Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Tale of Beatrix Potter

It’s Beatrix Potter’s birthday on Sunday (28th July). If she was still alive she’d be 147-years-old! The author is probably best known for her enduringly popular children’s books about Peter Rabbit, the Tailor of Gloucester, Jemima Puddleduck and Tom Kitten, to name but a few. I’m sure most of us are familiar with her beautiful illustrations of these animal characters, especially Peter Rabbit in his blue jacket.

Helen Beatrix Potter was born in 1866 in South Kensington, London. Despite a city upbringing, the Potters enjoyed long holidays in the countryside and had an array of much-loved family pets, many of whom went on to appear in Beatrix’s books! You can find out lots more about the author from TheBeatrix Potter Society and from books at Townhill Library. Amongst those shelved at 828.8 POT, you’ll find The Journal of Beatrix Potter from1881 to 1897 and you’ll see conference papers from The Beatrix Potter Society at 823.912 POT.

As you’d expect, we’ve got books written by Beatrix Potter too! You’ll find Peter, Jemima and the gang in the Junior Fiction section of Townhill Library. The linguists amongst you might like to read about their exploits in French! Find L’histoire de Toto let Minet and more at Teaching Practice 843.91 POT. Magnifique!

The House of the Tailor of Gloucester (photo by Hannah Meiklejohn)

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

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

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 Library Service 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!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Happy 4th July!

Photo by Denise Krebs (mrsdkrebs),
available from Flickr under Creative Commons licence
Yes, it’s the 4th July, also known as American Independence Day. Take a look at our database Oxford Reference Online to find out more about the history of the day and to see how it’s celebrated in the USA today picnics and fireworks!). You could also brush up on your American history by browsing the shelves in Townhill Library at shelf mark 973. For a more British perspective, try looking at some of our books on George III, who was monarch when America won its independence. George III, of course, is famous as the ‘mad’ king in Alan Bennett’s play The Madness of George III and the later film The Madness of King George. You can find the play script in Townhill Library at 822.914/BEN (not much mention of America, to be honest, but it is a good play!).
If novels are more your thing, you’ll find all sorts of classic American fiction at Townhill. The Great Gatsby had its show-stopping release in cinemas this year, but the original novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald takes some beating. If you’re more interested in 1950s and 1960s counter-culture, try Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and The Big Sur. For the ultimate American novel, though, perhaps we need look no further the Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, full to the brim with adventure, friendship and freedom.

If all this gives you a taste for travel and exploration, pop in to Swansea Business School Library to take a look at their travel guides. You’ll find a whole host of countries covered, including the USA, so you’ll have no trouble planning a trip to rival Kerouac’s!

If that’s a bit beyond your budget, or your planning expertise, you could always watch other people living, and struggling with, the American dream. Griffith Library at Dynevor has a whole host of American movies on DVD: Once Upon a Time in the West, Thelma and Louise, American Beauty, Malcolm X, Bowling for Columbine, The Social Network and loads more are available to borrow for free! Remember, we’re into the summer loan period now, so even two-day loans will be issued out until the 4th October.