Friday, 21 December 2012

See you in the New Year!

We’ve just heard that Swansea Metropolitan is closing this afternoon. Campuses will re-open on Wednesday 2nd January. As such, the Swansea Met libraries will be closing at 12pm today. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause.
Owen Library at Mount Pleasant campus and Townhill Library will re-open on Wednesday 2nd January, with Swansea Business School Library and Griffith Library at Dynevor following suit on Monday 7th January. You can check our opening hours under the Notices section of our homepage. Remember, our online resources will be available throughout the Christmas period.

We hope you’ve all got a lovely break to look forward to and won’t be working too hard. Nadolig Llawen! See you in 2013!

Monday, 17 December 2012

We love… the TES website for current awareness, forums and teaching resources

Have you discovered the TES website yet? It’s well worth a look if you’re a teacher or trainee teacher as you’ll find all sorts to help you out. You’ll find the latest paper edition of TES, as well as recent back copies, in Townhill Library, so you can always keep up to date on the latest Education news on campus, but their website lets you keep abreast of things whilst you’re off campus too. Articles from the current issue and the TES archive are freely available online – just click the TES magazine link from the homepage.

The TES forums are a great way to get connected to teachers across the UK. Whatever the stage, role or subject you’re interested in, there’s sure to be a forum for you. And it’s not just professional chat – there are lots of social forums for teachers to share their views on hobbies, health, and anything else you can think of. TES experts regularly contribute to the forums to offer advice. The forums also offer a network of support from fellow professionals and a chance to air your views. Do check the Welcome page for Terms and Conditions, Code of Conduct and Netiquette before you get going, though!

Finally, the TES website is a great place to find lots of free teaching resources! Simply register on the website to access and download resources on all sorts of topics. Once registered, you’ll also be able to upload your own resources, so if you’ve come up with a classroom game that you’re really proud of, now’s your chance to share it with the world!

If that’s not enough to get you excited, take a look at the video web chat at 11am on Wednesday. Father Christmas himself will be answering questions live on the website!

Friday, 14 December 2012

The Top 12 Most Popular E-Books of 2012!

We thought we’d bring you a top 12 of 2012 to end the term nicely – the most popular Swansea Met library e-books from the last 12 months!

1. Management & Organisational Behaviour by Laurie J. Mullins

2. Becoming an Outstanding Primary School Teacher by Russell Grigg

3. Research Methods in Education by Louis Cohen

4. Marketing Strategy and Competitive Positioning by Graham J. Hooley

5. Research Methods for Business by Mark Saunders

6. Exploring Corporate Strategy by Gerry Johnson

7. Marketing in Travel and Tourism by Victor T. C. Middleton

8. Assessment for Learning by Paul Black

9. Becoming A Teacher edited by Justin Dillon & Meg Maguire

10. Race, Culture and Counselling by Colin Lago

11. Essential Teaching Skills by Chris Kyriacou

12. Doing Your Research Project by Judith Bell

If you’ve not yet used an e-book, why not make it one of your resolutions to do so in 2013?
You can access them both on and off campus 24/7, via the library catalogue and web pages.

For further information/advice please speak to your Swansea Met subject librarian!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Would you like to borrow books from other libraries?

If you are a student or member of staff at Swansea Met, did you know that you have access to other libraries - local, regional and even national, through two amazing schemes that we are part of?

If you are interested in using other libraries in the South West and Mid Wales region, the ‘Libraries Together’ scheme is perfect for you! It is a collaborative venture via SWAMP (South West and Mid Wales Libraries Partnership) and is open to anyone. As a Libraries Together member, you can borrow books from the public, university and college libraries within this area, for free!

If, on the other hand you would like to use other university libraries, SCONUL Access is your scheme! This scheme is also free, but is targeted mainly at part-time students, post-graduate students and members of staff. SCONUL Access covers most of the university libraries in the UK and Ireland – take a look at their website if you would like to find out more...

SCONUL Access is particularly useful for students who study in Swansea during term-time, but live elsewhere within the UK and return home during vacations.

So if you would like more information about either scheme or would like to sign up to join, please do contact your subject librarian or myself at the Griffith Library!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

As seen on screen

You might have spotted our tweet and Facebook post on Monday when we recommended Ang Lee’s new film Life of Pi and let you know that the novel is available for you to borrow at Townhill Library. That got us thinking about some of the other books on our shelves that have made their way to the big screen.

