support. We have an event on Women Working in Films & TV, this is an opportunity to network and to hear from a panel of experts in this field. The event takes place on Tuesday 8 March 2022, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm in the Glassroom at our Merchiston campus. More info here.

The ENU Women’s Network is inviting colleagues, irrespective of gender identity, to join them as they build on the network over the coming months. You can learn more and get involved here.

Further Reading

Want to know more about some amazing Scottish Women who have made incredible contributions, read our article Wonder Women of Scotland. Also, check out our other articles on Women’s History and Women in Science :

Women in Science

Women’s History

Women in Engineering

 

By Maya Green and Juliet Kinsey

SCONUL Access Scheme. Accessing University and Higher Education Libraries

SCONUL Access Logo

The SCONUL Access Scheme: Accessing University and Higher Education Libraries

Overview of the Scheme

SCONUL (Society of Colleges, National and University Libraries) is a reciprocal scheme that allows staff and students of Edinburgh Napier University to access other participating higher education libraries within the UK and Republic of Ireland.

There are currently 182 SCONUL members(libraries) providing access to study space, borrowing or for reference only.  Access to computers and online resources is generally not permitted.  You will be able to login to the Eduroam network using your Edinburgh Napier University username and password.

 

Who can use this Scheme?

Eligible staff and students of Edinburgh Napier University can register for SCONUL Access.  You must be in good standing with the university and have no outstanding library fees/fines or overdue items on their library account.

Students must be fully matriculated and possess a current matriculation card.  Staff should possess a current staff card.

We ask that you always check the website of the library you wish to visit or call them directly for further information about the services available to you.  Some libraries may have added requirements you need to be aware of before visiting them.

How many libraries can I join?

You need only apply for SCONUL Access once.  After joining you will receive a confirmation email that will allow you to visit any of the participating libraries.

Please note that some libraries are not currently participating in the access scheme.

A full list of participating libraries and further information on how to join this scheme can be found on the SCONUL website  www.sconul.ac.uk

If you have any further questions about SCONUL Access please contact: SCONULEnquiries@napier.ac.uk

 

Learn more about what your Library has to offer here

A gentle reminder that access granted under the access scheme is a privilege and not a right.  Thank You.

 

By Carol Wilkie

 

Black History Month

Black history month banner 2021

Black History Month 2021 runs throughout October and is a celebration of the often-overlooked contributions made by Black people to our shared history. It allows us to celebrate Black people and Black culture. This year the campaign is called “Proud to Be” and encourages Black and Brown people to share what they are “proud to be.”  

Here at the Library, we understand the importance not just of Black History month but also of continued action to tackle racism, reclaim Black history, and ensure Black history is represented and celebrated all year round. We are working hard to grow our collections so that they become more inclusive and diverse. 

Black history Month Image

What we are doing 

We have compiled two fantastic reading lists for you to enjoy filled with books, eBooks, films, and articles you can access not just this month but all year round. 

Links here: 

Black History 365 

Black History, Voices, and Innovation 

 Don’t forget you can use LibrarySearch to find even more sources, just log in and start searching. There is a useful guide available here 

Wear Red Day Icon

Wear Red Day

We will also be supporting Wear Red day on October 22nd – Show Racism the Red Card – Wear red day is a National Day of Action encouraging schools, businesses, and individuals to wear red and donate £1 to help fund anti-racism.

 

Displays

We will have displays on all our campuses, full of information and celebration of Black History and Culture, so keep an eye out when you visit us in person.

 

Walking Tour

The University group BAMEish will be running Black History Walking Tours with Lisa Willams. These will be running Thursday 14 October & Thursday 4 November.

Book here: Black History Walking Tour Eventbrite

Here are some useful Websites for you to look at:

There is also a brilliant reading list of books by CILIP which you can check out online here

There are some amazing talks from the British Library throughout October, which you can find here

Check out the official Black History Month site here

More Information on Black History in Scotland can be found here

Finally here is a link to what’s going on in Scotland this coming month.

 

Also, don’t forget to follow us on social media to see more of our Black History Month material

Instagram Twitter

You can read last year’s Black History Month post here.

 

 

Dyslexia Awareness Week

Dyslexia Awareness Week

It is Dyslexia awareness week in the UK, and we are here to guide and increase visibility to people all over the world!  The theme this year is Breaking Through Barriers.

Dyslexia Awareness Week will take place between 03-09 October 2022.

But what is dyslexia?  

Dyslexia is a lifelong learning difficulty that can affect communication, learning, reading, and writing.  

You may be able to spot signs of this such as inconsistent spelling, sequencing, and order of words. Furthermore, as Dyslexia isn’t visible, individuals with dyslexia can often feel unsupported and may struggle with their mental health.  

What support is there? 

There are many supportive resources for Dyslexia, here are just some examples below: 

 

Post-it-notes

Organising thoughts with post-it notes.

 

You can find more information on Dyslexia in the links below:  

Link to the Offical Dyslexia Awareness Week website

Link to the British Dyslexia Association

Link to Dyslexia Scotland Website

You can find more support and information using the following link to our Shelf Help Guide

Please share your comments and thoughts with us! 

 

The Wilderness Library: Libraries of The World Edamalakudi

How far would you travel to borrow a library book? Into town on the bus? One Edinburgh Napier campus to the other? How about trekking 18 kilometers through a forest in which you may or may not stumble across the occasional wild elephant? I’ll be honest – I probably wouldn’t bother. The patrons of the library in the remote Idukki district of Kerala in southern India, however, are prepared to do just that.

The library in Edamalakudi doubles as a teashop, which no doubt comes as a huge relief to the patrons who have climbed uphill through an impenetrable forest to pick up their paperbacks. Kerala is India’s most literate state, and the residents here – while poor and marginalised – are ardent readers. When it was first established in 2010, the library stocked precisely 160 books – all Indian classics – but over the years word of the library’s success has spread, and it has ambitions to collect a thousand more books. The library’s borrowing rate is high. We wish it a thousand books and a thousand more.

Read more about the Library here

Read our Post Libraries Around the World 🌏 for more fascinating information on different world libraries.

By Lesley McRobb

Introducing a new database: IBISWorld

IBISWorld

Are you a student or member of staff looking for UK Industry Market Research data? Well the good news is that the Library now subscribes to the research industry database IBISWorld.  Covering a wide range of topics from accommodation and food service activities, to construction and transportation, it’s sure to have what you’re looking for!

The database has an easy-to-use and intuitive layout.  Each industry report has the same menu options; covering a variety of topics, including industry at a glance, industry performance, operating conditions and key statistics. In addition, you can create your own presentations with access to easily downloadable formats including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and PDF.  Whats more there are also new interactive charts allowing you to manipulate the data to work for you!

Interested? Access the database from the link on Keith Walker’s Business School Subject Guide or go to LibrarySearch  and navigate to it from the Databases link.

As a starting point I’d suggest going to your profile in the top right-hand corner of the screen.  You’ll find FAQs, useful tutorials and a short video to help you make the most of IBISWorld.

Right, I’m off to find information on the chocolate and biscuit production in the UK!

By Cathryn Buckham

 

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