Friday, 27 April 2012

National Pet Month

Hank the rescue cat in his new home
The special occasions seem to be flooding in thick and fast at the moment! We are currently in the middle of National Pet Month, which this year runs from 7th April to 7th May. You can find out more from the official website which has lots of resources and a “National Pet Month in a Nutshell” link to explain a bit more about the cause.

Since next Monday (30th April) also sees the start of RSPCA week, we at SMU Libraries thought this was a perfect excuse to indulge our love of animals and point you in the direction of Swansea’s RSPCA centre, Llys Nini. The centre takes in unwanted or abandoned cats, dogs and smaller pets such as rabbits and ferrets, looking after them until a new home can be found. The Llys Nini website has details of the work they do and how you can help through donations, volunteering and visits. You could have a look at the RSPCA’s main website too, where you’ll find information about national campaigns and links to educational resources for use in schools.

If you’re looking for a pet to bring some furry companionship into your life, why not consider adopting one from Llys Nini? You can visit in person (details on their website) or have a look to see who catches your eye on their dog blog, cat blog, or small animals blog. Each blog has pictures of the pets in need of a good home, as well as some background details. So it doesn’t get too sad, there are also links to success stories where you can read about pets in their new homes!

Lest we forget, there is also plenty of information about pets available from your SMU library service. A search for pets on our library catalogue will show you just how much we have to offer! We have resources ranging from junior fiction books about animals (I can recommend The world according to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney) to photography books with a pet theme (try Pets by Sue Packer). Come in and take a look!

Monday, 23 April 2012

World Book Night 2012

Tonight is World Book Night! The 23rd April has been chosen as a particularly auspicious day in the world of literature. Not only is it the date that Shakespeare was born and died (in 1564 and 1616 respectively), but the Spanish novelist Cervantes died on the 23rd April too. In Barcelona, to mark St George’s Day, on, yes, you guessed it, the 23rd April, it is traditional for men to give women a rose and for the ladies to return the gift with a book. You can see why this date was chosen for World Book Night, and why it is also UNESCO’s International Day of the Book!

World Book Night will be marked by events all round the country when the “givers” will hand out free copies of their chosen book. You can see this year’s list of 25 titles here and you can search for events in your area here. If you’re not lucky enough to receive a free book, don’t forget that many of these titles can be borrowed from your SMU Library. There are some good ones featured, both classic and contemporary! Let us know if any of your favourites appear on the list. (Or tell us if there are any books that you hate on there!)

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

World Heritage Day

Photo: Matt Banks /

Did you know that Wednesday 18th April 2012 is the 40th annual World Heritage Day? On this day our attention is drawn to all aspects of cultural heritage, monuments and historical sites of national and international importance, in particular their protection and conservation for future generations.

If this is an area that is of interest to you why not pop in to the Owen library here at SMU and browse our collection of heritage studies books located at shelfmark 790.53 or take a look at some of our e-book titles such as: Interpreting our Heritage by Freeman Tilden.

If you are particularly interested in the cultural heritage of Wales you could try a website called Gathering the Jewels which has digitised a collection of over 30,000 photographs, letters and other objects from museums, libraries and archives all over Wales. Or maybe you fancy being a little more active and actually visiting some local heritage sites in the Swansea area - if so take some inspiration from the list on Swansea Bay's tourism website.

Let us know what some of your favourite heritage attractions are in Wales or further afield, we'd love to hear from you...happy World Heritage Day!!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

We love... the Booktrust website for information and inspiration!

Have you discovered the Booktrust’s website yet? It’s an excellent resource for anyone who loves books and reading, and even for those who don’t but might need to find out more!

Booktrust is an independent reading and writing charity. Its mission (taken from the About Us section of the website) is as follows:

"Booktrust inspires everyone to enjoy books, reading and writing and the lifelong benefits that they bring. Our aim is to build a literate, connected and creative society."

