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

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Children's Book Week

Yes, it’s Children’s Book Week this week! We love a good children’s book at UWTSD Swansea libraries, with lots of quality books for youngsters from early years to teens available in the Teaching Practice collection at Townhill, and a good selection of beautiful picture books available on the shelves at Griffith Library in Dynevor. We all have our favourite reads from childhood, and many so-called 'children’s' books make good reading whatever your age, so do feel free to have a browse next time you’re in.

Children’s Book Week has been going for over 80 years now and aims to support reading for pleasure. You can find out more on the Booktrust web  pages, where you’ll also find links to resources such as Booktrust’s 100 Best Books (how many have you read?) and a toolkit to help parents encourage a love of reading in their children. You can also take a look at the Booktrust Best Book Guide 2014, which has been published to coincide with this week's celebrations. Perfect if you’re looking for some new books for the special little someone in your life!

Festivities officially end tomorrow (4th July), but we think every day is a good day to enjoy reading a good book. Let’s see how many of the 100 Best Books we can read over the summer!