Great Expectations and The Hobbit are two lavish productions that I’m sure lots of us are looking forward to seeing this festive period. Both films are adapted from wonderful novels which are well worth a read (though it’s worth noting that Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit is the first in a trilogy, so you’ll have to decide whether you want to read the book and find out how it all ends before or after you’ve seen all the films!). As for Great Expectations, well, you’ve got to have a bit of Dickens at Christmas, haven’t you? I’m looking forward to seeing Helena Bonham-Carter’s interpretation of Miss Havisham!

Speaking of Dickens, it’s been a while since the last big screen adaptation was released, but A Christmas Carol is always a firm favourite at this time of year. There are sure to be lots of versions popping up on the TV over the next few weeks (A Muppet Christmas Carol is surely the best!), but it’s well worth going back to the source. The spooky tale of Scrooge’s redemption is available in Townhill Library, along with some of Dickens’ lesser known Christmas stories.
The due dates for our ordinary and weekly loans have already gone over to next term, so if you stock up on your Christmas reading this week, you can keep the books until the 10th January! (Two-day and overnight loans will still be due back this term, so keep an eye on those!)

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Essential upgrade means e-books unavailable Saturday 8th December

Due to an essential upgrade, many of our e-books will be unavailable this Saturday (8th December). We're very sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Each of our 4 libraries will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, so you can still come and borrow books off the shelves. You could also try searching our Digital Library or databases for journal articles on your subject. Just ask a librarian if you need any help!

Friday, 30 November 2012

World AIDS Day 2012

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day. Every year since 1988, 1st December has been the day when people across the world unite to remember those who have died from or are living with HIV and related conditions. It’s also a chance to celebrate the progress that has been made in the fight against the disease and a reminder that there is still more to be done.

You can find out more about World AIDS Day, including Facts & Stats and How to Get Involved, on the official website. You’ll also find lots of information on the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which has links to their strategy and operational plan documents for tackling HIV.

Health students, and anyone else with an interest in this area, might like to take a look at the Websites page of the Health subject area on the library website (just scroll down our homepage and click the Health tab near the bottom). Health & Social Care librarian Samantha Scoulding has gathered together a number of reputable websites that you might find useful in your studies. From there, you’ll also be able to see a selection of excellent Databases for Health students. CINAHL Plus and Science Direct in particular might be very helpful if you’d like to find out a bit more about issues surrounding HIV and AIDS. Both of these databases offer full-text access to articles from academic journals. Just type your keywords in to find an article you like and then you can print it out, save it, or read it on the screen!

Monday, 26 November 2012

More help using library e-resources!

Further to my earlier post, tomorrow (27th November) the Counselling & Psychology librarian (Suzanne Taylor) and the Education librarian (Philippa Price) will be holding drop-in sessions for Counselling & Psychology students, in the Townhill Campus computer room TK149.  They are holding the sessions from 10 a.m. until 12.30 p.m. and then again from 2.00 p.m. until 4.00 p.m.

There are lots of resources available through the Library web site and there’s also the new Digital Library, which is a great place to start your search. So, if you’d like help finding e-books or journal articles, please drop in anytime during the times listed, and your Swansea Met librarians will do their best to help!

Drop-in session on library e-resources for Art & Design

The Art & Design Librarian at Dynevor campus (myself!) is holding a drop-in session on library e-resources for Art & Design students & staff on Wednesday 5th December. It will take place in Lecture Theatre 1 on the Dynevor campus, starting at 12.30pm.

The session will last around an hour, and will look at how to access electronic journal articles, e-books, images and newspaper articles (amongst other things). Everyone studying on/teaching an Art & Design course is very welcome and you will see the benefit of knowing more about these resources.

For staff/students not within Art & Design, do contact your Swansea Met subject librarian if you would like to have a similar session, plus we are also happy to see individuals one-to-one.

I therefore look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible a week Wednesday!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

More freebies from Emerald!

You may remember our blog post earlier this month which told you about Emerald’s Journals of the Week which gives you free access to articles from two journals each week. (If you missed it, find out more here.) Well, it seems as though Emerald likes a freebie nearly as much as we do! For a limited time, you can also download articles from three new journals: International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, Journal for Entrepreneurship and Public Policy and Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies. Articles from these journals will be available until the 1st December from the Emerald website. An early Christmas present for us all!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Is it a bookcase? Or a secret passageway...

Something a little frivolous for a Friday, but still book-related! Take a look at this blog post we stumbled across, how cool would it be to have one of these in your house/library?

