Saturday, 14 December 2013

12 days of Christmas at the library

Have you spotted our 12 days of Christmas on the library Facebook page yet? We’ve been using the run up to the festive period to let you know about some of the resources and services available from your UWTSD Swansea libraries. In case you missed it, here they are, with links to more details!

On the first day of Christmas, my library gave to me… a subject librarian to advise me,
On the second day of Christmas, my library gave to me… 2 external borrowing schemes to use other libraries,

On the third day of Christmas, my library gave to me… lots of books to borrow, some for 3 weeks,

On the fourth day of Christmas, my library gave to me… 4 amazing campus libraries in Swansea,

On the fifth day of Christmas, my library gave to me… 5 Open Access IT zones with internet and printing facilities,

On the sixth day of Christmas, my library gave to me… 6 ways to get in touch with your library,

On the seventh day of Christmas, my library gave to me… 7 fabulous Ebsco databases with access to 1000s of journals for your subject,

On the eighth day of Christmas, my library gave to me… 8 more amazing databases offering journal articles and more to help with my research and assignments,

On the ninth day of Christmas, my library gave to me… 9 great study skills books,
On the tenth day of Christmas, my library gave to me… 10 popular Ebooks to read online
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my library gave to me… 11 subject areas to choose from
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my library gave to me… 12 months of open libraries!

So there you go, there’s lots on offer to help you with your studies all year round. Please get in touch if you have any questions. Nadolig Llawen!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Christmas vacation opening hours

Well, there are just 13 sleeps to go until the big day and just a couple of days left of term for most of you! We hope you've all got a nice break to look forward to and that you won't be working too hard preparing for assignments and exams. In line with the rest of the university, all libraries will be closed from the 24th December until the 2nd January. Please check the Notices section of our homepage for opening hours outside this period. (NB Opening hours vary between campuses, so please check the details for each library you're interested in visiting.)

Books, DVDs and other items borrowed over the vacation will have a due date of the 17th January, so you'll have plenty of time to get them back to us in the new term! And remember, our online resources are available off-campus, so you can access e-books, journal articles etc. from wherever you are over the holidays.

Nadolig Llawen!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Seasonal reads...

If you call in to The Griffith Library at Dynevor, you'll find a gorgeous winter-themed display of books & DVDs next to our counter! These items are all available to borrow if you want to get into the spirit of the season - titles include 'The Snowman' by Raymond Briggs, 'The Polar Express' by Chris Van Allsburg and on DVD 'It's a Wonderful Life' starring James Stewart.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Take a trip down memory lane...

The public are invited to take a trip down memory lane this afternoon and evening, when the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), Swansea hosts an archive exhibition focusing on its Mount Pleasant campus.Everyone is invited to attend the event, which is open between 4pm and 8pm.

mount pleasant campus circa 1930 447x640The archive exhibition will explore the history of the campus through the University's numerous archive materials. It will show some of the history of the Technical College, the first ten years of West Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education and a brief summary of the Mount Pleasant campus. West Glamorgan Institute became Swansea Institute of Higher Education in 1992 and Swansea Metropolitan University in 2008. In 2012, the University merged with UWTSD.

course mv eng 640x448A call is also being made for any new contributions to the University's archive. Those with items relating to the campus are invited to bring them to the Open Day.

The University's Mount Pleasant campus has a long history dating back to 1890 when the Swansea Education Committee adopted the Technical Instruction Act of 1889. From the start, the Swansea Technical College was very closely associated with the Swansea Grammar School, sharing premises on Mount Pleasant until the school relocated to a new site in Sketty in April 1951.

The Technical College continued to operate at the Mount Pleasant site and, over a number of decades, the campus developed further with new buildings to meet the needs of increasing student numbers. In 1976, Swansea College of Technology (as it was named then) merged with Swansea College of Art and Swansea Education College to form West Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education.

course cg 640x515University Archivist Gill Fildes said: "This event is open to everyone. The Archive team would also welcome new contributions to the University collections, so dig out any items you have kept that relate to the Mount Pleasant campus, or the College of Technology, and bring them along with you."

