Edinburgh Napier University

Tag: Library (Page 2 of 5)

What the Librarians are Reading: Books we recommend!

What the librarians are reading: Books we recommend! Part 2

Stumped for your next read? Curious what the book professionals are reading? Look no further!  Here’s a peek into what the staff here at Edinburgh Napier University Library (ENULibrary) have been reading over the last year.

Check out recommended books from all genres and Interests (we are a diverse lot!) Some are available right here at the Library. For the books we don’t have, why not try your local library? Edinburgh City Libraries have a huge selection of books and we love supporting them.

The Book Reviews


Marian

Book Cover A tale for the time beingA tale for the time beingby Ruth Ozeki

Intricately interwoven plots, fascinating settings in British Columbia and Japan, full of ideas, touching and thought-provoking, shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize. 

 

Book Cover Loud and Close

 

Extremely loud & incredibly close by Jonathan Safran Foer

“This deals with difficult themes but is full of humour and zaniness, and very well-written.

 

Book Cover Thursday Murder club

 

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

“A quick entertaining read certainly.

 

 

You can borrow A tale for the time being”  and “Extremely loud & incredibly close” from our Library today!

Lesley

Book Cover Vicious“Vicious by V.E. Schwab

“If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?  Invisibility? Immortality?  You might want to reconsider your options after reading Vicious, a smart, witty take on the superpower/superhero genre. This is a grown-up page-turner with plot twists and snappy dialogue throughout, and it’s all shot through with deliciously macabre humour. V.E. Schwab is an American author who lives in Edinburgh.  We’re lucky to have her.  

You can borrow this one from us! Check out LibrarySearch

Cathryn

Book cover fair BotanistsThe Fair Botanists”  By Sara Sheridan

Set in 1822 Enlightenment Edinburgh at the time of the impending visit by King George 1V to the city and the move of the Botanical Garden from Leith Walk to where it is now at Inverleith.  Sir Walter Scott who was responsible for organising the King’s visit features as does the rare flowering of the Agave Americana in one of the Botanics glasshouses.  The story follows the twists and turns of the lives of the 2 main female characters Elizabeth Rocheid who arrived in the city after the death of her husband and the enigmatic Belle Brodie.  I enjoyed this book as it was based in Edinburgh and I recognised all the places it mentioned, the historical and botanical  references were also really interesting .”

 

Book Cover Starlit Seas“On Starlit Seas” By Sara Sheridan

Historical novel set in Georgian times, based around the true character, recently widowed author Maria Graham.  She’s been used to travelling around South America with her husband but now she must make to the journey back to England to visit her publisher.  She books a place on a ship bound for Bristol captained by Captain James Henderson a roguish smuggler.  For those who love chocolate, the story is woven around the consumption of chocolate and the Fry family of Bristol are characters in the novel!   

 

Why not check out our previous installment ofWhat the Librarians are reading books we recommend.

 

Main photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Happy Fourth of July Independence Day🎉

Happy Fourth of July Independence Day🎉

Also referred to as Independence Day, the Fourth of July marks the anniversary of the then 13 colonies declaring independence from the British crown. It has a rich history of celebrations throughout the United States.

On July 2nd 1776, the then continental congress voted for independence. Consequently, two days later the 13 colonies adopted the declaration of independence. Thomas Jefferson famously drafted the document. The Fourth of July has been celebrated ever since. Fun fact, as it was the 2nd of July that congress passed the decision on Independence, future President John Adams refused to celebrate American independence on the fourth of July and marked celebrations on the second. He would die fifty years later on July 4th 1826 (History.com).

Celebrations range from family barbecues to street parades. In addition, firework displays are notorious and have been part of celebrations since 1777, with the first reported in Philadelphia. Early celebrations included having mock funerals for King George III, and the firing of muskets and cannons.  These were followed up by a public reading of the declaration of independence (History.com). In 1870, it was recognised by Congress as a federal holiday, although it was not until 1941, that it would be a paid holiday for federal employees. It was in the late 19th century with the rise of leisure time that family get-togethers and barbecues became more common celebrations (History.com)

Whatever you are doing this year have a happy fourth of July Independence Day!

Read about other celebrations on our blog such as St.Patricks Day and Chinese New Year

Want to learn more about American History? Try Librarysearch.napier.ac.uk for all sorts of information. Need to know how to use it? Read our Guide here.

