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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

A Quick Guide to Finding a Book with LibrarySearch

Finding a book with LibrarySearch


Are deadlines coming up? Assignments due? And Google just won’t do. Our quick guide to finding a book with LibrarySearch that will save the day!

There are books, journals, peer-reviewed articles and much more. We have over 225 databases, 33 000 journals, 100 000 books and well over 300 000 e-books all available at your fingertips at LibrarySearch. We can’t sing the praises of LibrarySearch enough!!

That’s all great and everything but the question now is how does it work?

Simply go to librarysearch.napier.ac.uk, access it through our web pages or click the shortcut here.

Don’t forget to sign in the right-hand corner to give you full access.

librarysearch screenshot

In the search bar, type the book title. If you don’t have any books in mind, you can type the keywords for your subject area and let LibrarySearch do its magic. There are filters on the side to narrow down your search for example if you only want books and books for a certain decade and books from a certain campus.

Librarysearch screen shot

Once you’ve spotted a book that looks useful click on the link. You will be able to see if it’s available online or in one of our Campus Libraries. If it’s available online just click on the links to take you right on through to your book. If the book is on one of our shelves note down the Dewey Decimal number. It will tell you where your book is positioned. Afterwards, If you get stuck check out our guide or ask one of our lovely Librarians who will be happy to help!

All there to make life easier. Like we said LibrarySearch is there to save the day

By Maya Green

 

Discovered your book on LibrarySearch, but need help spotting it on the shelf? Try our Guide to the Dewey Decimal System here!

Still stuck finding something useful then why not check out our LibGuides

What the Librarians are reading: Books we recommend!

Image Source

What the librarians are reading: Books we recommend! Part 1

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, but 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


Malcolm

tiny habits book cover“Tiny Habits” by B.J. Fogg.

“Recommended at a financial health webinar, and I read it over Xmas.  A great way to self-change behaviour is by breaking down desired changes in multiple areas into very tiny habits, which are much more easily achieved than big changes.  Prompt such habits by linking them to existing parts of your life, and celebrate when you successfully do them…it all helps to rewire them effectively into your brain.  Easy to read and to get started with. Recommended!”

 

story of tea book cover

“The Story of Tea: a cultural history and drinking guide” by M.L. Heiss and R.J. Heiss.

“All you need to know about teas of the world…production, history, and how to brew them. Lots of pictures. Say goodbye to teabags. Perfect for the Tea-head in your life!”

 

 


Emi

Chernobyl book cover“Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy” by Serhii Plokhy

“A very interesting and detailed insight about the 1986 disaster and its aftermath. The events are recreated by Ukrainian Professor Serhii Plokhy with detail and accuracy. At the same time, it’s quite interesting to read because the author tells the stories of the firefighters, scientists, engineers, workers, soldiers, politicians, and policemen who found themselves caught there and shows a lot about the nature of the Soviet political system and the flaws of its nuclear industry. As some reviews say, you can read it ” like a good thriller” and I found its less upsetting and disturbing than the recent TV show.”

You can borrow this one from us! Check out LibrarySearch

 

Pandoras Jar book coverPandora’s JarWomen in the Greek Myths by Natalie Haynes.

“It’s a must for those who, like me, love Greek myths. An enlightening essay about how women have been hidden, belittled or directly condemned in those myths retold many times.  The women’s narrative and its complexity have been misinterpreted through History and also Art, so I

enjoyed a lot reading about characters like Pandora, Medusa, and Medea and how they were not as virtuous or monstrous as they have been pictured (normally by men!).”

 


Maria

Study with me book cover“Study with me: effective bullet journaling techniques, habits, and hacks to be successful, productive, and organized” Shao, Jasmin andJagan, Alyssa

“I enjoyed it because I have only recently started bullet journaling and this book gives a good overview of the practical/organisational aspects of how to do it, and also guidance on how to make your journal more creative and interesting.

For anyone who hasn’t heard of bullet journaling before it is a customisable diary/planner that be as simple or complex as you choose to make it!”

You can read this book here, through the Library.


We will have another instalment soon of “What the Librarians are reading” so check back to the blog regularly.

Want some more suggestions right now? Check out our earlier post of book recommendations here!

Unusual Libraries from the UK

Image Source

University libraries tend to be large spaces with shelves with thousands of books, computers and study spaces. Students are used to and expect to have these facilities. You may also use public libraries which may not be as big, but still house a huge variety of books and other resources, but not all libraries are the same……

Here are two Unusual Libraries from the UK

Bethnal Green tube station library

When war broke out in 1939 Bethnal Green Underground station was partly completed, and work was halted. In late 1940 it was decided that as the works were far enough ahead it could be used as a safe shelter for the public during air raids. Over a period of months, the station was transformed to house enough bunks to sleep up to 5000 people, a café, theatre and a nursery. This community 78 feet underground also gained a library in 1941-Britain’s only tube station library.

