Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Library Closures Wednesday 30th November

As a result of the UCU and Unison strike scheduled for tomorrow, the Griffith Library at Dynevor and also the Townhill Library will be closed due to staff shortage.

Please note however that the Owen Library at Mount Pleasant will be open, and you can use their resources/facilities from 8.45am – 9.00pm. Any items borrowed that are due for return tomorrow can be renewed online, in person at the Owen Library, or by telephone (01792 481 141 – Owen Library) subject to the normal library rules and regulations.

You will also have access to the library e-resources as normal.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Julia Donaldson MBE, OOF (One of Our Favourites)

Julia Donaldson has had a very good year, what with receiving an MBE and being made Children’s Laureate. We at SMU Libraries think that sounds like a jolly good excuse to discover or re-discover her excellent books, many of which are available in our Teaching Practice collection at Townhill Library.

Donaldson is probably most famous for The Gruffalo, the story of a clever mouse who manages to outwit a string of predators whilst on a walk through the deep, dark wood. Well worth a read! You might have seen the star-studded television adaptation that has been shown on the BBC for the last two Christmases, in which case you’ll know what a charming story this is. You can find out more about this animated version here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00pk64x#clips. Hopefully we can all enjoy it again this Christmas, but until then, come and borrow a copy of the book from Townhill Library!

However, there’s more to Julia than just the Gruffalo. Not only has she written many more picture books for children (Room on the Broom is probably my favourite), but she’s also been very busy this year speaking out in support of libraries as part of her role as Children’s Laureate. Find out more about Children’s Laureates past and present on the official website (http://www.childrenslaureate.org.uk/), which includes some blog posts on Julia’s thoughts about libraries: http://www.childrenslaureate.org.uk/news-and-blog/blog/tag/313. We knew she was our favourite for a reason!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Introducing your subject librarian...

Hello, my name is Emily Hywel and I look after the Business Studies resources with Alison Evans. I have a degree in English Literature from Bangor University, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Library and Information Studies from Manchester Metropolitan University.

I was a bit of a late starter academically, so after leaving school at 16 I did a secretarial course, then worked as a temp and waitressed over the next few years. It wasn’t till my mid twenties that I decided to do an Access to HE course at my local FE College in Sheffield.

I found studying again after working full-time a real shock to the system. I was also a terrible library user, I didn’t use the catalogue, I wasn’t sure what a journal was for ages, and I never asked for help! Through my own experiences I understand how confusing libraries can be, but it was partly because of these experiences that I decided to train as a librarian after I graduated. My advice to any students who are getting frustrated with their research is please come in and ask us for help. That’s what we’re here for!

As for outside of work, I spend most of my time running around after my 18 month old daughter, who has just learnt how to run, and my three and a half year old son. I also passed my driving test last month - first time! So we’re making the most of the beautiful Gower beaches on any dry days we have!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Winners of Library iTunes vouchers!

Once again, during library induction at the start of the academic year, new students were given the opportunity to win iTunes vouchers by correctly completing library quizzes. The winning entries have recently been drawn, and our 2011 winners are: Laura Newman (Art & Design), Richard Renfrey (Education) and Adam Tsang (Public Services). Laura and Richard are pictured each receiving their £15 worth of vouchers, from Alison Scanlon at the Griffith Library.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Introducing your subject librarian...

Hello, my name is Alison Scanlon, and I’m one of two Deputy Heads of our Library & Learning Resources service here at SMU. I’m based at the Dynevor Campus, and have been looking after the library requirements of Art & Design students and staff since the campus opened in 2005. Prior to that I was based at the Owen Library from January 2000, so I’ve worked for this organisation for quite a while now!

Qualification-wise, I have a joint-honours degree in Information & Library Studies with Education, and I’m also a CILIP Chartered Librarian and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. As well as working in the University sector, during my career to date I’ve also worked in a couple of libraries in the FE sector. In my current role, I’ve had the opportunity to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, singer/songwriter Cerys Matthews and author Joe Dunthorne! You never know who you might see in a library!

On a personal level, I’m married and live on the outskirts of Swansea with my husband and a recent addition to the family – a rescue kitten we’ve named ‘Hank’. In my spare time I like reading, gardening, eating out (who doesn’t!) and travelling - the attached photo was taken last December in Kitzbuhel, Austria on my first skiing trip. I also love nature, animals and am concerned about our environment. I’m on the University’s Environment Committee so hopefully am contributing to improvements on a local scale at least. I’m also on various Art & Design committees representing the library and liaising with staff and students.

So if you are an Art & Design student (or member of staff), and need any help using the library resources at the Griffith Library at Dynevor, or have any questions about our service please don’t hesitate to get in touch! I look forward to seeing you during this academic year.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Successful author visit!

SMU students and staff were delighted to welcome Swansea-born author, Joe Dunthorne, to our Townhill Library last Tuesday afternoon.

Joe spent a wonderful hour with us, talking about his work as well as reading extracts from his novels 'Submarine' and 'Wild Abandon,' and some of his poetry. Afterwards, he answered questions and signed copies of his novels.

