Wednesday, 30 March 2011

SMU's favourite e-books

Have you ever wondered which e-books are the most popular with SMU Library users? Well wonder no more! Here are our top 5 most accessed e-books so far this year (there are actually 6 titles as there's a tie for 5th place):-

  1. 'Becoming a Teacher: Isues in Secondary School Teaching' (3rd ed.) by Justin Dillon & Meg Maguire

  2. 'An Introduction to Counselling' (4th ed.) by John McLeod

  3. 'Management and Organisational Behaviour' (8th ed.) by Laurie J. Mullins

  4. 'Marketing Strategy and Competitive Positioning' (4th ed.) by Graham J. Hooley, Nigel Piercy & Brigitte Nicoulaud

  5. 'Contemporary Issues in Marketing and Consumer Behaviour' by Elizabeth Parsons & Pauline Maclaran / 'Race, Culture and Counselling: The Ongoing Challenge' by Colin Lago
We have hundreds of titles available electronically and lots of you have been making use of them, which is good to see. For those of you who haven't yet discovered our e-books, you can find them on our catalogue by searching just as you would for a normal book. You can do this in the library or from anywhere in the world through the library website. You could be swotting from your course text book whilst sunning yourself in the South of France or whilst enjoying the view from a tent on the Gower (just as long as your course text is available as an e-book and you have Internet access and something to view it on!). If you'd like to find out more about our e-books and how to access them, please contact the library to ask.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Lord of the Libraries

In the original J.R.R Tolkien adventure set in the fantasy world of Middle Earth, Frodo Baggins undertakes an epic quest to save the Shire and its inhabitants from mortal danger by transporting the ‘ring of power’ back to its ultimate destruction on Mount Doom.

If you fancy a laugh, watch this humorous YouTube version - (produced by Kansas University) which imagines a slightly different scenario! In Lord of the Libraries Frodo and his companions set out to return the long overdue Book of Power back to its rightful place at the university library, thus clearing the name of his uncle Bilbo Baggins and the stigma of overdue library fines that has plagued him for three decades! Along the way they come to realise that libraries aren’t as scary as they first imagined and actually have lots to offer!

If you want to avoid library fines during this vacation period remember you can renew your books in person at any of our three libraries, or you can renew them online or by telephone. Visit our library homepage now for our contact details and Easter vacation opening hours.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Reminder re: library user satisfaction survey

Just a reminder that you have until Sunday to give us feedback on the library service here at SMU, via our annual questionnaire!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Looking for some peace and quiet?

During term time, SMU libraries are open weekday evenings and at the weekends. There’s less hustle and bustle at these times, so if you’re looking for a quiet place to swot up for your exams, try coming to us out of “office hours”. There’s also less competition for PCs at these times, so you can really get stuck in to that assignment you’ve been working on! For individual library opening hours, click the link to your library from our homepage:

We’re also open during vacation periods. Easter opening hours for each library are available on the library website. Just click the link under the Notices section. This year, Townhill Library’s late night opening carries on through the first week of the vacation to Friday 7th April and Owen Library at Mount Pleasant is open on Saturdays through the Easter holidays (except for Easter weekend!). Hopefully that will give you all a chance to come in and catch up on some studying, or to borrow some nice holiday reading!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

SMU Library user satisfaction survey!

Please take a few minutes to complete our annual library user satisfaction survey, either in person in any of our three libraries, or online at:

and you will be entered into a prize draw to win a 4GB USB memory stick!

The survey is available until Sunday 27th March, and gives you the opportunity to give us valuable feedback on how we can assess and improve our library services to you.

So please take a moment and fill out the short questionnaire!

Many thanks - SMU Library & Learning Resources team.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Roses are red, violets are blue...

...Today is World Poetry Day, so why not borrow an anthology from SMU?

We’ve got poetry to suit all tastes, from Romantics such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge to the more recent musings of Roger McGough. Do you have a favourite poem or poet? Let us know! If you’re feeling creative, we’d love to read your poems on libraries, SMU, or poetry in general in our comments section.

For the record, I’m a fan of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven (though it does always remind me of The Simpsons episode that featured it!).

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

The 17th March is St Patrick’s Day, when the patron saint of Ireland is celebrated all over the world. These celebrations often involve a trip to the local alehouse(s), and quite often a novelty hat too! This week though, before you head to Wind Street to raise a glass to the man, why not find some time to pop into your SMU Library and find out a bit more about Ireland and the Irish? We’re an alcohol free zone of course, but we’ve got plenty of books on the country’s literature and history, as well as a range of travel guides if you fancy a trip to the Emerald Isle (I can recommend Cork!). There’s a lovely Irish-themed display in Townhill Library that might inspire you.