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

We love... the Bridgeman Education database for beautiful images

Bridgeman Education is the digital image database for the Bridgeman Art Library. It gives you access to thousands of pictures for free! Our subscription allows you to search and download these images to use for educational purposes (please don’t use them for commercial reasons or you’ll get us all in trouble!). So, if you’re looking for examples of Paul Cezanne’s work, or would just like to find a picture of a Yorkshire Terrier (well, why not?), Bridgeman Education is the place to go! All images are of the highest quality, so much so that you can even zoom in to admire the brush work on the paintings.

You can access Bridgeman Education on or off campus from the library website’s database pages. If you need any help accessing this or any of our other resources, please ask your friendly librarian. We’re happy to help!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Library social media competition winner!

We are pleased to announce that the winner of our library competition from earlier on in the term (for new students to follow our Blog, Facebook or Twitter sites) is Education student, Lucy Arkless.

Lucy’s name was chosen at random by Art & Design library rep Howard Riley, and her prize was a £20 Amazon gift voucher.

The aim of the competition had been to encourage new Swansea Met students to follow our library social media sites. Swansea Met librarians had been busy at their library induction sessions promoting the sites, and we have been pleased by the increase in followers!

Pictured below is Lucy (left) receiving her gift voucher from Assistant Librarian Suzanne Taylor earlier this week. If you are reading this post and haven’t signed up to our Blog, followed us on Twitter or liked us on Facebook yet, why not do so now! It’s a great way of finding out more about the resources and services Swansea Met libraries have to offer you.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

National Stress Awareness Day

Today is National Stress Awareness Day! We thought we would bring this to your attention, as we understand that being a student (or member of academic staff) can bring along its own set of stresses.

For more information about the day and the organisation behind it see the following link:

Also don't forget the library is here to help you, with its resources and services to make your student/staff life that bit easier. We have four libraries at Swansea Met, and amongst many things can offer you physical space/peace to work, knowledgable subject librarians to guide you through our resources both print and electronic, and also convenient access to the latter off-campus 24/7.

So do pop in to your nearest Swansea Met library and see what we have to help you :-)

Monday, 5 November 2012

Freebie journal articles from Emerald

Everyone loves a freebie and with Emerald you get two per week! Emerald is a company which publishes academic books and journals covering a whole host of subjects. Each week, they choose two ‘Journals of the Week’ and offer free access to articles from recent issues. There’s no catch, so it’s well worth a look! Current and upcoming journals of the week are:-

5/11/12           EuroMed Journal of Business
                        Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy
12/11/12         Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning
                        Journal of Organizational Ethnography
19/11/12         Quality in Ageing and Older Adults
                        Journal of Children’s Services
26/11/12        Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal
                        Management Research
3/12/12          Smart and Sustainable Built Environment
                        British Journal of Forensic Practice
10/12/12        International Journal of Emerging Markets
                        Critical Perspectives on International Business
17/12/12        Social Care and Neurodisability
                        Safer Communities

Something for nearly everyone! You can find out more from Emerald’s Journal of the Week web page.  These journals will only be available for a week each, so be quick if you want to take a look at any articles! Remember, though, some of these titles are available to you anyway as part of the library’s database subscriptions. To check, just search our catalogue for the journal title you’re interested in.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Looking for a scary movie or a spine-chilling book?

Happy Halloween everyone! It’s the scariest time of the year again – ghosts, ghouls, witches, and probably some assignment deadlines looming! Pop into your Swansea Met library to borrow something suitably creepy to get you in the mood.

Last week, we put the spotlight on the black cat / Halloween display in Townhill Library’s Teaching Practice collection, but we’ve lots more to offer too! Search for horror fiction on our catalogue and see what takes your fancy. If you’re looking for a recommendation, Edgar Allan Poe is surely the king of the spooky story, especially with all those Simpsons tributes through the years which seem to have have linked him inextricably with Halloween.

And we’re not just about books! Speaking of The Simpsons, you’ll find the seventh series in Townhill Library at 791.457 SIM, so you can re-visit some old adventures, including Treehouse of Horror VI  to continue with our Halloween theme. Griffith Library on the Dynevor campus has an excellent selection of DVDs which includes genre classics from kitsch Hammer Horrors to modern chillers like The Ring.

Remember, you can ask for books and DVDs to be sent between our four libraries, so you don’t need to miss out if the item you want is on another campus. Just ask staff for a request form. And don’t have nightmares!

(If it's your assignment deadline keeping you up at night, you might want to take a look at some of our study skills books!)

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Lucky black cats?

Ruby and Bella
Today is National Black Cat Day! ‘Why do black cats need their own day? What about the other cats?’ I hear you ask. Well, it seems that rescue centres have found that black cats take significantly longer to re-home than cats of other colours. No one knows why this is the case, but to try and combat it, Cats Protection have come up with a special day to honour these overlooked felines.

