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: http://www.jkrowling.com/. 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!

                                                       Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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 exposure...so 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 Discus...in 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: http://raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org/.) 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  http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t113.e146). 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!