The event had been organised as part of the South West and Mid Wales Regional Library Partnership 'Reading Roadshow' campaign, to promote books and inspire reading.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Introducing your subject librarian...

Hello. My name is Suzanne Taylor and I’ve worked in Townhill Library for five years, two as a Library Assistant and three as a Trainee Assistant Librarian, prior to which I was a primary school teacher. The subject areas I support are: Performance & Literature, Counselling & Psychology and Educational Studies. To become a fully-fledged Assistant Librarian, I’m doing a Master’s degree in Economics and Library Information Studies via a distance learning course with Aberystwyth University. I’ve just completed enough modules to qualify for a postgraduate diploma and remove ‘trainee’ from the sign on my office door. I do however have a few nail biting months ahead waiting for the Examining Board to confirm my results. Then there’s a fifteen thousand word dissertation in front of me!!!

My favourite things...

Listening to live music from bands covering the sixties. One of the bands I saw last year was New Amen Corner and they were fantastic! I’m a fan of the Beatles, so standing on Mathew Street and hearing the song Eleanor Rigby floating up the steps of the Cavern was a truly magical moment. I also have a soft spot for Elvis.....especially as he was in the ‘68 Comeback Special’.

My two favourite TV programmes are: ‘The Big Bang Theory’ (Sheldon is brilliant!) and ‘The Dog Whisperer’ with Cesar Millan (Cesar is a genius!). I’m looking forward to having a dog in the New Year, as by then the garden will be securely fenced and a dog basket will have been bought, so any ‘choosing and looking after your dog’ advice in advance will be gratefully received!

I love my job and can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be. Being able to look out of the window and see the sea still makes me feel as if I’m on holiday, even though I’ve been living in Swansea now for five years. That’s it really, except to say, I’ve enjoyed meeting so many new and returning students this term and hope to see you all again soon.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

In Memoriam...

To mark Remembrance Day this coming Sunday, our University Records and Archives officer has once again put together a small display to commemorate the bravery of our students who gave their lives for their country during the first and second World Wars. It is on view in the Owen Library, Mount Pleasant Campus until November 21st if you would like to come and take a look. We also have Royal British Legion Poppies for sale at the ground floor main desk.

If you are feeling particularly inspired by this why not borrow something topical from our vast library collection...some war poetry maybe? We have The Poetical Works of Rupert Brooke at Townhill Library (shelfmark 821.912/BRO), which includes this classic poem:

The Soldier

If I should die, think only this of me;
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Image: Evgeni Dinev / freedigitalphotos.net

Monday, 7 November 2011

Would you like to brush up on your Internet research skills?

Of course you would! There is a wealth of good academic resources available online, but finding it amongst the mass of unreliable, biased and / or irrelevant information can be tricky. Your SMU librarian will be happy to help you identify the best online resources for your subject area, but if you'd like to hone your skills further, you could try the Internet Detective. It's part of the Intute Virtual Training Suite and was created as part of the Learn Higher project.

Internet Detective is a freely available, online tutorial designed to help you evaluate the quality of websites and point you in the right direction when it comes to selecting academically sound sources of information for your assignments. (Your library website is a good place to start!) Most of us think we're on the ball when it comes to Internet searching, but you might be surprised at what you learn. Were you aware that search engines don't search the whole Internet? For instance, there's lots of information in library databases that doesn't show up in a Google search. Internet Detective will help you find good information online, offer tips on evaluating that information and give advice on referencing and avoiding plagiarism. You can access the tutorial here: http://www.vtstutorials.ac.uk/detective/. Definitely worth a look!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Introducing your subject librarian...

Hello, my name is Alison Evans. I am a part-time Assistant Librarian based in the Owen Library, and I look after the business subject area with Emily Hywel. I have a degree in history, and qualified as a librarian by completing an MA in Library and Information Studies at Loughborough University. I have worked in academic libraries at the universities of Kent and Reading. I have also spent some time working as a childrens' librarian - a very different experience, at the other end of the education environment and great fun. I'm still trying to figure out how I can sneak a few stories, glue pots and glitter into our user education sessions here at SMU!! I first came to SMU when it was still Swansea Institute of HE. I was then based in Townhill library and helped look after the education and art subject areas. I took a break from (paid!) work when my children were small and came back to SMU in 2009.

I love reading and riffling through books! I get through a huge range of material - anything that takes my fancy, from the big prize winners through to the potboilers I read on the bus. I'm a sucker for history and historical fiction tomes. I'm currently working my way through C J Sansom's Shardlake series - fab writing, with lots of historical mystery, and high (generally grisly) body count. What's not to like?? I've also been known to sneak a peek at my childrens' reads. Having spent two weeks travelling round Scotland in the summer, enclosed in the car with the whole family and a cache of Horrible History CDs, my current party trick is to be virtually word perfect in the wonderful spoof songs from the BBC series. If you've not yet encountered The Viking Song, have a look on YouTube...