Library workers seem to have a special affinity with our feline friends (not all of us, but most of us do love cats!), so this was all the excuse we needed to pull out some lovely books and make a feature of black cats. You’ll find Six Dinner Sid, Slinky Malinky, Mog from Meg and Mog and many others on display in the Teaching Practice area of Townhill Library. Black cats do have an association with witches (is that why nobody wants them?), so they fit in quite well with all the Halloween books that are also on display! Do call in and have a look.


 If you’d like to find out more about National Black Cat Day, there’s information on the Cats Protection website. There are lots of resources and links to local branches if you’d like to adopt your own moggy.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

And the Man Booker prize winner of 2012 is...

Bring up the bodies by Hilary Mantel! This is something of an historic victory for Mantel as she becomes only the third person to win the prize twice (J. M. Coetzee and Peter Carey are the other two) and the first person to win with a sequel. Following on from Mantel’s Wolf Hall, Bring up the bodies continues the story of Thomas Cromwell, tracing the fall of Anne Boleyn from his perspective.

The winner and shortlisted titles are all now available in Townhill Library where they are part of our Man Booker display. You’ll find nominees from this year and selected titles from previous years on the ground floor of the library near the stairs. If you spot anything that takes your fancy, do feel free to pick it up off the table and borrow it!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

What's on our 'new books' shelves?

You may wish to take a stroll into the Griffith Library at Dynevor, to have a look at the new books that have arrived recently! They can be found on the 'new books' shelves, on display next to the current journals.

To give you a taster, we've had some fabulous Art & Design exhibition catalogues in recently, and currently on the shelves (amongst others) are:
'Hollywood Costume' the exhibition of which is on at the V&A from 20th October to 27th January;
'Bronze' exhibition on at the Royal Academy of Arts, from now until 9th December;
'Art of Change - New Directions from China' at the Hayward Gallery also until 9th December;
'Pre-Raphaelites - Victorian Avant-Garde' at Tate Britain until 13th January.

We have new titles in on a regular basis, so do keep an eye on the new books shelves both at the Griffith Library and Townhill Library! Lastly don't forget that you can borrow any of the items found on there, either at the counter or via the self-service kiosk.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

What we are reading - A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness

This Children’s Book Week you might be wondering about the cream of the crop in the world of children’s literature. Everyone has different tastes, of course, but Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls must be considered among the best of the bunch this year. This book made history in the summer when it became the first book to win both the CILIP Carnegie Medal for best children’s book and the CILIP Greenaway Medal for best illustrations (find out more about these prizes from our previous blog posts).

Hannah, who works in Townhill Library, was quick to snap the book up when it arrived in the library this summer. She shares her thoughts below:-

A Monster Calls – A Novel by Patrick Ness, from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd

This book is interesting for two reasons:
1.       It is the first book to win both The Carnegie Medal and The Greenaway Medal.
2.       The author adapted a story originally thought up by another author; Siobhan Dowd.
Siobhan Dowd wrote in the young adult/teenage category of children’s literature.   Her books ‘A Pure Swift Cry’ shortlisted for The Carnegie Medal in 2007, and ‘Bog Child’ which won the award in 2009 both deal with controversial, and social realist issues.  ‘A Monster Calls’ is aimed a little younger than a typical Dowd book – which is fine: – Ness was not trying to be Dowd; he was writing her story in his own style.
A few pages into ‘A Monster Calls’ I thought I probably wouldn’t finish it.  Even though the illustrations were very creepy, I thought the book was just too young for an adult to give it a fair go.  But something kept me going.  It was deep, dark and intriguing and before long I forgot I was reading a children’s book at all.
Ness worked in his own style, on a story he adapted in his own way, and let it go in its own direction. Yet it still managed to capture the heart wrenching drama and tragedy of a Dowd book. Her books can touch teenagers and adults alike and this story is no different. Yes, the book is about a monster-tree.  But this book about a monster-tree DOES deal with serious issues. This book about a monster-tree CAN be taken seriously by adults.Like any Dowd book, it deals with subjects that are hard to deal with:
Illness and death: “I can’t stand it anymore!.. I can’t stand knowing that she’ll go!”
Bullying: “Harry had tripped Conor coming into the school grounds… And so it had begun…and so it had continued.”

Feeling guilt: the need to be punished: “Why didn’t it kill me?..  I deserve the worst.”