On their website, you can read interviews with authors and illustrators. You can look up winners and nominees for major literary prizes such as the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. If you’re having trouble deciding what to read next, you can find recommendations in Books We Like (an excellent way to discover new favourites that you might not otherwise have come across!).

For parents, teachers and children, they also have an excellent section for children’s books. A brilliant way to keep up with what's new and also a good source of information if you’re looking for some themed booklists! So, if you’re looking for books that feature Asperger’s Syndrome, good books to read aloud, books about bullying, or books to cover a whole host of other topics, then Booktrust can help!

Go on, take a look at the Booktrust website and discover something new!

Friday, 13 April 2012

A century after the Titanic’s doomed maiden voyage, let’s remember the people on board

Sunday sees the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, which went down in the early morning of the 15th April 1912 with the loss of over 1500 lives. The story of the “unsinkable” Titanic has fascinated us ever since and many books, TV series, films and documentaries have been produced about the ship and those on board over the last century. Search for Titanic on our catalogue to find out what’s available from your SMU library. You might also like to read our blog post from last year.

Many fictionalised accounts of the voyage have been written (including James Cameron’s epic film, which is available from Griffith Library in Dynevor), but it’s the stories of the real people that seem most captivating. You can find out about the crew and passengers on the Titanic from the new National Archives web page which has been launched to commemorate the anniversary: The 20 stories they’ve chosen from witnesses, victims and survivors make for interesting and often very poignant reading.

You can also view a timeline from the ship’s construction to the death of the last survivor in 2009, as well as videos and podcasts from various experts. Teachers can follow links to online lessons. This website is packed with information and can become quite addictive, though it may also bring a tear to your eye!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Would you like online access to thousands of UK newspaper articles, old and new?

No problem! The Newsbank database, freely accessible via the SMU library website, offers access to articles from over 350 local and national UK newspapers. All the major national newspapers are indexed from The Guardian to The Sun and you can search through decades’ worth of editons. So, if you’d like to know what Libby Purves had to say about the Boat Race protestor in The Times yesterday, or if you’d like to search the archive for newspaper articles which mention Swansea Metropolitan University (1,419 of them when I checked: the latest from yesterday’s Western Mail, and the oldest also from the Western Mail in 2007!), then Newsbank is the database for you.

And that’s not all! Newsbank also compiles Special Reports, a collection of articles, websites, videos and images based around different topics. Special Reports available this month include Earth Day, Poetry Around the World and Financial Literacy Month, so you can see that there is quite a variety of topics on offer!

We’d definitely recommend giving Newsbank a go. If you’d like some more information or have any questions about this or our other resources, please ask a librarian.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Men at Work!

As promised, here are some recent photographs of our new library at Ty Bryn Glas 'under construction'! Workmen have been extremely busy putting up partition walls, re-wiring, painting and decorating to create a lovely space for us and our SMU staff and students. There is still a long way to go before it will start to look like a proper library, but we're getting there...the next big job will be to lay a new carpet!

Keep checking the blog, Facebook & Twitter for regular updates...

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The big move!

Image: Ty Bryn Glas

Exciting news! As from this September the Faculty of Business and Management will be relocating to a new site...and we will be opening a brand new library there! Ty Bryn Glas is a substantial building (previously occupied by the Land Registry) and is located just off Swansea High Street, close to the rail station.

All library stock relevant to the Faculty will be housed in a new library on site, whilst stock relevant to FADE students and staff will continue to be based here at the Owen Library in Mount Pleasant. Obviously this will cause some disruption to the library service over the summer vacation whilst the move takes place. Both Mount Pleasant and Ty Bryn Glas libraries are expected to close from early July and will re-open as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and will do our best to address any problems.

More precise information about the new facilities, including opening hours, will be made available nearer the time. In the meantime please keep an eye on the library blog, Facebook & Twitter pages for regular updates.

Pay us another visit here at the blog this Thursday to see the latest photos of our new Ty Bryn Glas library 'under construction'!!