In September 1940 a bomb had fallen on the roof of Bethnal Green Public Library causing vast destruction to the adult learning library. Librarian George F. Vale and his deputy Stanley Snaith pulled a tarpaulin over the shattered glass dome roof and vowed to bring a library to the underground community. The council approved a grant of £50 and a library was created over the boarded-up tracks of the westbound tunnel. Stanley Snaith wrote “All last summer the caverns echoed to the din of hammers and saws. The result was a triumph.” Later in the Library Review 1942, he wrote “Libraries in converted shops, in village halls, in mobile vans are common enough. But libraries in tube shelters are something new under the sun.”

The tiny library measured 15 feet square and opened from 5.30-8pm every evening. It housed 4000 titles that had survived the bombing of the main library. Romances, classics, poetry and children’s books could be borrowed and help the residents to escape from the horrors happening above ground. Snaith wrote of his patrons, “Each dusk sees the first contingent making its way down to the bowels of the earth. The well and the ill, the old and the young, they come trooping down… In the library the youngsters are vocally busy with their book selection, but why should they not chatter to their heart’s content.” Now the “youngsters” are in their 90’s, but they still have fond memories of the tube station library. Pat Spicer, now 92 said, “You can’t imagine what that library represented to me as a place of safety. It sparked a lifelong love of reading.”

As the war dragged on many would have been anxious about what the future held, but in October Bethnal Green Library celebrates its centenary and tube trains still come and go from Bethnal Green station.

Phone box libraries 

Across the UK many redundant old red phone boxes have found a new use as micro libraries. This is often in rural areas which have been affected by cuts to spending on public libraries due to cuts in local council funding. The idea is simple-anyone can take a book home, but they are expected to bring it back or bring a replacement.

The first phone box library was set up in 2009 in Westbury-Sub-Mendip following cuts to the mobile library funding. The parish council purchased the box for £1 and locals put up wooden shelves and donated books.

These micro libraries operate on a system of trust and house a large range of titles from cookery books to classics and children’s books. In villages where everyone knows everyone, the system works well, but in some cities, micro libraries have been vandalised and the local community has had to fund and carry out repairs.

These are just 2 examples of libraries in unusual places. If you would like to find out about some other unusual libraries click on the links below:

The Worlds Oddest Libraries

Donkey Libraries of Columbia

ReadingClub2000

Also, check out our amazing article on

Wilderness Libraries of edamalakudi

 

By Vivienne Hamilton

St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all our Irish students and staff.

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on 17th March. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, but there are parades and parties worldwide due to the large numbers of people with Irish heritage spread across the world.

dog in st patricks day hat

Source

History of St.Patrick’s Day

Although there are no exact dates of his birth, it is believed that Patrick was born in the Roman-occupied north of England. and that he died on 17th March. His autobiographical work “Confessio” claims that when he was around 16, Patrick was taken from his home in Britain by Irish pirates who took him to Ireland as a slave. There he looked after animals for around six years and converted to Christianity. He fled captivity after hearing a voice telling him he would soon go home. He found passage on a ship and after several days walking he returned home. Following his return, Patrick studied Christianity in Europe-mostly in Auxerre, France and was ordained into the priesthood there. He later returned to Ireland as a missionary, and by the 7th century was already revered as the patron saint of Ireland.

The Irish Potato Famine

There are many people throughout the world with Irish ancestors due to the large numbers who emigrated because of the Irish Potato Famine. It started in 1845 when a fungus ruined around 75% of the annual potato crop, which most of the population relied on for food. Around one million Irish died before the end of the famine in 1852. Another million emigrated to countries such as Great Britain or the United States, and therefore you will find St. Patrick’s Day celebrated in many countries worldwide.

Celebrations

Today descendants of the immigrants celebrate their Irish heritage dressing up in colourful clothing in green and gold (the colours of the Irish flag), joining parades of pipe bands, cheerleaders, and floats. One of the biggest parades outside Ireland is in New York which held its first parade in 1762. This was a time when the wearing of green was a sign of Irish pride but was banned in Ireland. The parade gave participants the freedom to speak Irish, wear green, sing Irish songs and play the pipes to Irish tunes that were meaningful to the Irish immigrants of that time.

Aside from parades, many pubs and restaurants host events with live music and singing, and you shouldn’t have to look too hard to find one in Edinburgh!

By Vivienne Hamilton

Read more on world festivals and traditions with our articles:

Chinese New Year

Scottish Traditions: Burn’s Night

The Ethiopia Timkat Festival,

New Year Traditions from Around the World

Also, don’t forget you can find out more about everything mentioned in this article at Librarysearch.napier.ac.uk

 

 

Love your Library!

It’s Valentine’s Day ❤ Hearts rejoice ❤ To celebrate the library wants to hear from you. Starting today till next Friday, it is all about your feedback. Tell us what you love about the library, tell us what we can do better, we want to know. There will be a display all pretty in pink at each library campus where you can tell us. Tell us what’s working, tell us what isn’t, we want to hear from you.

You can leave us feedback below too! Just click on the rating you feel represents how you feel about the Library.

Please leave us feedback about the Library

Gold Star Green Light Yellow Light Red Light
Love it! It’s Great Could use some improvement Needs Improvement

You can leave us a comment once you have selected your rating.

 

Need to see some reasons to love us? Check out our Love Your Library Posts from last year.

 

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