The book also contains three tales told by the monster-tree, which are actually very philosophical. Each of the three tales has a surprising moral to it.  The conclusions about ethics, intentions, justice and punishment are debatable, and will really make children stop and think.  
The story is not only told with Ness’s words, but also with Jim Kay’s pictures.  Each picture, scattered with minute detail is not only a superb piece in its own right, but also compliments and enhances the feel of the story.  The illustrations are thicker and darker when Conor is feeling gloomy; light and minimalist when there is hope in his life.  When Conor is feeling under pressure, the drawings engulf the pages and surround the words creating an almost claustrophobic atmosphere.
This is a thrilling yet moving read, full of twists and irony.  The way the story is told is excellent.  Children will be enthralled within its world of magic and fantasy,   while adults will accept it as realistic and allegorical. The illustrations are dark and detailed; harsh yet elegant. 

Well. That definitely sounds like it’s worth a read! Thanks Hannah. A Monster Calls is available in the Teaching Practice section of Townhill Library, as are the two Siobhan Dowd books mentioned. Hankies at the ready!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Children’s Book Week – Let’s celebrate reading for pleasure

Children’s Book Week is an annual event in support of children reading for pleasure.  This year’s event takes place 1st – 7th October with the theme of Heroes and Heroines. It’s aimed at children of primary school age and anyone who is involved with the support of children’s reading (teachers and trainee teachers, we're thinking of you, as well as any parents out there), but might also be of interest to some of our illustration students. You can find out more from Booktrust.

The Booktrust website is an excellent resource in itself (see our blog post from April). It has all sorts of information about books, authors and illustrators, including interviews and reviews. It’s also a great place to go if you’re looking for a book to read and need some recommendations!

If you’re particularly interested in children’s reading, you might also like to take a look at Books for Keeps. This is a freely available online magazine which focuses on books for children from babies to teenagers. This is a fantastic place to go to keep up to date with the children’s book world. There are lots of articles, interviews with children’s authors and illustrators, and reviews of the latest publications for different age ranges. Books for Keeps was also published as a paper magazine up until 2010. You’ll find lots of back copies in the journal stack on the ground floor of Townhill Library (where the photocopier is). Definitely worth a browse!

It is generally accepted that the practice of reading for pleasure benefits a child (see the report from the Department of Education) so it’s definitely worth trying to instil a love of books in our children. If you’re in need of inspiration, give the resources above a try, and also call into Townhill Library to have a look at our Teaching Practice collection where you’ll find lots of lovely books for children of all ages.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Come say hello at Freshers Fayre!

Myself and colleague Suzanne will be representing Swansea Met Library at Freshers Fayre this Friday, so do come and say hello and learn more about the library service and resources we have to offer you.

It's taking place from 11.00am - 3.00pm in the main hall up at the Townhill Campus, and there will be lots of stands to browse and freebies to gather! The library will also be giving away some goodies, such as bookmarks and chocolates, so we look forward to seeing all you new students there!

European Day of Languages

Bonjour! Shwmae? The special days are coming thick and fast at the moment! Today we celebrate the different languages spoken throughout the world and the rich cultures they represent.

You can find out all about the European Day of Languages on the official website. There’s also lots of information on the CILT (The National Centre for Languages) website, including some ideas of how you might mark the day. Why not slip some greetings or phrases from different languages into your conversation today? If you need some help to boost your vocabulary, your Swansea Met library might be able to help. Use the catalogue to search for the language you’re interested in to see what sorts of books and CDs are available.

Hasta luego!

Monday, 24 September 2012

It’s National Punctuation Day

I was going to leave out the apostrophe before that ‘s’ to see how many of you spotted it, but thought better of it! Strictly speaking, this is an American affair as National Punctuation Day was created in the USA, but we thought we’d take the opportunity to promote some of the library’s resources to help you with your semi-colons and ellipses.

Everyone’s favourite guide to proper punctuation, Lynne Truss’ Eats, shoots and leaves, is available at shelf mark 421.1 TRU in Griffith Library and Townhill Library. Borrow a copy and learn how to wield a comma with confidence! And that’s not all; search the library catalogue with the keyword punctuation and you’ll see we have lots of books that can help you to punctuate correctly. Perhaps it’s worth flicking through a few before embarking on your first assignment of the year!

If you’d like to find out more about National Punctuation Day, there’s a website which includes explanations of when to use particular punctuation marks, photos of punctuation gaffes and suggestions for how you might celebrate the day.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Welcome all international students!

Myself and my colleague Philippa are looking forward to meeting the new intake of Swansea Metropolitan international students, at the international student welcome event event taking place at Townhill theatre tomorrow morning. We will be on hand to say hello, and to answer any questions you might have about the library service and our resources.  We've also got some freebies to give away, so we'll see you there!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Words of wisdom from Lemony Snicket...