Friday, 22 November 2013

Memoirs of part-time study (and a few words of encouragement too) - Mary Davies Turner

We end our series on part-time study with a guest blogger – Dr Mary Davies Turner, Study Support Tutor with Student Services. Mary offers study skills support for students at UWTSD Swansea, so if you need a bit of extra help with planning or writing your assignments, or if you’re baffled by referencing, it might be a good idea to get in touch with her! Mary’s contact details can be found on Student Services’ Academic Skills Support website along with all sorts of useful tips and guides. Well worth a look! Here’s Mary with some really useful advice to help you manage your academic work:

Mary Davies Turner

Writing tips and strategies for the part-time research student
If you’re a part-time research student, the chances are you’ve commitments outside college – family, work – that eat into your time and make it difficult for you to find sustained periods for study. That was my own experience, during my Phd, and is still, when I am struggling to find time and space to write my research papers. One of the problems you may have is that you have long breaks between writing, when the thread of continuity is broken and your mind, occupied with other pressing things that belong to daily life, has left your studies on the back burner. There are things you can do to help.
Date your writing so that you know what is current and if you are working on several drafts, put a note, ‘Current’, or ‘Use this one’ alongside the date.
Don’t ever break off from your writing without leaving signposts to where you are going next. At the time, your ideas for your next section are all clear in your mind and you are sure you will remember and pick them up again when you return to your writing. So often, that doesn’t happen. So, leave yourself directions – notes, a quick outline of your structure, main ideas – for when you return.
Have a notebook with you wherever you go. That is your connection to your work. In here you can make quick notes, jot down thoughts and you can do what Peter Elbow calls ‘bits of writing’ – a quick sentence, or two.
Peter Elbow, a Professor of English and Director of the writing programme at the University of Massachusetts, is the man who came up with the idea of Freewriting. He developed this writing strategy as a way of getting over his own writer’s block and to help his students get over theirs. But it is not only useful and helpful for that problem. Freewriting is a way of writing something substantial, and often meaningful, and nearly always useful, in a short time. So popular is his technique, that in recent years it’s ‘gone viral’ around the world and spawned conferences dedicated to his approach. Peter himself describes it as:
“The most effective way I know to improve your writing.”(Elbow, 1998, 3) Here’s how you do it:
Write on paper
Write for 10 minutes 
Write in sentences – whatever comes into your mind.
Let yourself go off on tangents
Don’t stop
The crucial rule here is ‘Don’t stop’. So what do you do if you can’t think of anything to say? You can write, ‘I can’t think what to say’ as many times as it takes until you get going; you can repeat the last sentence – one word repeats are not allowed. You must write in sentences.
The beauty of this technique is that it makes you keep going. So often, we start a piece of writing and we hit a block and we stop. When you freewrite, you are not allowed to do that. You have to keep going and that pushing through is something, the more you do it, the more you will be able to take into your structured writing. Don’t worry about going off on tangents – see where they will lead you. After you have completed your ten minutes, read over your piece. Somewhere in there you will find a thought, a nugget of an idea which you can take and develop.
Let me know how you get on!

Peter Elbow, Writing Without Teachers, 19998, Oxford: OUP

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Winner of £20 Amazon voucher!

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 Counselling and Psychology student, Charlotte Adams.

Charlotte's name was chosen at random by Art & Design Assistant Dean Mark Cocks, and her prize was a £20 Amazon gift voucher, presented by Assistant Librarian Suzanne Taylor.

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

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 UWTSD  libraries have to offer you.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Memoirs of part-time study (and a few words of encouragement too) - Jess

We’re a studious bunch in the library and there are still a few of us with some thoughts to share about part-time study. Today we hear from Jessica Lawson-Hughes, who works as a Library Assistant in Townhill Library. Jess graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Studies and Art History here at Swansea Metropolitan University (as we were then!) in 2011 and went on to gain an MA in English Literature from Swansea University and a PGCE in post-compulsory education and training from Swansea Met. Jess is clearly a master of time management as she completed her full-time Masters while she was also studying on her part-time PGCE. She’s got some fab tips to offer!

Part Time Study: Make it Work for You
Jessica Lawson-Hughes
So you’re thinking of studying part time but you’re unsure how to manage another commitment?  I say take the leap!  Yes it’s likely to be difficult at times but the rewards will certainly outweigh the sacrifices…  
Employers and educators have long extolled the virtues of part time study.  From an employer’s perspective the skills required to juggle work and study will highlight values of commitment and an adeptness at time management, whilst educators tend to welcome the wealth of life experiences part time students bring.  With an increasingly competitive jobs market and potential applicants more highly qualified than ever before, gaining that extra qualification can really help you stand out from the crowd.  In terms of both personal and professional development the sense of achievement attached to acquiring a new qualification is unrivalled.
Having just finished studying for a part time qualification myself I understand some of the apprehensions part time students face: at times it can feel like you’re juggling anvils, particularly when assignment deadlines draw near.  So here are some top tips to help you maximize your studying potential:
Keep a digital record of your references and interests
You’re likely to read a lot of useful material and if you’re anything like me you’ll soon forget its origins.  Creating a personal blog will allow you to record your references digitally as you browse the web, and build up an electronic database of useful material.  Make the space work for you: your blog needn’t be too wordy, or even look publishable.  This is your space to make as colourful and engaging as possible: think of it as an ideas hub and try including a couple of relevant tags linked to useful web sources, videos and articles of interest.  And don’t forget to share content with your peers, as gaining other opinions on pertinent themes can really help develop your thinking around a topic.       

