Thursday, 31 May 2012

Orange Prize for Fiction 2012 – Winner Announced

Last night, Madeline Miller was awarded the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction for her debut novel, The Song of Achilles, her interpretation of some of the legends from Ancient Greece. Here at SMU libraries, we think that the award of any literary prize is a good excuse to delve into shortlists and discover new authors and books that we might not have picked up before. With vacation approaching and the exams nearly over (hang in there!), you might be looking for a good novel to read over the summer. Why not take a look at the Orange Prize website for inspiration? You’ll find books by two of this year’s shortlisted authors, Esi Edugyan and Anne Enright, at Townhill Library, as well as novels by previous years’ nominees such as Emma Donoghue, Margaret Atwood, Zadie Smith and Rose Tremain. Just the antidote you need to all those textbooks you’ve been immersed in for the last few weeks!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Sustainability in the spotlight...

Last Thursday, former Minister for Environment and Sustainability in Wales, Jane Davidson, gave a very interesting and inspiring talk here at SMU regarding sustainability in Wales. She has recently taken up the post of Director of INSPIRE (Institute for Sustainability Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness) at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.

INSPIRE has been working in partnership with the Strata Florida Project and as part of the Strata Florida Open Days on 9th and 10th June there will be a lecture at 3pm, on Sunday 10th. The speaker will be Professor Gareth Wyn Jones of Bangor University, with a talk entitled “Sustainability: nightmare or opportunity”.

If you are unable to attend but want to find out more about our environment and sustainability, we have a great selection of books available in the Owen Library, as well as online resources via our library web pages.

Friday, 25 May 2012

The torch is coming!!

The Olympic torch is arriving in Swansea this weekend! It will set off from Cardiff early on Saturday morning and arrive at Swansea's Castle Square by 6pm in the evening. There will be a brief pause and photo opportunity and then it will continue on its way to Singleton Park where a special evening of celebration will take place.

There will be lots of things going on in and around the city centre all day on Saturday in the build up to the arrival of the torch, including street entertainers, stilt walkers, dance acts and various bands.

It should be a great day and a fantastic opportunity for everyone to participate in a little bit of Olympic history! I'll be there...will you?

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Library Services during Summer Vacation 2012

Owing to the transfer of library stock and the opening of a new library for the Swansea Business School in September, together with the move of stock and study space from the first floor to the ground floor of the Owen Library, it is unfortunately inevitable that the Library Service at Mount Pleasant is going to be disrupted during this summer vacation.

The Owen Library will close week beginning Monday 9th July to allow the necessary moves to take place and will re-open as soon as possible after the reorganisation. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

FINAL YEAR students will be required to return all items borrowed from the Owen Library by the end of term on Friday 29th June.

All continuing students will be able to borrow or renew items for the vacation as usual with a return date of 4th October:
3-week loans from 9th June
7-day loans from 23rd June
2-day loans from 28th June
1-day loans from 29th June

RESIT students who want to borrow books from the Owen Library will need to do so before Friday 6th July.

For staff ordinary loans (6 weeks) are already being issued for the vacation period, with items being due back on 4th October. Staff will also be able to borrow or renew items as usual for the vacation according to the relevant loan category e.g. 7-day, 2-day and 1-day loans which will also be due back on 4th October:
7-day loans from 23rd June
2-day loans from 28th June
1-day loans from 29th June

Access to the Library’s e-resources will of course be available throughout the vacation ensuring staff and students are able to continue using our e-books, e-journals and databases.

Please note also that both the Townhill Library and Griffith Library at Dynevor will be open during the summer vacation.

Finally, watch out for any further information which will be posted in the Libraries and on the Library’s web page at as well as on our Library Blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

A work in progress!

For those of you wondering how we are getting on with preparations for the big library move this summer, here are some photos taken at the new site yesterday! As you can see the builders have been very busy, the old carpet has gone, the lights and ceiling tiles are being replaced and new electric wiring and computer data points are being installed. Most of the painting is done, offices have been constructed and nearly all the new partition walls have been built, so it should be possible to lay the new carpet any day now. 