& a nice library quote for a Friday afternoon! :-)

Welcome new Foundation Art students!

We'd like to extend a warm welcome to all the new Foundation Art students who began their studies at Swansea Metropolitan earlier this week!

Your library induction sessions will take place next week, where we will introduce you to the wide-ranging resources and services that we have to offer to help you with your course. In the meantime, if you are on the Dynevor campus please feel free to come and take a look around the Griffith Library - you'll find us next to main reception.

We look forward to meeting you all soon!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

It’s Roald Dahl Day!

The wickedly funny children’s author is celebrated every year on the 13th September, which was his birthday. Roald Dahl Day 2012 is a particularly special one as the BFG (Big Friendly Giant, for those who don’t know), one of Dahl’s most iconic creations, is 30 this year! Click in to the Roald Dahl Day website for quizzes, activities and “50 Scrumdiddlyumptious Ways to Celebrate Roald Dahl Day”! We’ll be tweeting our favourite words on our Twitter page and posting some Roald Dahl-related quotations and information on our Facebook page, so keep an eye on both today. It’s going to be gloriumptious!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Man Booker shortlist announced

Yes, it’s that time again! The 2012 Man Booker shortlist has been announced. The judges have chosen the following titles:-

Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books)
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home (And Other Stories/Faber & Faber)
Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies (Fourth Estate)
Alison Moore, The Lighthouse (Salt)
Will Self, Umbrella (Bloomsbury)
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis (Faber & Faber)

As usual, to promote reading amongst our students and staff, Swansea Met Library will be ordering these titles and they will be available to borrow from Townhill Library once they’ve arrived. Check our catalogue for details.

The overall prize winner will be announced on the 16th October. We’ll keep you posted, of course, but in the meantime, find out more on the official Man Booker website.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Welcome to Swansea Met’s new PGCE students!

Yes, the new academic year starts today at Townhill as we welcome our new Primary and Secondary PGCE students for 2012-13. Croseo! The PGCE groups are usually enthusiastic users of the library and we’re sure this year’s cohort will be no exception (no pressure, guys!). The Primary and the Secondary PGCEs will be collecting their university ID cards from Townhill Library today. Staff from Registry and Finance will also be on hand to help anyone who hasn’t yet completed the enrolment process.

Tomorrow, the Primary group will have their library induction with Philippa Price. (Looking forward to meeting you all!) Don’t worry Secondary students, library inductions will be scheduled for you in your subject groups over the next few weeks. Bookings from your tutors are already coming in thick and fast. In the meantime, if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask!

It’s lovely to see lots of students about the place again. Have a great first week, and enjoy the rest of your year at Swansea Met too!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Word of the day!

If, like me, you enjoy discovering new words and their meaning, you can sign up by email to receive a 'word of the day' via the Oxford English Dictionary online.

SMU Libraries subscribe to this resource with access via the Library web pages at As well as giving you a comprehensive dictionary with over 600,000 words from the English language, there is also a wealth of other useful and interesting information on the site, such as the history of words, quotes and a thesaurus.

Today's OED word of the day is 'orrery', and if that is new to you it means 'a mechanical model, usually clockwork, devised to represent the motions of the earth and moon (and sometimes also the planets) around the sun'.

So check it'll be hooked!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Going for Gold!

Image: Paralympic Flag / Wikimedia Commons

After huge British success at the London 2012 Olympic Games just a few weeks ago, our Paralympians must be starting to feel the pressure as the Paralympic Games get under way tonight with another spectacular opening ceremony.

It's truly awe inspiring to see a record number of athletes take part in a contest that had such humble beginnings just 50 years ago at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, with just 8 competitors! That modest start has now evolved into the second largest sporting event in the world today.

If you'd like to learn more about the Paralympic Games why not take a look at their official website or search our Sport Discus database for journal articles. We also have many books about the Olympic and Paralympic Games at our new library in Swansea Business School, which will be opening soon (if you can't wait that long you can request the books at any SMU library and we will go and get them for you!).   

Friday, 24 August 2012

Bank holiday closure

Please note that SMU Libraries are closed during the bank holiday weekend, including Monday 27th August. We re-open (still on vacation hours) on Tuesday 28th August, and any  items that you borrow will not be due for return until October!

So have a nice long bank holiday weekend, and make the most of your SMU Libraries during the rest of the 2012 summer vacation!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Looking for something good to read?