By Maya Green

Photo by Paul Weaver on Unsplash

 

 

 

World Music Day 2022 🎵

World Music Day 2022: Fête de la Musique

Is there anything better than when your favourite song comes on? Whatever grey clouds are there, good music brings a little bit of sunshine. And that’s what World Music Day 2022 🎵 is all about.  An annual celebration that occurs every 21st of June, originating in France.

The first ever World Music Day took place in Paris in 1982, organised by the Minister of Culture for France. Its objective was to promote music by encouraging amateur and professional musicians to perform in the streets and organising free concerts to make more music accessible. Since it first began, over 130 countries have taken part in celebrations, as well as over 1000 cities worldwide.

Why not try out some World music events right here in Edinburgh this summer! Check out what’s on here.

Resources for World Music Day 2022 🎵

The library has a wide range of musical databases that celebrate musical talent which you can find at our LibGuides

Or search for the vast amount of music scores and CDs available through LibrarySearch 

And of course, our Spotify account!

SO why not spend this day wrapped up in music? Listen to all your favourite songs and dance like no one is watching!

By Maya Green

Find out more about what the Library has to offer over the summer here.

Photo by C D-X on Unsplash

National Insect Week 2022

National Insect Week 2022

Love them or loathe them, insects are an important part of the earth’s ecosystem. Furthermore, they are a vital source of food for birds, fish and animals. In addition, they pollinate crops and plants and break down plant and animal matter. Over one million species of insects have been discovered and described, but it is estimated that there may be as many as 10 million species on earth. Scientists estimate that insects make up to 90% of all species of animals on the planet and more than half of all living things.

All insects have:

  1. Six legs.
  2. Three body sections (head, thorax and abdomen)
  3. Pair of antennae.
  4. Compound eyes.
  5. Most have wings.
  6. Three or four stage life cycle (egg, larva or nymphs, pupa and adult)

Insects can be found in every habitat on earth from hot deserts to snow-covered mountains, some such as termites and ants live in large colonies. Others, like the praying mantis and some bees and wasps, are solitary only coming together to mate.

Insects in trouble

It has been well documented in recent years that insects are under pressure due to loss of habitat, climate change and chemicals used in farming. It is estimated that every minute an area of rainforest the size of a football pitch is being cleared, displacing the insects that occupied it. In addition, Insects are also being killed by pesticides and herbicides designed to increase crop yields.

To reduce the impact scientists are trying to develop disease-resistant crops. This will lessen the need for harmful chemicals. Also farmers are being encouraged to develop wildlife strips to try to boost insect numbers.

Honey bees are also under threat from the varoa mite . It attaches to the body of the bee and sucks out fat bodies and also feeds on the larvae in bee hives. Moreover, these mites are a vector for at least five different debilitating bee viruses contributing to the current higher levels of bee losses worldwide.

How can you help this National Insect Week 2022?

You may think that there’s little you can do to help the insects’ plight, but there are some simple and cheap things you can try at home. Should you have a garden, you can leave a wild area where you don’t cut the grass, let weeds and nettles flourish and leave tree branches where they fall. This provides shelter and dedicated space for insects to thrive. Also, you can try planting flowers and shrubs which are good for insects in your flower beds or planters.

Don’t have a garden? You could plant up a window box with bee-friendly flowers such as cornflowers, cosmos and pot marigolds. These can be bought for a relatively small price.

Bug hotels are a fantastic way to provide shelter and a breeding spot for insects. They can be purchased at garden centres and online, but you may like to try making your own. There are several tutorials on YouTube and it’s a great way of recycling old materials and garden waste which you might have lying around.

Alternatively, you could take part in citizen science projects to help scientists better understand how insects are coping and if their populations are in decline or expanding.

Examples of citizen science projects are:

Counting insect splats- https://cdn.buglife.org.uk/2022/05/Bugs-Matter-2021-National-Report-Summary.pdf

Tell us about your bee hotel- https://saviourbees.co.uk/citizenscience/

Garden butterfly survey- https://gardenbutterflysurvey.org/

UK ladybird survey-https://www.coleoptera.org.uk/coccinellidae/home

A future food source?

In some countries, insects are seen as delicious snacks. Walk around a market in many parts of Asia and you will almost certainly come across fried grasshoppers and mealworms on the menu. This concept seems very alien to us in Scotland, but some scientists believe that there is a need for us to start using insects as a food source. The ever-increasing global population and events such as wars put pressure on food commodities. This can cause shortages, which if they were long-term, could mean that we must consider some more unusual sources to feed the world’s population.

Edinburgh Napier has lots of books and articles about insects available at Sighthill campus library and online. Use Library Search to find them.