We have also been busy planning the layout of the new library, the colour scheme, deciding exactly what needs to be moved and where all the shelving and furniture will go. Once the planning stage is complete the hard work will start in earnest! We've got a VERY busy summer ahead! Watch this space for more updates soon...  

Monday, 14 May 2012

Quick & easy access to library content!

We’ve recently provided a trial link to the resource discovery tool 'Summon' on our library website , which we’re calling our new digital library. It allows users to carry out a Google-style search of all of our resources and even links to articles in e-journals. It will be launched fully together with Prism 3 (the new version of the library catalogue) next academic year! In the meantime, have a go at using the digital library and let us know what you think - there is a feedback link available on every page.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Top of the ebooks

Have you discovered our ebooks yet? We’ve got hundreds of books available online. Where possible we always try to buy ebook versions of the books on your reading lists to go with the copies on our shelves. And we’ve got ebooks of titles we don’t have on the shelves too! If you have trouble finding a book for your assignment, it’s always worth checking to see if we have it available online, or if we’ve got any other ebooks that fit the bill.

You can look for ebooks in exactly the same way as you’d search for a “real” book using the library catalogue, which you can find on the library homepage. If you need any help, just ask!

In case you were wondering, our six most popular ebooks since September 2011 are:-

  • Management and organisational behaviour (8th ed.) by Laurie J. Mullins
  • Essential teaching skills (3rd ed.) by Chris Kyriacou
  • Beginning teaching (3rd ed.) by Janet Moyles
  • Becoming a teacher: issues in secondary teaching (3rd ed.) by Justin Dillon and Meg Maguire (we also have the 4th edition, Becoming a teacher: issues in secondary education, available as an ebook)
  • Personality, individual differences, and intelligence by John Maltby, Liz Day and Ann Macaskill
  • Research methods for business students (5th ed.) by Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill

(We were going to give you our top five, but there was a tie for fifth place!)

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

RIP Maurice Sendak

We were really sorry to hear of the death of Maurice Sendak, the pioneering illustrator who passed away today at the age of 83. Sendak is probably best known for his picture book Where the Wild Things Are, which uses beautiful language and striking illustrations to tell the tale of Max on his “wild rumpus” through a magical land. The book was groundbreaking in the way it introduced rather sinister imagery into a children’s book. Despite an initially wary reception from the public, it has remained a firm favourite with children and grown-ups alike over the decades since its publication in 1963.

If you’d like to remember or discover Maurice Sendak through his work, you’ll find plenty of copies of Where the Wild Things Are and some of his other picture books at Griffith Library in Dynevor and at Townhill Library. If you’d like to hear what a wild rumpus sounds like in Welsh, try the translation, Yng Ngwlad Y Pethau Gwyllt.

Friday, 4 May 2012

May Day bank holiday library opening times

If you are thinking about using our libraries over the May Day bank holiday weekend, tomorrow (Saturday 5th May) all three will be open as normal, from 10.00am - 4.00pm.

On Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, both the Owen and Townhill Libraries will be open from 12.00pm - 5.00pm.

So you are most welcome to come in and use our resources and facilities! All we need now for the long weekend is some better weather...

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Calling all environmentalists!

Anyone with a passion for the environment and sustainability may be interested to know that the fifth joint open lecture to be held by the Old Dy'vorians' Association and Swansea Metropolitan University will be focusing on this very topic!

The lecture, entitled "A Sustainable Wales" will be given by special guest speaker Jane Davidson (former Minister for Environment and Sustainability in Wales) and will take place at 4pm on Thursday 24th May at our Dynevor Campus. Ms Davidson has recieved many accolades for her work in this field and is one of the most influential environmentalists in the UK. She has most recently taken on a new role as Director of INSPIRE (Institute for Sustainability Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness) at University of Wales Trinity Saint David. 

Admission is free and the event is open to anyone who would like to attend (staff, students and members of the public), refreshments will also be provided. Those who would like to come are asked to contact Joyce Wills on 01792 481100 or email  

So if you are interested in achieving a greener future for Wales why not take this opportunity to come along and show your support. We look forward to seeing you there!