With the rainy weather making an unwelcome return, you might be looking for a distraction from our rather miserable summer. What better way to transport yourself to another world than with a good book? If you’re looking for inspiration, pop into Townhill Library or Griffith Library at Dynevor to take a look at the books on display there.

The staff at Townhill Library have picked out some ‘Summer Reads’ to tempt you. You’ll find novels such as In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut (the tale of a young man’s travels through Africa, Switzerland, Greece and India which was shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize), Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson (now more famous for her Jackson Brodie series of detective novels, this was Atkinson’s debut novel) and Henry James’ creepy classic The Turn of the Screw displayed on the ground floor. Don’t be shy about taking them off the table to borrow! You’ll also find some lovely junior fiction and picture books upstairs in the Teaching Practice section, if you’re looking for something to entertain the children.

Meanwhile, down in Griffith Library, discover strange worlds and alternative realities with books such as Philip K. Dick’s Do androids dream of electric sheep? (famously filmed as Blade Runner), Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake. Swansea Met libraries aren’t just about textbooks, you know (though we’ve got plenty of those too if you want to stay one step ahead for next year!).

Friday, 10 August 2012

Fixtures and fittings!

Time for an update on the latest goings on at our new library in Swansea Business School!

Well, the IT staff have been extremely busy installing Wi-Fi, desks and wiring for all the new open access PCs that will be arriving soon and taking delivery of new photocopiers, printers and scanners. We've also had our security system installed as well as a self service unit for our borrowers. Library staff have also been busy unpacking boxes and office supplies and checking that all the books and journals have reached their new home in the correct order! 

Next week the first of the new furniture will be arriving, which we're very excited about! A modern mixture of desks, chairs, sofas, stools and other soft seating in snazzy new colours will brighten up the new library a treat and make it somewhere SMU students and staff will feel comfortable and relaxed. We want to make the new library somewhere you'll all enjoy visiting!

Over the next few weeks we are expecting new PCs to be installed as well as a new library counter and enquiry's all starting to take shape!    

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Happy birthday J. K. Rowling!

Yes, today is author J. K. Rowling’s birthday! Rowling is of course the creator of literary and cinematic phenomenon, Harry Potter. As you’d expect, we’ve got all seven Harry Potter books in the Junior Fiction section at Townhill Library (borrow one today and you won’t have to bring it back until the 4th October at the earliest!), as well as one in Welsh: Harri Potter a maen yr athronydd is the Welsh translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. For the scholars amongst you, we’ve also got Quidditch through the ages and Fantastic beasts and where to find them, which are two of Harry’s school books from the novels, and text books which critique the Potter books and look at the social and political implications of the series. I wonder what Hermione would make of that!

You can find out more about J. K. Rowling (aka Joanne Rowling – the J. K. was at the request of publishers who thought that boys might not want to read a book written by a woman!) on her website: You’ll find all sorts of information about Rowling’s books and about the woman herself, including which Hogwarts House she’d like to be in (Gryffindor, of course!). You’ll also find her Twitter address in the FAQs section in case you want to tweet her some birthday greetings.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Open for business!

The Owen Library is officially open again as of today (Monday 30th July). Apologies for any inconvenience caused over the last 3 weeks – if you’ve been following our Library blog, facebook or Twitter pages, you’ll know that a major stock move has been in progress!

Book and journal stock relating to programmes delivered by the Faculty of Applied Design and Engineering is now located on the ground floor of the Owen Library, with study space and open access computing facilities on both the ground and lower ground floors.

The opening hours of the Owen Library for weeks beginning 30th July and 6th August 2012 are as follows:
Monday to Thursday       8.45am – 1.00pm and 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Friday                               8.45am -  1.00pm and 2.00pm – 4.30pm

Book and journal stock relating to programmes delivered by the Faculty of Business and Management has now been moved to a new library at the Swansea Business School site although this library is not yet open to users. If you do wish to borrow ‘business-related’ books, please contact the Owen Library as it may be possible to borrow a limited number of books by arrangement.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Let the Games begin!


The big day has finally arrived! At 9pm tonight the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games will begin and Her Majesty the Queen will officially open the 30th modern Olympiad. The flame, which began its journey in Athens, followed by a mammoth torch relay around the UK, will finally reach its destination and ignite the cauldron at the Olympic stadium...but who will be the lucky final torch bearer? This is just one of the many closely guarded secrets that will finally be unveiled tonight! One person who has been fortunate enough to attend a sneak preview of tonight's opening ceremony is Swansea Met's Andrew Campbell, Programme Director for Leisure, Tourism, Events and Sport Management. He had this to say about the impact of the 2012 Games and their legacy for the UK:

“As 4 billion people will be watching the opening Ceremony on Friday, the Games can rightly claim to be “the Greatest Show on Earth”. In tourism terms visitor numbers coming to London will increase by 13% over the next two weeks – but transport infrastructure will be stretched to  cope with 500,000 spectators and 80,000 members of the “Olympic Family” travelling daily to specific events. Investment controversies aside ie  is the cost of staging the Olympics, at £13 billion, justified? London and the rest of the UK will benefit significantly from the global tourism benefits will be long term."