By Vivienne Hamilton

Want to read some more nature-inspired articles? Why not read Vivienne’s post in Ospreys.

Photo by Elegance Nairobi on Unsplash

Our Library over Summer

Our Library over Summer

The exams may be over, but our campus libraries are still open and offering a full range of services. That means that you still have access to laptop loans, printing, study space, and group study rooms. Also, Click and Collect and Inter Library Loans services are still operational. During staffed hours you can still contact us or come to the helpdesk for assistance.

Although you have finished your studies for the summer the library may still have something to offer:

Merchiston library has a wide selection of novels, poetry and photography books.

Craiglockhart Library has French, German and Spanish textbooks if you are interested in learning another language.

Sighthill library has books about birds, animals and plants for nature lovers.

Use Librarysearch to check out what is available!

You can also still access our relaxation spaces to take some time out or have some quiet time.

Don’t forget our online services where you are able to access electronic books and journals throughout the summer break. Also, Box of Broadcasts has lots of summer themed programmes to enjoy:

Countryfile Summer Diaries

Secret Scotland

Roads Less Travelled

Britain’s Best Walks with Julia Bradbury

Iain Robertson Rambles

All Aboard! The Canal Trip

Nature’s Calendar (Summer)

Travel Man (48 hours in….)

The Great British Seaside Holiday-Timeshift

And when the weather permits, why not visit the extensive grounds around Craiglockhart campus where you can take a walk or relax and take in the fantastic views of Edinburgh.

We hope you decide to use the library this summer, but if you don’t have a great summer and we will see you again in September!

By Vivienne Hamilton

For more Summer Ideas why not read our Summer Escapes article here!

 

 

Celebrating Pride Month

Celebrating Pride Month

The start of June is upon us which means the start of Pride month. After all, June is the month of pride. Why June you may ask? Well…

The History of Pride 🏳‍🌈🌈🏳‍🌈

Celebrating Pride month in June is to commemorate the Stonewall riots that happened on the 28th of June 1969. New York Police raided the Stonewall inn which was a prominent gay club in Greenwich Village in the early hours of the morning. As police turned violent, and a build up of social discrimination and continuous police harassment grew, the raid became a riot and a protest. Led by Marsha P. Johnson, it lasted for 6 days. It saw large media coverage and spilt out to the streets of Greenwich.   This was the ‘catalyst for gay rights and activism in the United States and the world’ (Source)

Known as ‘Mother of Pride’, it was Brenda Howard who organised the first pride march to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Stonewall riots. This became America’s first ever Pride parade. It was not until the 1990s however that Pride Month became more popular (Source). Bill Clinton became the first President to acknowledge June as Pride Month.

Pride Month is not necessarily recognised internationally. However, it is increasingly becoming more recognised outside the United States.

Avoiding Tokenism 

Here at the Library, we love to celebrate Pride month, but we acknowledge that working towards equality is something that needs to happen all year round. We are working hard to promote and diversify our collections to be inclusive of all people, and to redress the imbalances we find in our collections to become more representative of everyone.

Library Resources

The Library has a wealth of books and articles on the subject. From the history of LGBTQ+ rights to current Legal information to keep you informed. Use LibrarySearch to find what you are looking for, or contact us for help with any of your research needs. 

Here are some items available through the Library to get you started: 

Same-sex, different politics: success and failure in the struggles over gay rights

Lgbt Activism and the Making of Europe A Rainbow Europe  

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people (LGBT) and the criminal justice system

University Support

If you are an LGBTQ+ student you can join Edinburgh Napier’s LGBTQ+ Society or find out more about the student LGBTQ+ community on the Queer Napier site. Staff can join the University’s thriving LGBTQ+ Network or visit our web pages to learn more about becoming an ally.

More Resources here on the Blog

Check out our Diversity Bookshelves to see some of the books we have available.

Or read more articles on Pride, LGBT+ History Month and Alan Turin.

By Maya Green

The Edward Clark Collection

Hidden treasures: The Edward Clark Collection

The Edward Clark Collection, housed in the library at the Merchiston campus, is not as well-known as it should be. It is one of the only two surviving examples of what was once a widespread phenomenon in Britain: printers’ libraries. The other survivor is St Brides Library in London.

The Edward Clark Collection consists of around 5,000 items illustrating the development of the book from the 15th century. More specifically, it concentrates on the development of typography, the techniques of printing illustrations, and fine bindings. The collection is located within the Campus Library at the University’s Merchiston Campus.

