Wednesday, 17 December 2014

So, what exactly does a librarian do?

This may be a question you’ve asked yourself. The popular perception is of a cardigan-wearing lady with glasses and a bun who says “Shhhh!” a lot. Yes, it’s true, most of us have a cardigan or two (it can get cold in those stacks!), some of us wear glasses, some of us may even on occasion sport a bun, and we’ll certainly ask you to quiet down if we think you’re disturbing other library users. There is, though, so much more to the job than that. Librarians come in many shapes and sizes, and find themselves fulfilling all sorts of roles in different organisations.

In an attempt to show off the variety to be found in the information and library sector in Wales, the 23 Llyfrgellydd blog profiles a different librarian or information professional each week to find out what their job involves. This week, our very own Philippa Price has been blogging about her role here at UWTSD. Take a look. It’s not all about stamping books, you know!

Dressing up for World Book Day is just one of the things which bring such variety to a librarian's role!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Christmas Jumper Day

It’s finally here! Those of you who also follow us on Facebook will have noticed that we’ve been looking forward to Christmas Jumper Day for a while now. Today’s the day when we get to show off our seasonal knitwear! Staff at all four UWTSD Swansea libraries will be taking part, so call into your home library to see how festive we all look. While you’re there, take some time to enjoy our book-themed Christmas decorations. We’ve pulled out all the stops this year!

As well as ending the term in style, we’re hoping to do some good with all this high fashion. Save the Children are hoping to ‘bring a bit of jumper joy’ into our lives this Christmas, and raise some money for their good work at the same time. If you’d like to contribute, you’ll find collection pots in all four libraries, or you can be all whizzy and twenty-first century and donate by text – just text TEAMSWANSLIB to 70050 to donate £2. All contributions very gratefully received. Let’s make the world better with a sweater!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Christmas vacation opening hours

The end of term is very nearly upon us! We hope most of you will be taking some time to relax over the vacation, but we also know that a lot of you will have exams to revise for and assignments to prepare (sorry to bring that up!). As such, your UWTSD Swansea libraries are open for part of the Christmas holiday, including Christmas Eve! Please check library opening hours on our website (links below) if you would like to visit us after the 12th December, as our vacation hours do differ from our term-time opening.

Griffith Library, Dynevor

Owen Library, Mount Pleasant

Swansea Business Library

Townhill Library

Please note, in line with the rest of the university, the libraries will close on Christmas Day and reopen for the start of term on the 5th January 2015. Our online resources will of course still be available and are accessible off-campus, so you can settle down to an ebook or journal article wherever you are this vacation! If you prefer something more tangible, any books, DVDs, etc. that you borrow over the holiday period will be issued out until the 16th January 2015, so you'll have plenty of time to get the most out of them.

Nadolig Llawen!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Christmas ‘blind date with a book’

Regular blog readers may remember our Valentine's ‘blind date with a book’ a couple of years ago, when staff at Townhill Library packaged up some books from the shelves so you could borrow a mystery ‘blind date’ to be unwrapped at home. It was a really popular idea, and we enjoyed doing it, so we’ve decided to do the same thing for Christmas!

Call into Townhill Library from now until Christmas Eve and you’ll see lots of lovely Christmas surprises under our tree. The idea is simple – we’ve chosen some of our favourite library books for you and wrapped them up so you don’t know what they are. There’s a little summary on each gift tag to help you choose one that you’d like to borrow. Perfect for those of us that are looking forward to snuggling down with a good book this Christmas, but aren’t sure what to read next! There are just a few simple steps to follow:-
  • Take the book to the counter to issue (if you use self-service, no peeking at the title on the screen!)
  • Open the package when you get home (you can wait till Christmas Day, if you like!)
  • Books will be issued until the 16th January, so don't forget to bring your book back next term!

There are all sorts of books under the tree, so you’re bound to find something you like the sound of. Call in when you can, and remember to let us know what you thought or your surprise read!


Friday, 5 December 2014

Meet your library elves (aka your subject librarians) - Townhill Library

Time for our final post on this! We hope you’ve enjoyed finding out about our Christmas favourites. Remember, though, our most favourite thing is students who ask for help when the need it, whatever the time of year, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about the library or our resources.

Today we’re turning our attention to Townhill Library, where you’ll find librarians Philippa Price and Erica Fothergill.

Philippa supports the education programmes at Townhill, including Educational Studies, PGCEs, Graduate Diplomas and Masters.

Favourite Christmas movie
Miracle on 34th Street (the 1947 version, though Sir Richard Attenborough was perfect as Kris Kringle in the 1994 version!)
Favourite Christmas book
Philippa and her new pal in Townhill Library
Hmmm, tricky… Can I choose two? Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol are two of my Christmas stalwarts (and the Muppet movie adaptation of A Christmas Carol was a contender for my favourite Christmas movie!).

Favourite Christmas food

Best thing about Christmas
Having a snooze in front of the TV on Christmas afternoon.

And  last but not least, Erica Fothergill can also be found at Townhill Library and supports students of Performing Arts and Psychology & Counselling.

Favourite Christmas movie
My choice for this year is The Snowman, which is based on the book by Raymond Briggs.  It is not a lengthy epic film (it is approximately of 30 minutes duration) but it is certainly viewing that I recommend if you are looking for a short animation with attractive artwork telling a warm, sensitive and seasonal story. 

Favourite Christmas book
Having chosen The Snowman as my choice of favourite film, it seems appropriate to select the book, The Snowman by Raymond Briggs, to accompany the film.

Favourite Christmas food
For me there is no single winner; a meal of turkey, vegetables and cranberry sauce is highly enjoyable, however, I have found that a nut roast with cranberry sauce is a good alternative.  For dessert, it is usually Christmas pudding but alternatives are welcome as I can’t think of a Christmassy dessert I don’t like. (I’m glad tapioca pudding is not a Christmas dish as I don’t like that!)

Best thing about Christmas
Christmas carols and thinking about the celebration of Christ’s birth helps make Christmas special and a way of helping to avoid overdoing the materialism of the Christmas shopping frenzy!

So there you go! Those are a few of our favourite things about Christmas. We’d love to hear what you love about the festive period, so please do let us know in the comments below, or via Facebook and Twitter. If we’ve inspired you with our choices, many of our favourite books are available to borrow on our shelves, so pop in and take a look!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Meet your library elves (aka your subject librarians) - Griffith Library, Dynevor

Library number three today - Griffith Library at Dynevor! The elf in residence there is Helen Beale, who would love to hear from you if you have any questions about the library or are struggling to find what you need. Helen should be easy to spot - she's likely to be found wearing a Christmas jumper of one sort or another as she's gone a bit mad for them this year! (As have we all - look out for library staff at all four UWTSD Swansea libraries sporting some festive pullovers on the 12th December!)

Helen in her Christmas jumper,
admiring the Griffith Library displays
Helen Beale is based in the Griffith Library and supports the programmes delivered by the Faculty of Art & Design at both Dynevor and Alex.

Favourite Christmas movie
Decisions, decisions … which to pick? I do have a soft spot for ‘Elf’ with Will Ferrell as it’s a family favourite and you know what they say, the family that laughs together stands a chance of getting through the festivities unscathed (well one lives in hope!). A few years ago the Taliesin put on a showing of a re-mastered ‘White Christmas’ with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. It was a real treat experiencing an old classic on the big screen, there was such a feel-good factor about it and yes I’m afraid to say we came out singing as well!  
Santa's little helper!
Favourite Christmas book
I’m with Emily on this one, it’s all about the children when it comes to Christmas books. My immediate reaction was to say ‘The Night Before Christmas’ as it brings back happy memories of reading to my three children when they were very young. We also have a beautifully illustrated copy of ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’, although I think I enjoyed this one more than the children.

Favourite Christmas food
Everything – as long as there are no nuts involved!

Best thing about Christmas
Having all my family under one roof for the holidays, eating, drinking and laughing together in front of the fire, with re-runs of Morecambe and Wise Christmas Specials on the TV. Although watching my daughter try and dress up our Jack Russell as Santa’s little helper, complete with a hat with a bell on it was a pretty close second!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Meet your library elves (aka your subject librarians) - Owen Library, Mount Pleasant

Here’s part two of our little series introducing you to your magical, mischievous, ever-so-helpful, elf-like subject librarians! Today we’re turning our attention to Mount Pleasant, where your resident librarian is Suzanne Taylor. Mount Pleasant students, please get in touch with Suzanne if you need any help in finding or accessing library resources.

Suzanne Taylor our librarian at Owen Library and supports the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering at Mount Pleasant.
Suzanne's dog, looking forward to Christmas!

Favourite Christmas movie
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ as it shows the positive impact one person can have upon so many lives or ‘The Holiday’ because I would love to spend Christmas in Kate Winslet’s  country cottage.

Favourite Christmas book
It would probably have to be A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Favourite Christmas food
A roast turkey or chicken dinner with all the trimmings, minus the sprouts.

One of the best things about Christmas
There’s something very special about driving to see family early on a frosty Christmas morning when the roads are empty. Also walking my dog on a beach on Boxing Day and seeing him chase the ball along the tide’s edge.

The fabulous book tree at Owen Library

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Meet your library elves (aka your subject librarians) - Swansea Business Library

Ok, so we don’t spend much time skipping round with bells on our clothes, and we don’t have pointy ears, but your subject librarian can be just as useful as Santa’s little helpers at this time of year. Knowledge is the best gift, right? So, if you’re struggling to find journal articles for your dissertation, or looking for a book to help you to get a grip on your exam revision, pop into your home library and have a chat with your subject librarian. You can also reach us by phone or email, and we won’t be checking if you’ve been naughty or nice!

Over the next few days, we’ll be introducing you to the librarians based at each campus so you know who to ask for if you would like some help. Since we’re feeling quite festive, we’ll be sharing some of our favourite things about Christmas. We’re going to start with the librarians at Swansea Business Campus.

Sam, feeling festive
Sam Scoulding is the librarian for Tourism, Hospitality & Sport, Public Services and Health, and is based at Swansea Business Library.
Favourite Christmas movie
It’s a Wonderful Life – I’m a big James Stewart fan and this 1946 American classic film never fails to get me in the Christmas spirit! I love the setting (Bedford Falls) and the brilliant guardian angel (Clarence)…and I always find it particularly amusing that one of the central characters (Mary) would have been doomed to a life as a ‘spinster librarian’ had she never met her husband!
Favourite Christmas book
The Night Before Christmas – ok, so it’s a poem really, but still my favourite read during the festive season! Published anonymously in 1823 (Clement Clarke Moore finally acknowledged authorship in 1837) it was largely responsible for many of the ideas and images still associated with Santa Claus today. I particularly love the illustrations (by Christian Birmingham) in my own copy of this book!

Favourite Christmas food
Well, I hate Christmas pudding…and I’m not a massive fan of mince pies or Christmas cake either (!!) but I do love Stollen which is a traditional German Christmas cake. I love anything containing marzipan and there’s lots of it in this cake!
Best thing about Christmas
Once all the madness of the Christmas shopping is over, just closing the door on Christmas Eve and enjoying the peace and quiet, usually with a little drinky in one hand and some chocs in the other!

Emily Hywel shares responsibility with Alison Evans for supporting the Business programmes here at Swansea, and is also based at Swansea Business Library.
Favourite Christmas movie 

Library elf Emily
A child’s Christmases in Wales, comedy set across the 80’s with Ruth Jones and Paul Kaye, and narrated by Michael Sheen. This is adapted from the Dylan Thomas “A child’s Christmas in Wales” (which I haven’t read) and is a really brilliant film, it also reminds me of growing up in the 70s and 80s. 
Also can I have The Snowman and the Snowdog, this is the sequel to The Snowman and I must have watched it a million times over the last couple of years cause the kids love it.  Lovely music too.
Favourite Christmas book 
I have to say I can’t really think of any grown up xmas books, except the Christmas Carol, so my favourite xmas book has to be Stickman by Julia Donaldson again read a million times over the last few years!
Favourite Christmas food 
Roast potatoes, roast parsnips, roast carrots and any other roast veg and peas, and some gravy or sauce that goes with fish or nut roast.
Best thing about Christmas 
Opening presents with the kids in the morning and walking down to the beach later (with torches last year cause we left it so late) – still a novelty to go to the beach xmas day coming from Sheffield!
If we have xmas songs too they would have to be Slade - Merry Xmas everyone, Wizzard – I wish it could be Xmas everyday, and Maria Carey – All I want for Xmas is you.

Alison Evans is based at Swansea Business Library and supports the Business programmes at UWTSD Swansea together with Emily Hywel.
Favourite Christmas movie
Miracle on 34th Street – the original 1947 one.  I love this so much, I’ve never managed to get around to seeing the Richard Attenborough version …
Favourite Christmas book
A Visit from St Nicholas (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas) written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1822.  When I was little, I loved reciting the reindeers’ names. When I read it to my own boys, I still do – although we have to sneak in Rudolph!
Image Courtesy of: Feelart / Free Digital Photos
Favourite Christmas food
White chocolate and Baileys cheesecake – yum.
Best thing about Christmas
Feeling cosy with family – watching our favourite programmes together, wearing silly hats or just chatting.

Monday, 1 December 2014

A daily dose of festive fun!

Some of you may remember our Twelve Days of Christmas campaign last year...well, this year we've gone one step further and given you some bite-sized festive fun for every day in Advent!
We've put together an online Advent Calendar. It's our way of spreading a little bit of Christmas cheer to all the staff and students at UWTSD Swansea!

Behind each door you'll find something new and surprising that you may not have known about your library service, as well as some festive fun to get you in the mood for the holiday season.
We'll be sharing useful information, links and contact well as fun videos and photos...our calendar is even mobile compatible, so you can view it anywhere, anytime on your mobile devices.
...look out for even more festive fun at your UWTSD Swansea libraries throughout December too...!
Happy Christmas Everyone!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Nothing says ‘Christmas’ like a lovesick penguin…

Have you been enjoying all the Christmas ads on the TV as much as we have? We’re particularly fond of Monty the Penguin and the little boy who gives him the best Christmas gift of a new friend! Always happy for an excuse to share our top 5s, and inspired by Monty, here are our favourite books about penguins!


1.       Lost and Found, by Oliver Jeffers

The animated adaptation of this appeared on our screens a few Christmases ago, so although it’s not especially Christmassy, it does feel quite seasonal! It’s a lovely story about a little boy’s attempts to help a penguin find his way home and the friendship that grows between them. One to warm the cockles of your heart!

2.      Penguin, by Polly Dunbar

Another one about a boy and his penguin! (There’s a bit of a theme here.) Ben is desperate to get a reaction from his new penguin, but the penguin doesn’t seem to want to say or do anything, until Ben gets eaten by a lion, that is. Brilliant! This is another really heart-warming one.

3.      The Emperor’s Egg, by Martin Jenkins

No little boys here! This tells the story of the life-cycle of the Emperor penguin, but this is far more than an information book. Jenkins makes the story of the male emperor penguin’s vigil on the ice an engaging one. A good one for dad’s everywhere!

4.      Cuddly Dudley, by Jez Alborough

Dudley’s brothers and sisters love cuddling him so much that they just can’t leave him alone! He sets off to find some peace and quiet, but soon realises that being cuddly isn’t so bad after all. Another lovely tale of penguins and friendship.

5.      Potes Pengwin, by Gerald Rose

Not quite such a friendly story, this one! Some scientists working in the Antarctic decide they’d like to try penguin stew. How will our monochrome heroes get themselves out of that pickle? You’ll have to borrow the book to find out!


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Cwtch up with a book!

There’s definitely a chill in the air out there! It’s the perfect weather for cosying up by the fire and settling down with a good book (and perhaps a cup of tea and a biscuit!). With that in mind, the staff at Townhill Library have picked out some ‘cosy fireside reads’ to tempt you this Autumn. See anything you fancy?

Friday, 31 October 2014

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the library…

Click to see what we've got in our haunted house!

It’s Halloween today and we’re feeling spooky here at UWTSD Swansea libraries! You’ll find witchy, ghoulish and scary books and DVDs on show in each of our four libraries, though we think Owen Library at Mount Pleasant has to take the prize for most frightening display with their collection of study skills books! (Take a couple of these titles home, though, and that research and revision won’t be nearly so worrying.) Take a look at our video and pictures for a taster of what’s available, then pop in and borrow something, if you’re brave enough!




Thursday, 30 October 2014

National Black Cat Day – Our favourite books about black cats

Today is National Black Cat Day, which was established to draw attention to the plight of black and black and white cats in rehoming centres round the world. Black cats often take much longer to rehome than their more colourful counterparts, though no one is sure why this is. You can find out more on the Cats Protection website.

Here at UWTSD Swansea libraries, we’re always pleased to find an excuse to share some of our favourite books with you, so here are our top five books featuring black moggies:-

1.       Six Dinner Sid, by Inga Moore – Fabulous picture book in which wandering black cat, Sid, discovers that whilst it’s great to have six meals a day, having a multitude of homes to call your own can come with its drawbacks too!

2.      Winnie the Witch, by Valerie Thomas – Here’s a book you can appreciate on a couple of different levels! Just enjoy the story of Winnie, who tries to change her black cat Wilbur so he’s easy to spot in her dark house, or take a look at the way Scope has used Winnie the Witch to describe the Social Model of Disability (in a nutshell: change the house, not the cat!).

3.      Slinky Malinki, by Lynley Dodd – “blacker than black” Slinky Malinki is a rather winsome creature during the day, but during the night becomes “wicked and fiendish and sly”. This rhyming tale of the cat’s dual life is an absolute delight, whatever your age!

4.      Gobbolino the Witch’s Cat, by Ursula Moray Williams – Gobbolino, the little black cat with blue eyes and one white paw, is supposed to be a witch’s cat, but he’d much rather be a kitchen cat sleeping by the fire all day! Can this magical cat find his perfect home?

5.      The Black Cat, by Edgar Allan Poe – We couldn’t leave out Edgar Allan Poe, the macabre master of the short story! This tale sees our protagonist wracked with guilt over an injury he does to his once beloved pet cat. Things get more and more sinister as the story goes on, so maybe don’t read this one right before bed! It’s perfect for Halloween, though, and is available in various free versions online, and can also be found in the Edgar Allan Poe short story collections which we have available in Townhill Library.

We’re sure Colin, our resident Mount Pleasant black cat, would approve!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

We have a winner!

We are pleased to announce that the winner of our library competition launched at the start of the new academic year (for new students to follow our Blog, Facebook or Twitter pages) is Applied Drama student, Charlotte Haran. Congratulations Charlotte!

The aim of the competition had been to encourage new UWTSD Swansea students to follow our library social media sites. UWTSD librarians had been busy at their library induction sessions promoting the sites, and it’s been lovely to see those new followers appearing!

Pictured below is Charlotte (right) receiving her prize, a £30 Amazon gift voucher, from Assistant Librarian Philippa Price earlier today. 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 Swansea libraries have to offer you.

Philippa (left) presenting Charlotte with her voucher

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Stories from the Past

I've always been interested in genealogy and during this process have stumbled upon quite a lot of information relating to my family's contribution to the First World War. This got me thinking about how many other untold family stories there must be, unsung heroes that have long been forgotten and deserve to be remembered now, in the WW1 centenary year.
I decided to ask my colleagues here at UWTSD libraries if they knew anything of their WW1 ancestry...and was amazed by the response! There were some incredible stories to be told and many people had photographs and memorabilia that they were keen to share (somebody even came forward with an original WW1 shrapnel shell - long since deactivated of course!). This soon gave me the idea to hold an exhibition of our collective First World War story, a chance for us to mark the centenary in our own unique way.
After many months of collecting all the photographs and information together, the exhibition is now up and running! It is currently on display at our Swansea Business Campus Library and will be touring all the other campus libraries over the next month, spending a week at each location.
We'd love you to come and take a look and maybe be inspired to research your own family's contribution to the Great War.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Congratulations Suzanne, MSc(Econ)!

We’re sending huge congratulations out to our colleague Suzanne Taylor, who this year achieved her Masters in Information and Library Studies. Well done Sue! We’re all really proud of you.

Suzanne found out that she’d passed this summer, but we thought we’d wait until the start of term to share the news as we’re sure a lot of you out there will want to offer some congratulations too. Suzanne will be familiar to those of you at Townhill Campus as the librarian for Psychology and Counselling, Performing Arts and Educational Studies, and regular visitors to Townhill Library will recognise her smiling face! This year, Suzanne has moved to Mount Pleasant Campus to support the staff and students of FACE (Faculty of Architecture Computing and Engineering). Her smiling face remains, so do pop to say hello and ask any questions you may have. She didn’t get that MSc for nothing, you know!

Those of you who’ve been following Suzanne’s story will know that she’s been working hard to complete this Masters as a distance learner with Aberystwyth University whilst working full-time here at UWTSD. As many of you will know first-hand, time-management can be a real challenge when you’re juggling studies with work and other commitments, so last year we ran a series of helpful hints and advice from library staff members who have managed it successfully. We naturally asked Suzanne for her advice, and got some really good tips from other members of staff too!

We’ve also got lots of books in the library that can help you with your study skills such as note-taking, assignment writing, referencing, time-management etc. We’re sure Suzanne would agree that it’s hard work, but definitely worth it in the end! She’s certainly still up for a challenge – Sue is currently working towards Associate Fellow status with the HEA (Higher Education Association) and Chartered status with CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). What a clever clogs! Go for it Sue!

Assistant Librarian Suzanne Taylor proudly showing off
her certificate in MSc(Econ) in Inforamtion and Library Studies

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Come and meet Simon Pridham, author of Freaked Out: The Bewildered Teacher’s Guide to Digital Learning

We’re freaking out with excitement (see what we did there?) that Simon Pridham will be visiting Townhill Library tomorrow (Thursday 25th September) as part of the launch of his new book, Freaked Out: The BewilderedTeacher’s Guide to Digital Learning. Simon will be speaking to education students at UWTSD Swansea and Carmarthen campuses all day, so we’re delighted that he’ll be finding time to pop into the library too.

Simon will be in Swansea speaking at student lectures in the morning and will be available in the library between sessions. Please pop in to see him if you have any questions for him, or would just like a chat! He will be around at approximately the following times:-




Copies of the book will be on sale for the special price of £15 (RRP £20), so well worth calling in! In the meantime, you can follow Simon on Twitter - @Simonpridham123 – to see what else he’s up to.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Avast, land lubbers! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrr!

There really is a day for everything! This might be one of our favourites, though. International Talk Like a Pirate Day was established by a group of friends (or should we say shipmates?) in 1995 and since then has become something of a worldwide phenomenon. You can find out all about it, and get some ideas of how to join in, on the official website. Here at UWTSD Swansea libraries, we think it’s a perfect excuse to share our favourite pirate books with you!

Class Three All at Sea, Julia Jarman
Definitely the best story about pirates there’s ever been! In this rhyming picture book, class three’s school trip out to sea with Captain Keith takes a turn for the worse when they’re captured by pirates. Good thing there’s a friendly octopus around to help!

Pirates ‘n’ pistols, Chris Mould
This is a beautiful collection of pirate stories, old and new. It was nominated for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for children’s illustration in 2013, and it’s easy to see why – the pictures are so full of life and colour.

Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome
OK, so the pirates in this book are actually two young girls, Nancy and Peggy Beckett, but this is still a rollicking good read and a classic from the golden age of children’s literature.

The Gardening Pirates / Môr-Ladron yr Ardd, Chris Glynn and Ruth Morgan
Times are hard on the bad ship Ych-y-Fi, but Cabin Girl Gwen has some seed which will make the pirate crew shipshape in no time! This lovely story is available in Welsh and in English.

Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
The ultimate pirate story! Long John Silver, Jim Hawkins, Captain Flint (the parrot)… Need we say more? The Muppet film version is great, but no substitute for Stevenson’s original.

Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie
We had to include this one! Captain Hook is surely one of the most fearsome fictional pirates. His only fears are the sight of his own blood and the clock-swallowing crocodile who once took a bite of his arm and has pursued him ever since. Tick tock…

Peter Pan in Scarlet, Geraldine McCaughrean
The sequel to Barrie’s classic, endorsed by the Special Trustees of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital who own the copyright, this book sees Wendy and the Lost Boys (now the Old Boys!) return to Neverland to follow Captain Hook’s treasure map. A must for anyone who wants to know what happened when they all grew up!

Captain Pugwash books, John Ryan
Better known by our more mature students as a TV series, we have a number of Captain Pugwash books in Townhill Library which are well worth a look.

William Dampier: Buccaneer Explorer, Gerald Norris
A bit of real-life swashbuckling here! Dampier led the expedition which saw Alexander Selkirk, the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe, marooned on an island in the Pacific. He circumnavigated the globe three times, but his reputation was tainted with accusations of drunkenness and brutality. The Folio edition on our shelves brings together tales of his adventures.

Pirate the Seal, Brenda Jobling
A bit of a cheat this one as Pirate, as the title suggests is a seal, not a buccaneer! However, this is too beautiful a book to leave off the list on a technicality. It follows the friendship that develops between a lonely boy and his animal playmate. Just lovely!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

A big library welcome to our new PGCEs and GTPs!

Yes, whilst most of you new students have got a week or so to go before you start your new university life, our trainee teachers have already arrived, and in some cases have had their library induction! This week, we’ve welcomed the Primary PGCEs, full-time PCET (Post-Compulsory Education and Training) PGCEs and GTPs (Graduate Teacher Programme) to Townhill Library. We hope you enjoyed your visit round the library. We’re looking forward to seeing lots of you over the next year! If you need a reminder of what we’ve got to offer, here’s a little video of some of our best bits, including your friendly librarian, Philippa Price, who will be happy to answer questions and offer a helping hand as you find your way around.

Townhill Library / Llyfrgell Townhill

Secondary PGCEs, don’t worry! We have library inductions scheduled for you over the next couple of weeks. See you soon!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Roy Cropper, Corrie's own library campaigner

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut / Free Digital Photos
Have you been watching Coronation Street lately? If so, you’ll know why Roy Cropper’s latest crusade has sparked our interest! He’s teamed up with feisty librarian, Yasmeen Nazir, to try to save his local public library from closure. If you haven’t caught the storyline, take a look at Alyson’s Welsh Libraries Blog where there’s a guest post from Dr Anoush Simon, lecturer in the Department of Information Studies at Aberystwyth University. Dr Simon, a Corrie fan herself, summarises the story so far and talks about the importance of issues like this appearing on mainstream television.

We always get a bit excited to see librarians on screen or in books, especially if they’re not the stereotypical cardigan-wearing shusher. Yasmeen Nazir will be one to watch, and not someone to be messed with! From Casanova to Batgirl, check out our post from a few years ago on other famous librarians from fiction and history – I’m a Celebrity Librarian…Get Me Out of Here!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Raawwwwr! It’s Global Tiger Day

Image courtesy of criminalattFree Digital Photos 
Global Tiger Day is held every year on the 29th July with the aim of raising awareness and support for tiger conservation. We’re fans of cats big and small here at UWTSD Swansea libraries, so in honour of the humble moggy’s formidable cousin, here are our top five books about tigers. They’re grrrreat! (See what we did there?)


1.       The Tiger Who Came to Tea, by Judith Kerr – surely the best book about a tiger that’s ever been! If you’re not familiar with the story (and if you’re not we recommend you give yourself a treat and take a look as soon as you can), it revolves around Sophie and her unexpected and very hungry houseguest. A real treat!

2.      Life of Pi, by Yann Martel – recently made into a successful film, this captivating tale sees a tiger, an orang-utan, a zebra, a hyena and a teenage boy (Pi) adrift together in a lifeboat out at sea. It probably isn’t giving too much away to say that they do not make for a band of happy shipmates! Don’t worry about the plausibility, just let yourself get carried away on Pi’s journey.

3.      The House at Pooh Corner, by A. A. Milne – Who could forget Tigger, the bounciest, most exuberant tiger of all? He’s so much a part of the gang with Pooh Bear, Piglet, Eeyore and the rest that it’s hard to believe he didn’t appear in the first book, Winnie-the-Pooh, at all! He arrives in the forest and has breakfast in this follow up and soon makes his presence felt. He can be a little overbearing at times, but that’s the wonderful thing about Tiggers!

4.      Augustus and his Smile, by Catherine Rayner – Augustus the tiger has lost his smile and he’s quite sad about it, so after a “HUGE tigery stretch”, off he goes to find it. A gorgeous picture book that reminds us that happiness is there for the taking if we just go and look for it. Fabulous!

5.      Tiger Tiger, by Melvin Burgess – Yorkshire is the unlikely setting of this book, where we find Lila the Spirit-Tiger transforming herself into a young girl in order to wreak revenge on those involved in a massacre at Malham Tiger Park. Another one where you’ll need to suspend your disbelief and immerse yourself in the story! Well worth it.


Friday, 18 July 2014

Summer opening hours for UWTSD Swansea libraries

Borrow some beach time reading from us this summer
and you won't need to bring it back until the 3rd October!
With the graduation ceremonies this week, it really does feel as though the academic year has come to an end. However, we at the library will be flying the flag for knowledge and information all summer! We understand that a lot of you are part-time students who rely on the vacation times to catch up, and that there’ll be a few of you anxious to get a head start on you dissertation before the new term comes along. Some of you might even have a couple of resits to think about before you can move on!

So, for you, and anyone else who’s after somewhere to study or books from our shelves, we do remain open over the summer vacation period. We will be shut for evenings, weekends and bank holidays, but generally speaking we are open Monday to Friday throughout. Please do check our opening times if you’re planning a visit, though, as we may have to close unexpectedly, and some libraries may need to close for lunch. (There aren’t so many of us around in the holidays!) You’ll find the latest information under the Notices section of the library homepage, or just give us a ring to check. You’ll find your library phone number on the date labels of your books, on our website, and listed below!


Griffith Library (Dynevor)            01792 481030

Owen Library (Mount Pleasant)  01792 481141

Swansea Business Library 01792 481023

Townhill Library     01792 482113

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Desert Island Books

Image courtesy of: foto76 / Free Digital Photos
Time for the last instalment in our long running Desert Island Books series. The grand finale comes from ex UWTSD library Assistant, Hannah Meiklejohn, who now works for the Faculty of Art and Design. We hope you've enjoyed reading our book choices as much as we've enjoyed sharing them with you!

If you were stranded on a desert island which 4 books would you like to have
with you and why?
My first choice would be The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley because it brings back memories of bedtime reading with Dad. I have it on my Kindle but I would love to get my hands on either a first edition (1863) or an original 1916 version, which included beautifully illustrated coloured plates by Jessie Wilcox Smith. 
The second book would be Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.  The first time I read it I didn't want it to end, so I started to read each chapter twice before moving on (a fitting tribute to The Soldier Who Saw Everything Twice, I think!).  I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to read and re-read it on the island.
The third book would be The Complete works of Shakespeare.  As a single volume it would be huge - no need to worry about running out of reading material for a while.  I would start with The Tempest as the characters were trapped on an island for twelve years so I would probably be able to relate - I may even pick up a few tips!  Viola was also found shipwrecked in Twelfth Night, so I would move on to that next.   Hamlet is my favourite of Shakespeare's plays, but I have never read some of the classics like King Lear or Merchant of Venice so as well as old favourites I will have plenty of time to discover some new reading material. 
Finally for my fourth book I would bring a blank notebook.  I would use it to journal my adventures, write letters that I can never send, record my dreams, doodle, compose poems and make notes for story ideas.  If I'm on the island long enough, I might even finish writing a novel (one can dream…)
If you could bring one of the characters to life, for company, who would you choose and why?
The Water Babies has some wonderfully named characters (such as Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby) but I would without a doubt choose somebody from Catch 22.  While a doctor would come in handy, I wouldn't get much use out of Doc Daneeka.  As well as being selfish and unwilling to help others, he is also officially dead (he even gives up telling people he’s alive as no one believes him).  It would not be Milo Minderbinder.  Using flawless, circular logic he would no doubt convince me to do all the work on the island, and let him take all the credit.  I would love to spend some time with Yossarian, but I think the obvious choice, given my setting, would be Orr.  Orr is a genius at constructing apparatus.  We'll keep warm, cool, dry, clean and eventually when I'm bored of the island we'll build a boat and row all the way to Sweden.  Good ol' Orr.
You can have one luxury item on the island with you…what would it be?
A camera and a HD card with the largest memory capacity you can have.  It would need to be operational for my whole ‘strandedness’ so maybe it will be a wind up or solar powered one.  I'm assuming this island gets plenty of sun.  Can I also have a good zoom lens for getting shots of insects and animals?  I’d love to do a time lapse of the islands’ movements.  I have to take pictures everywhere I go. #DesertIslandSelfie  - that’s a thing, right?
You are rescued and can only take one book back with you…which one would
you pick?
If I did manage to find a first edition of The Water Babies I wouldn't want to leave it behind, but as precious as that would be, my notebook would be irreplaceable