Check out what the professionals are reading
Have you trawled through the suggested reading list and found little of use?  If you ever find yourself at a loss for research material try looking at what the professional authors are reading.  Most academic authors will include a bibliographical list of their research at the end of their texts and some of these references are bound to yield results. 

Make every day count
When studying for a part time course no day is a write off.  Even days where you’ve not planned to study can be productive insofar as doing something useful.  The trick is harnessing this productivity: be it five minutes spent skim reading that library book that has sat on your shelf for the last fortnight, or a quick mind map of your thoughts around a topic.  Oftentimes the most serendipitous study encounters spark the best results.   

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Memoirs of part-time study (and a few words of encouragement too) - Sam

Next up in our series of part-time students/library staff, we have Samantha Scoulding. Sam is an Assistant Librarian at Swansea Business School Library and one of the regular contributors to this blog. With a BA (Hons) in English Literature already under her belt, she made the decision in 2004 to become a professional librarian and enrolled on a course in Aberystwyth University. Here she tells us about her motivation and some of the challenges she faced:-


By June 2004 I had been working  as a library assistant at Swansea Institute Of Higher Education (as it was back then!) for 8 years and decided it was time to get serious about my career! I had always intended to qualify as a professional librarian but had somehow never got around to it. The thought of giving up a steady job to go back to university in Aberystwyth full-time was a daunting one, so I settled upon a different route towards achieving the same goal – I enrolled on the MSc ILS course as a distance learner. Luckily for me I was given financial support and encouragement by my employer and was appointed to a Trainee Librarian post while I studied, gaining valuable on-the-job experience at the same time.
Becoming a student again eight years after leaving the education system was certainly a challenge. I had to learn new skills such as writing reports and business plans – something I’d never had to do for my first degree in English Literature! Time management was also a big factor, it wasn’t easy fitting in all the reading and assignment writing around my normal working hours, although I was given some time in work to do this as part of my vocational training which helped a lot. The biggest challenge however was the isolation of being a distance learner. It’s not easy trying to motivate yourself without regular lectures, tutorials and the camaraderie of being around other students studying the same course (and going through the same problems) as yourself. I got around this by going to the residential study school once a year, making heavy use of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and various student forums, plus keeping in contact via email with fellow students…even picking up the phone to call my lecturer (in tears on one occasion!) when I was struggling to cope.
Due to personal circumstances I decided against completing my course to Masters level but I did successfully gain my professional qualification – PG Dip ILS – in December 2008 and am now working for UWTSD Swansea as a fully-fledged Assistant Librarian. The main lessons I took on board from my distance learning experience are; don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, learn in bite-sized chunks (don’t look at the marathon ahead, concentrate on the current hurdle) and push your boundaries…you’re often capable of more than you think!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Memoirs of part-time study (and a few words of encouragement too) - Suzanne

Today we're hearing about some tips Suzanne Taylor has picked up as a part-time student. Suzanne is an Assistant Librarian at Townhill Campus and is currently hard at work on her dissertation for a Masters in Library and Information Studies, which she has been studying as a distance learner with Aberystwyth University. Prior to that, after leaving school, Suzanne graduated with a BA(Hons) in Literature and History and went on to complete a PGCE in Primary Education, both of which were full time courses.