If you're interested to find out more about the Olympics why not take a look at our library website for lots of useful links and specialist databases such at Sport the meantime, enjoy the show tonight! Good luck to all our Olympians! 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Swansea Met library folk Race for Life

A sea of pink in Swansea on Sunday

Many of you will be aware of the annual Race for Life events that take place nationally every year. (If not, check out their website for details: Women are encouraged to sign up to their local event and walk, jog or run the 5 or 10 kilometres course to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Alison, Emily, Amanda, Philippa and Anna
This is a cause close to many of our hearts and several members of the Swansea Met libraries team were amongst the thousands of women taking part in local events this summer. If you were at Sunday’s event in Swansea, you might have seen Anna Colclough (31 minutes to complete the course), Emily Hywel (35 minutes), Amanda Roberts (35 minutes) and Philippa Price (flying the flag for the less athletic at 1 hour!). Alison Scanlon put us all to shame by taking part in both the Swansea race (keeping Philippa company and finishing in an hour) and the Llanelli one (coming in at a very respectable 38 minutes) earlier this summer. All together, thanks to the generous contributions of friends, families and colleagues, Swansea Met library folk have so far raised £653 to go towards research to help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Well done everyone, sponsors and sponsees alike!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Update on library moves!

If it's gone a bit quiet regarding our library moves, that's because we've been very busy with the moving process of late! Pickfords have been with us since a week yesterday, and we've been moving lots of books and  journals, shelving and furniture down to the new library at Swansea Business School. These pics show the first of the books being put on the newly assembled shelving, and then the final ones which went on last Friday!

There is still lots to do at both sites - currently at the Owen Library, staff are in the process of integrating FADE library stock etc on the ground floor. We are aiming to re-open as soon as possible, so please check our website after this week for details.

 At Swansea Business School, we are awaiting new furniture, our library counter and the IT systems to be put in place ready for opening in September. We'll continue to keep you posted throughout the summer!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Winnie the Witch is 25 years old this week

Although it has to be said that she looks a good deal older than a quarter of a century! Winnie is the much-loved creation of writer Valerie Thomas and illustrator Korky Paul. She first came to prominence in the self-titled picture book, Winnie the Witch, which tells of the hapless witch’s attempts to change the colour of her black cat, Wilbur, so she can better see him in her black house amongst her black furnishings.

The ensuing troubles and the final remedy (I won’t give too much away!) have turned Winnie and Wilbur into icons for the social model of disability, which states that disability is caused by the organisation of society rather than a person’s impairment. Using this model, disabled people become equal in society when the barriers which restrict their choices are removed. To find out how Winnie and Wilbur fit in with all this, take a look at the explanation on Scope’s website, which also includes a You Tube link to Jon Simm reading the story on CBeebies!

Winnie is more than a symbol of social injustice, though, and went on to have more adventures with Wilbur the cat. You can find out all about her on her website, where you’ll find details of all the books as well as extras such as free wallpaper for your computer (I’ve got mine!). Naturally, you can borrow some of the Winnie books from Townhill Library. Just search our catalogue for “Winnie the Witch” or come in and browse the shelves of our picture book section.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

It is 150 years since Lewis Carroll first told the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. A quick search on Oxford Reference Online, one of the databases available via the Swansea Met library web pages, reveals that Carroll, real name Charles Dodgson, wrote the tale for young Alice Liddell ("Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"  The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Edited by Dinah Birch. Oxford University Press Inc. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Swansea Metropolitan University.  5 July 2012 There is a Welsh connection to all this as the Liddell family had a holiday home in Llandudno, though Carroll befriended them in Oxford.

Whether you consider Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and her further adventures Through the Looking Glass, as delightful nonsense tales or darker, complex satires of Victorian society, they’ve certainly stood the test of time. We have a number of copies of the Alice books in Townhill Library and in Griffith Library at Dynevor, all beautifully illustrated. If you borrow one this summer, you won’t need to bring it back until the 4th October. Remember, though, we’re not open in the evenings or at weekends during vacation time, so don’t do a White Rabbit and turn up late!