It’s rumoured that St Patrick might have been Welsh (or possibly Scottish). If you’d like to find out more about his life and his day, you’ll find lots of information on our database, Oxford Reference Online, which is accessible from the library website ( Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!

Monday, 14 March 2011

New books on display

At Dynevor Library, we have a 'new books' section on level 1 (next to the current journals) where you can browse and borrow recently acquired Art & Design library items.
Currently on there you can find a nice selection of art exhibition catalogues from the UK, and further afield!

So next time you visit the library come and take a look, you may discover something new and exciting...

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Google Art Project

For all you art enthusiasts, we now have a link to the 'Google Art Project' website via our library webpages (from there click on the Art & Design subject link, and then 'websites', where you will see it listed).

'Explore museums from around the world, discover and view hundreds of artworks at incredible zoom levels, and even create and share your own collection of masterpieces' ...Google Art Project.

Monday, 7 March 2011

An interesting statistic for today...

During academic year 2009/10, our three SMU Libraries received a total of 231, 241 visits!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

World Book Day 2011

Image: nuttakit /

Thursday March 3rd 2011 is World Book Day, intended to bring together publishers, booksellers, libraries and readers alike in a worldwide celebration of books and reading. To mark this occasion the SMU library staff thought they would share some of their current/favourite reads with you, our library users!

Alison (Assistant librarian) - I am currently reading Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkein - both for myself and for my LOR obsessed son! Having watched the films, we're now delving deeper into the history of Middle Earth and the story of the Ring of Power. Exciting chases, myth, lore, romance, great deeds, goodies, baddies, big battles, beasts and magic! I've also got to get together a hobbit outfit for my son to wear to school on World Book Day - now, the big question, do hobbits have pointy ears or not??!

Amanda (Library Assistant) - One of my favourite books is Bliss by Peter Carey. He is my favourite author and this is the first book of his that I read. I like it because it is funny and sweet and meticulously crafted. I have lovely memories of reading it in a harbour in Australia, when the themes were fresh and current...and I had dolphins swimming around my feet - so that helps too!

Alison (Deputy Head of Library & Learning Resources) - I'm currently half way through reading The Long Song by Andrea Levy. Shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, the narrator tells us her story of slavery in early nineteenth century Jamaica. I'm enjoying reading it as it's engaging, beautifully descriptive and transports me to a different time and place!

Caroline (Clerical Assistant) - I'm reading two books at the moment. The Rough Guide to California (researching my latest holiday!) and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson... a bit weird, not quite sure why I'm reading it, probably because it had Vegas in the title, but I've started so I'll finish!

Linda (Library Assistant) - One of my favourite books is Notes On a Scandal by Zoe Heller. A compelling read...don't watch the film, the book is far better.

Maggie (Library Assistant) - An all time favourite read of mine is Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach. An inspirational short story that leaves a lasting impression.

Natalie (Library Assistant) - I've just finished reading Think Dog by John Fisher. A friend lent me this after we had our puppy and I enjoyed reading it because it gives an insight into why dogs behave the way they do, with lots of advice on how to deal with common dog problems!

Philippa (Assistant Librarian) - My favourite book is The Princess Bride by William Goldman. What's not to like about this book? It's got action, adventure, true love, satire, pirates, a giant... to quote the tag line of the 1987 film (also a favourite of mine), it's "not just your basic, average, everyday, ordinary, run-of-the-mill, ho-hum fairytale" and I love it!

Sue (Library Assistant) - I am currently reading Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia by Chris Stewart. It has been described as "the best good life abroad book in years" by the Sunday Telegraph. It's a bit slow to start with but gets better as you read on.

Wendy (Library Assistant) - I'm reading Room by Emma Donoghue at the moment (shortlisted for the Man Booker prize 2010). Hard to put down - unlike any book I've read before. Makes you look at the world in a completely different way.

As for myself...I love reading biographies (because I'm nosey!) and I'm currently reading Always Looking Up by Michael J Fox. It's the follow-on from his first autobiography Lucky Man. Despite dealing with some difficult issues, namely his well publicised struggle with early-onset Parkinson's disease, both books are light hearted and very funny, choosing to highlight his personal triumph over adversity.

So there you have it, a pretty varied selection of reading material! Hopefully we've inspired you to try something new this World Book Day. Why not drop us a line and let us know what you're reading? Leave your comments below...we look forward to hearing from you!