Suzanne Taylor
This could be entitled…..Things I wish I known sooner….
Returning to being a student after a break of many years was exciting, but also daunting and before I could start on my dissertation, I had to complete lots of modules, all of which had assignments.  Through trial and error, I picked up strategies along the way to help me organise my writing. I hope you find them useful.
Sometimes it is easy to get side tracked and before you know it your deadline is looming and you’ve written 3,000 words about how to sharpen a pencil, when really you were supposed to be writing an assignment on how to improve writing skills! I found it helpful to write my assignment question in the centre of a large piece of paper and deconstruct the title to determine what I’d really been asked to research. This also helped me get over the initial stage of not being sure what to write, especially as I found that putting pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) is often the hardest part when starting an assignment.
Once sure of the question, I would mind-map the assignment by briefly listing anything that I already knew about the topic. This helped to identify areas where I needed to find more information. I also found it useful, as I began to research, to keep adding brief notes to the mind-map, including the page numbers which had relevant paragraphs or good quotes. Then, I could come back to those pages once I began to write my assignment. I would also briefly list any different points of view on the mind-map, so that I could see if I needed to find a counter-argument or a quote to back up my point of view.
Finding appropriate literature for your research can sometimes be difficult, so if I found a good article in a journal, or a key chapter in a book, I would look at the references the author had listed and search for those which were relevant for my assignment. If I was looking for online journals, I found that lots of databases had folders where you could store the articles whilst you searched and then email them to yourself to read at a later date, a really useful tool if you were running out of time.
I also realised, after spending  far too long trying to find the reference for a key quote I’d used in one assignment, where all I’d written down was ‘Smith, 2008’ (!), that it was essential to keep a good record of books and articles that I’d found. I would open a new Word document for each assignment and as I made notes, add any new book or article references to the document (it’s quite helpful to split the document into two categories: 1) References, for direct quotes or paraphrasing and 2) Bibliography, for things I’d read but hadn’t quoted or paraphrased in my writing), but there are also computer programs which will help you with your references, making the job even easier.
I think with all study, it is a case of finding what works for you. I’m now half way through my dissertation and the one tip I would give is to focus on an area which you find really interesting, crucial I think, as the dissertation may take over your life……J

Friday, 8 November 2013

Memoirs of part-time study (and a few words of encouragement too) - Celia

With apologies for the disruption during the network failure, we continue our series on study tips and experience with Celia Solari, one of our team of Library Assistants at Swansea Business School. Celia left secretarial college at 18 and has a great deal of experience working as a secretary in the legal profession. She completed a part-time, two year Access to Higher Education course whilst still working part-time before then enrolling on a full-time undergraduate programme. Celia graduated from King’s College London in 2006 with a BA (Hons) in English Language and Communications/Linguistics. Here’s what she has to say:-

Celia Solari
I’m sure you’ll have heard some, or all, of the following many times, but I do think they’re worth bearing in mind:
Be organised and put aside time each day for your studies, but don’t set yourself unrealistic targets – it’s important to maintain a good work/life balance.  If you can, try getting up an hour (or two) earlier than usual and use this time for reading/writing assignments.  You’ll be surprised at how much you can achieve by doing this.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, however silly they may seem.  If you don’t understand something, then it’s likely that your fellow students won’t either, but in my experience, they don’t want to look foolish by asking the obvious!  They’ll probably be pleased that you took the initiative.  However, constantly interrupting lectures/seminars could become a bit of a pain for your fellow students, so if there’s something that you’re really not sure about, then ask to see your tutor privately.
You may be returning to education after a long break and be feeling apprehensive about ‘fitting in’ to student life.  Most of my fellow students were around 25 years younger than I was (I was 47 when I graduated), but I can honestly say that this wasn’t a problem. In fact, I was informed by one fellow student, “You’re pretty cool for an old bird”. I took this as a compliment!
You might find that there are times when it seems impossible to juggle your family life and your studies, and the thought of withdrawing from your degree course seems like a good idea.  If this does happen, don’t try to struggle through; talk to your course tutor to see if they can help.  You may find that taking a couple of days off from your studies can help you to see things in perspective.
I hope you’ll enjoy student life as much as I did!

Celia makes a particularly good point about asking questions if you’re not sure. That goes for the library too! Those ‘stupid questions’ that you’re a bit embarrassed about are often the most helpful to everyone, so please ask.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Spooky reads (and films!) at The Griffith Library, Dynevor


For some Halloween-inspired reads, or scary films, look no further than the Griffith Library at Dynevor! We've put together a little display (complete with a book-eating pumpkin!) highlighting some of our choice films and books for this spooky time of year. The display will be up until Saturday, and you are welcome to come in and choose something from there, if you dare...