Printers’ Libraries

The first Edinburgh printers’ library was established in 1858. The technical and reference collections continued to be used up until the end of the 19th century, afterwich it is not clear what happened to them. Formal educational requirements for printing apprentices were established after World War I. The Clark Collection was put together as a teaching resource, mainly in the 1930s, to illustrate printing technologies, type design and book production from the 15th century to the present day. As well as the treasures highlighted on the Collection website it is a treasure trove for the historian of print.

Over the last 2 years, whenever access was possible, I have consulted type specimens, trade journals, company histories, technical manuals and books about print production and the design and making of books. These included James Watson’s History of Printing in Scotland (1713), Caleb Stower’s Printer’s Grammar (1808) and T.C. Hansard’s Typographia (1825), and looked again at a long-standing favourite of mine – John McCreery’s poem The Press, printed in Liverpool as a type specimen in 1802.

It is a privilege to work with this collection, and I am very grateful to all the library staff who have made this possible.

Dr Helen S Williams

Honorary Edward Clark Fellow

h.williams@napier.ac.uk

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.

 

 

May the Fourth be with you! Star Wars Day

Star wars day

May the fourth is commonly known around the world by Star Wars fans as Star Wars Day. This is because May the 4th sounds a bit like “May the force”, part of a very famous quote from the film “May the force be with you”.

The Star Wars film franchise is probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest in the world. Created by George Lucas, the first film came out way back in 1977 and has since spanned many other films and TV shows. Furthermore, there’s a wealth of merchandise to be had from costumes to Lego sets.

Want to make some star wars food? Check out some recipes here.

Need some ideas for how to celebrate? Read this article!

Library Resources

Want to watch the films right now? We can help! If you are an Edinburgh Napier University student or staff member then log into Box of Broadcasts (BoB) and you will be able to watch many of the films for free.

Also, check out librarysearch.napier.ac.uk for loads of fascinating items relating to Star Wars! We have a wealth of books, scores and articles.

All that’s left to say is “May the Force/fourth be with you!”

May Day The Beginning of Spring

Springtime

Is there anything that gladdens the heart of the city-dweller more than the glorious pink of cherry- and the wondrous white of apple blossom lining the grimy streets? Personally, I feel my spirits soar every time I wander along an avenue of blossom and turn up my face to the delicate petals raining down like confetti. Laburnum, too, delights with its brief but brilliant burst of yellow. (Okay, so it’s poisonous, but nobody was planning to eat it!) May really must be the most beautiful and optimistic month, as the light stretches and the air starts to warm up after those nippy April mornings.

The History of May Day

Maybe it’s this abundance of light, colour and new growth that inspired our pagan ancestors to celebrate the beginning of the month. They’d elect a May Queen and a Jack-in-the-Green to lead the festivities which included dancing around the maypole (every village had one), painting faces green and dressing up a local person in a caricature of a horse. The fun continued after the Christian church was established until those killjoy C16th Puritans banned maypole dancing as a heathen activity of drunken wickedness (which to be fair, it probably was).

Recent Times

In recent times, May 1st has become synonymous with something much less frivolous and decidedly more serious: work. Labour movements across the world have inspired action since the earliest days of industrialisation, but official commemoration of May 1st as International Workers’ Day began in Chicago when, in 1886, the American Federation of Labor implemented an 8-hour working day as a new standard of fair practice. In 1904 it was adopted around the world, and now May 1st is recognised by many as a workers’ holiday.

Scotland

Closer to home, Beltane is a Gaelic festival of fire that is traditionally celebrated on May 1st to mark the beginning of, um, summer. In Edinburgh, revellers usually make their way up Calton Hill before celebrating en masse. If you want to take part in the organised event, you’ll have to set off the night before.  See https://beltane.org/

You may be familiar with the old proverb “ne’er cast a cloot til the May be oot.” You’d be forgiven for believing that the May in this case refers to the month, but in fact, it specifically refers to the May tree, an old name for hawthorn, that beloved staple of hedgerows across the land that produces a gorgeous white blossom in May. Hawthorn is the only plant in UK vernacular to be named after the month in which it blooms.

We hope you enjoy this Mayday, whether you’re working, strolling through a garden of cherry blossom, dancing around a maypole or warming yourself against a roaring communal fire. Bring on the summer!

By Lesley McRobb

Read more articles on celebrations here on our blog:

St Patricks Day

Chinese New Year

Scottish traditions

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2022 The Library Blog

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: