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!