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Memoirs of part-time study (and a few words of encouragement too) - Philippa

Today we hear about Philippa Price’s experiences as a part-time student. Philippa is an Assistant Librarian in Townhill Library, offering subject support to Education staff and students. She enrolled on the part-time PGCE in post-compulsory education here at UWTSD Swansea in October 2011 and graduated in June this year. Here are some tips she picked up along the way:-

Philippa Price
Enrolling on a part-time course whilst working full-time was certainly a daunting process, particularly as I know the lecturers who teach on the course quite well and was keen not to ‘show myself up’ in front of them! As it turns out, though, with some organisation and forward planning, the course was hard work but manageable and very rewarding. I wondered why I hadn’t done it years ago!
The most useful strategy I adopted along the way was to do ‘something’ every week. It didn’t have to be a big ‘something’, but I found just reading and making notes from a chapter or a journal article each week really helped me to keep on top of things without my studies taking over my life.
In my undergraduate days, I was definitely a pen and paper girl, handwriting notes and essays when I could. Since then, though, I’ve come to see the benefit of keeping notes on a computer, even if it means typing them up from my notebook. It makes it so much easier to move them around and group them together into different arguments when preparing for an assignment! I find it helpful to write in full sentences and paragraphs when writing notes from reading and to keep assignment questions and topic areas in mind so I don’t go off on a tangent. Quite often, when it came to gathering my notes together for an essay, a significant chunk of it would already be practically written. That’s a good feeling!
My other top tip would be to keep up with your referencing as you go along, especially if you start cutting and pasting notes to organise them. You don’t want to forget where you came across that insightful comment or useful quote, so cite as you make notes! Writing your reference list or bibliography as you go along also saves so much time at the end of the assignment.
If you're not sure how you should be referencing your reading, you'll usually find a set of guidelines on your course handbook. We also have lots of books in the library that can help you understand how and why to reference.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Memoirs of part-time study (and a few words of encouragement too) - Caroline

This term, we’re sharing some of our experiences of part-time study with you. We hope you find some useful tips to help with your own studies, or at least take some comfort in the fact that we’ve been through it too! Following on from Hannah earlier in the week, we continue our series with Caroline Mitchell, our Clerical Assistant who is based at Swansea Business School Library. Caroline studied her HNC in Business right here at this university (though we were known as Swansea Institute of Higher Education back then!) and found it a really rewarding experience. Here is her reflection:-

Caroline Mitchell
September 2006 was the start of something new for me… I enrolled on the part-time HNC Business Course. You could say it was a scary first day with lots of doubts and questions - would I be able to do this? Will I enjoy the course? Will anyone else talk to me? Can I do this? I had not done anything since a BTEC Business course when I was 19, but recently my husband had completed his MA Photography course which made me think maybe I could also gain a new qualification.

I got through the first day and found I enjoyed it, the other students were nice and friendly and the lecturers were lovely too. Pam Murray was an inspiration and made the lectures fun and informative. I found it tough when assignments were due, but with the help and encouragement of the staff and my family I managed to get through them. It is definitely worth finding a good spot to get comfortable and relaxed in, which will help you get in the correct frame of mind to write the assignment. The Library has lots of resources available, whether it is a book or journal, or even the online databases. I am one of these learners that are easily distracted so it would have to be complete silence for me to concentrate and get the work done. As the term went on I looked forward to each week to see my class mates again and in anticipation of what the lecturers would be like.

Sometimes I did wonder if I would be able to complete the course as it could be tough, but I stuck with it and did plenty of research (maybe too much at times) and was successful in obtaining my HNC Business Studies award. My graduation ceremony was my proudest moment and was well worth the hard work and determination.

I had planned to continue studies and get the full BA Business qualification, but this had to be postponed due to family commitments. I still hope to pursue the achievement of a BA Business qualification in the not too distant future…..

It can be tough returning to education after quite a long break, but as Caroline found the rewards are well worth it. If you're struggling to settle back in to academic work, don't forget we have lots of study skills books in the library which can help you. You're also very welcome to call in to your campus library and ask to speak to your subject librarian about accessing and using library resources. You'll soon get the hang of it!


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Memoirs of part-time study (and a few words of encouragement too) - Hannah

It seems we’re quite a learned bunch in the library. We recently got to thinking about how many of us have enrolled in some sort of part-time study course whilst also holding down a job and juggling other commitments. Many of you will be in the same situation, feeling as though there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all that you need to, so we thought it might be helpful to share a few ‘survivor’ stories. Over the next few weeks, some members of the library team will be letting you know about their experiences, offering a few pearls of wisdom along the way and hopefully reassuring you that part-time (or full-time) study can be really rewarding and that it’s all worth it in the end!

Hannah Meiklejohn
We’re starting our series with Hannah Meiklejohn, who has actually just left the library to join the team in Art and Design as Assistant for the School of Visual Communications. Prior to that, though, Hannah was a Library Assistant in Townhill Library and one of our most prolific part-time students! She originally started out as a full-time student, studying for a History degree at Swansea University, but changed to part-time in the second year to accommodate a full-time job (with us!). Hannah obviously caught the education bug because the year after graduating with her BA (Hons) in History she enrolled part-time for a diploma in creative writing. As if that wasn’t enough, she completed a short introductory teaching course last year and is currently in the second year of an MA in Philosophy on UWTSD’s Lampeter campus. It’s fair to say that Hannah is quite the expert in part-time study! Here are her thoughts:-
The Challenges
The biggest challenge for part-time students is finding time (quality and quantity) to study.  People who have spent time away from the education system may find the process of starting an essay again a very difficult and daunting task.  Even if essay writing is not a problem, fitting university work in and around your working life is the biggest area of concern for most people about to embark on a part-time course.  This could be caused by many things, such as difficulty in effectively organizing their time; job demands; family commitments; competing demands of hobbies and other interests etc. All of these things can make part-time study difficult.

You need to already be thinking about likely problems and their potential solutions in advance.  Some people find it useful to make precise plans or a personal timetable.  This is a good idea as long as it is made flexible. Understand that life sometimes gets in the way and some days you might not be able to do the work you had set out.  Be prepared for some tasks take longer than you had planned. You will need to be able to make adjustments to your study plans.

As well as finding time to study I need to make time for hobbies and interests, family and friends, and any other personal projects, all with a full time job.  It’s hard to fit it all in, but I find it gets easier with time.  I have been a part time student for so long that it’s almost second nature to me now.  For me it helped that I went straight from full time education, into continuing with the course part time, and I have continued to study ever since.  I think the best piece of advice I can give to new part time students is to simply try it out and see what works, and then stick at it. Once the right balance has been found it becomes a lot easier. 

Most of my history classes were on a Saturday morning which, after working a full week seemed like a horrendous way to start the weekend.  However, I got along well with the group and I was passionate about the subject so after the first week I realized it was actually an enjoyable experience.
For most people, leaning new things and enhancing career prospects are huge benefits to studying.  Making new friends, and using your mind in a different ways are also appealing aspects of studying.  You will not only gain a qualification, but you will gain confidence; satisfaction; respect from your peers, and a sense of achievement. 

If you’d like to read more of Hannah’s thoughts on part-time study, take a look at her article on page 14 of the current issue (no. 40) of Grad Mag.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Read a book, or watch tv...?

"Please, oh please, we beg, we pray
Go throw your TV set away
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall"

Taken from the poem 'Television' by Roald Dahl.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Silly old Bear

It’s Winnie the Pooh’s birthday today! Well, sort of. Winnie the Pooh was first published on the 14th October 1926 and told of the adventures of A. A. Milne’s son, Christopher Robin, and his toys: Pooh Bear, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga, Roo and of course Owl, Rabbit and all of Rabbit’s friends and relations. The book and its sequel, The House at Pooh Corner, are still firm favourites with children and adults alike and have even received the Disney seal of approval with various cartoon adaptations. The original books are surely the best, though, and E. H. Shepherd’s beautiful drawings are hard to beat.

You'd have to take a trip to the New York Public Library to see Christopher Robin's original toys (minus Roo, who is still missing in action in the real-life Hundred Acre Wood!), but the books are available for all to enjoy. You won’t be surprised to learn that both titles are available in Townhill Library’s Teaching Practice collection, as are Milne’s poetry books When we were very young and Now we are six. Well worth another read as they are just as engaging for adults as for children! You might also like to take a look at The Pooh perplex in Townhill Library at shelf mark 823.912 MIL. It’s an irreverent look at literary theory and criticism with some help from our astute and useful bear. Very funny!

Friday, 11 October 2013

T. Llew Jones Day

Tying in nicely with Children’s Book Week, it’s T. Llew Jones Day! The prolific Welsh writer and poet, who wrote for both children and adults, is celebrated every year on his birthday, 11th October. He was born in 1915 and died in 2009, but his English and Welsh language books remain as popular as ever. He was committed to addressing the shortage of Welsh language books for children in post-war Wales and became involved in conferences and competitions to generate new works as well as helping the shortfall by writing his own books! You can find out more about T. Llew Jones from the National Library of Wales’ Welsh Biography Online and see what the Welsh Books Council has to say about T. Llew Jones Day on their website. If you’ve yet to discover T. Llew Jones yourself, we have a number of his books in Townhill Library.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Children's Book Week

Yes, it’s Children’s Book Week from today until Friday! You can find out all about it on the Booktrust’s web page. To celebrate this year’s book week, the Booktrust has selected 100 books to read before you’re 14 (and well worth a read if 14 is but a distant memory too!), handily broken down into different age categories. You can even vote for your favourite children’s book in each of the four age ranges – 0-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-11 years and 12-14 years – so if you want to cast your vote for Matilda over Harry Potter, or Princess Smartypants over the Jolly Postman, now’s your chance!

You’ll find many of those top 100 children’s books, as well as a whole lot more, in the Teaching Practice collection on the first floor of Townhill Library. Come in and have a look, or use our Catalogue to find the book you want and ask for it to be sent to your home campus library!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A reminder - why use your university library?

Again, this is a re-post of a recent post, but what with returning students now back at university, we think it's a good opportunity to remind everyone of what your university library has to offer!

Take a look at this video that was produced by CyMAL to promote university libraries in Wales - you may even recognise one of the locations, as it was filmed here in Swansea!

It gives lots of reasons why you should use your university library - including saving you time and money, providing you with expert help from library staff, as well as access to a vast range of print, and e-resources! So take a look and hopefully you'll be inspired to use your university library this academic year - we look forward to seeing you soon :-)

Find out more about your fantastic Swansea Public Library service!!

This is a re-post of an article we originally posted earlier in the summer, but feel is relevant to all UWTSD Swansea students who may wish to find out more, and use their local public library service here in Swansea!
This week we're delighted to introduce another special guest blogger for you - Lizzy Evans, one of the assistant managers at Swansea Central Library! Lizzy started to work for the library service in December 2007, in time for the New Central Library opening. She started working as an Assistant Manager in 2010, having graduated from Swansea University in 2005 with a BA hons in History and Politics. She then went to Aberystwyth to study a MA in Film Studies and has recently submitted her dissertation for the BSc Library and Information Management degree. When not writing assignments or working, Lizzy spends time travelling and going to the theatre.

Your course has finished for the summer, so why not take this opportunity to try a different type of library experience?

At this time of year, Swansea Public LibraryService is inundated with requests for travel guides, guides for days out, starting new hobbies, cooking, crafting, dress making etc. and the beach holiday read… all for FREE! Swansea libraries have a lot to offer you, not only throughout the summer, but all year round.

We hold a variety of events for adults & children. Literacy skills being at the heart of most libraries, Swansea is no different. We hold many events for children which encourage language skills through a variety of activities:

oRhyme times

oWelsh Rhyme Times

oDress Up Story times

oHomework Clubs

o‘Story and Stuff’ craft events

oWii Games

oFamily film showings

oTeen Film Club

oTeen book groups

Throughout July & August we will be holding special events for children like our ‘OZ, The Great and Powerful’ Party on 25th July and the annual children’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Feel you’re a little old for this? We have a lot to offer you too! We hold a wide variety of events for adults, from guest author events and Family History sessions, to INK our writers group and our book group for which we are holding a special session in August where we are linking up with Radio Wales to join their book group (for more details, click here).

As technology advances, so must libraries, we now have WiFi in the central library and offer a free ebook and e-audio book download service. Libraries still anchor their work in books, be them physical or electronic, however this is no longer a library’s sole purpose, libraries are now so much more.

So, here’s the low down on Swansea’s libraries:

oWe have 17 branch libraries, a mobile service and a housebound service

oFree internet in all branches

oFree ebooks and e-audio books available to download

oOnline catalogue

oOur enquiry service Library Line (@LibraryLine) can help with the most basic or complex of enquiries

oTwitter:Swansea libraries (@Discovermore) and Library Line (LibraryLine)

To join, all you need is to bring down some proof of address and we can register you immediately, once registered you can use all 17 branches and all the facilities. Alternatively, you can register via the Libraries Together Passport scheme. If you’re reading this, you’re more than likely already registered with the Swansea Metropolitan University Library, and therefore you have access to many more libraries both academic and public from Pembroke, to Aberystwyth, to Neath Port Talbot. This is available via the passport, for more information visit

For more information about Swansea Library go to or call (01792) 636464.

Hope to see you soon!

Monday, 30 September 2013


Welcome back to all our returning students! We hope you had a great summer!

...You may have noticed that there have been a couple of changes to the library service while you were away...

From September 2013, Swansea campus libraries will be changing some of our loan periods and one of our fine rates to ensure that students and staff across all campuses of UWTSD receive equitable access to library resources.

Ordinary Loan
3 weeks - Undergraduate & taught postgraduate students £0.20 per day
6 weeks - staff and research postgraduate £0.20 per day

Teaching Practice Loan
6 weeks £0.20 per day

Limited Loan
1 week £0.50 per day

Restricted Loan*
2 days £0.75 per day

Short Loan*
Overnight £1.00 per day

Inter-Library Loans
£1.00 per day

*Students referred to the Library by Student Services as requiring additional support (as part of a Needs Assessment process) will be able to borrow short and restricted loan items for one week.

Your access to the UWTSD library service has also been widened - students from Swansea are welcome to apply to join UWTSD Carmarthen / Lampeter libraries by clicking the link below and completing the form.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

European Day of Languages

Salut! Guten tag! Buon giorno! Shwmae! Hello! Yes, it’s European Day of Languages today, a time to celebrate the diversity of languages across our continent. Take a look at the EDL website for more information about the day and about languages in general. For instance, did you know that there are about 255 indigenous languages in Europe? Or that at least half the world’s population speak two or more languages? And there can’t be many people out there who know that Sandra Bullock is a fluent German speaker! If you’re thinking of learning another language, or just want to brush up on that secondary school French in time for your next holiday across the Channel, we’ve got lots of books and CDs to help you in Townhill and Swansea Business School Library. Pop in and have a look!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Why Use Your Library?

Take a look at this video that was produced by CyMAL to promote university libraries in Wales - you may even recognise one of the locations, as it was filmed here in Swansea!

It gives lots of reasons why you should use your university library - including saving you time and money, providing you with expert help from library staff, as well as access to a vast range of print, and e-resources! So take a look and hopefully you'll be inspired to use your university library this academic year - we look forward to seeing you soon :-)

New students - come and see us at Freshers Fayre on Friday!

Colleagues Emily, Philippa and Suzanne will be representing our Library service at Freshers Fayre this Friday, so do go and say hello, and learn more about the library service and resources we have to offer you!

It's taking place in the main hall up at the Townhill Campus from 11am until 3pm, and there will be lots of stands to browse and freebies to gather! The library will also be giving away some goodies such as pens, notepads, sporks (see pic below!) and chocolates... so make your way to the library stand early to ensure you don't miss out!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

A big welcome to all our new international students!

Myself and my colleague Sam are looking forward to meeting the new intake of international students tomorrow, at the UWTSD Swansea International Student Welcome Event. This is taking place this year at our Swansea Business School campus, in the morning. So do come over to our library stand and say hello, and ask any questions you might have about the library service and our resources. We've also got some freebies to give away - see you there!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Roald Dahl Day

It’s Roald Dahl Day! Everyone’s favourite children’s author is celebrated every year on his birthday, 13th September. You can find out more on the website and do catch Michael Rosen’s Puffin Virtually Live webcast from 2pm till 2.45pm today. The theme this year is mischief and mayhem, so it should be lots of fun!

We’ve got lots of books by and about Roald Dahl in Townhill Library, so why not pop in today to pick up some weekend reading. Roald Dahl Day is the perfect excuse to rediscover a childhood favourite, or find a new treat.

We’ll leave the last word to author Nadia Shireen, who this morning tweeted "As is customary on #RoaldDahlday, learn a new word, outwit a grown-up and scoff some Dairy Milk." Sounds good to us! 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

A warm welcome to our new Art & Design Foundation students!

We'd like to extend a warm welcome to all our new Foundation Art students who began their university studies this week!
Your library induction session will take place next week, where you will be introduced to the resources and services that your library has 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 (see photo of library entrance above!)

We look forward to meeting you all soon.

Friday, 6 September 2013

International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day is celebrated on the 8th September every year, so this year it falls on Sunday. To encourage participation, though, this year the International Reading Association will be continuing celebrations throughout September. You can find out more on their website. You might also like to take a look at the National Literacy Trust’s website for more information and resources in this area.

As you can imagine, literacy is a cause pretty close to our hearts in the library and you’ll find lots of books and journals on this subject on our Catalogue. The theme this year is ‘Invent your future’, with a focus on promoting literacy skills for future success. Once again, we can help with books on children’s reading, adult literacy and studyskills books which can offer advice on academic writing and note taking. We’ve also got a whole host of fiction and non-fiction books that can be read for pleasure!