Forever Green

Spring is just around the corner and we can look forward to spending more time outdoors and enjoying our gardens.

We’ve chosen some items from our special collections with a garden theme.  All of the items are from our collection of art treasures.

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This delightful image is of a design for Attingham Park, Shropshire by Humphrey Repton.  Repton was a landscape gardener in the eighteenth century, widely considered to be the successor to Capability Brown. He produced a series of Red Books to show clients what he envisaged for their park. The books are beautifully illustrated with watercolours and explanatory notes. The pictures have overlays to show ‘before’ and ‘after’ views of the park.

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LIKE event – January 2019

We had another LIKE meeting on Wednesday 30th January. This is an informal get together of library staff, where we share visits, conferences and any other information that might be of interest to the team. We were joined this time by our former colleague Alison, who now works for the NHS library service. It was great to see her and hear the goings on in NHS library world!

We talked about lots of topics over the course of two hours, but briefly:

Space!

A hot topic in the university at the moment, we touched upon it when discussing visits to Nottingham Trent University, University of Birmingham, and a conference attended about digital and physical library spaces.

We talked about the different ways universities are using, monitoring and evaluating space, as well as how library space is used by different people.

We were also interested in seeing space monitoring solutions in action – systems that can tell if a space is being used, which can also then display that information on screens for library users.

We enjoyed Nottingham Trent’s roof garden and thought we could look at promoting our own for the University’s Go Green initiative.

Resources for health students

It was great having Alison in from the NHS. Health students on practice are usually able to register with their trust library, and get access to physical and electronic resources in addition to what they get with the university. Alison updated us on what students have access to, and we discussed how we can promote these services more to our placement students. We also talked about the impact various different changes to resource access within the NHS might have on the services we provide.

Presenting data

One conference attended was about statistics and stories. One thing we’ve often mentioned doing is following up some of our queries/sessions to get a sense of their usefulness in practice, and this is what Public Health England have done to assess the impact of their service on users. Another is using images to present data in a more visual, manageable way, which might be a good way of helping a wider audience digest some of our service/collection statistics.

And finally…

The library contributed to International Women’s Day on 8th March (but celebrated throughout the month) – this was discussed at the LIKE event.

Celebrating National Libraries Week 2018: Can a book exchange improve mental health?

 

The theme for Libraries Week, 8–13 October is wellbeing, providing libraries with a chance to celebrate how they are supporting their community.

At the Mary Seacole Library, City South Campus, there is a great initiative running, a Book Exchange. Resources and a space for reading for pleasure have been provided. A chat with the Library Advisor working on this project outlined how the Exchange is set-up, how it can support students and staff to take time out of their busy lives, to relax, and in so doing improve their mental health through the simple act of reading.

What is the Book Exchange?

“It is a collection of fiction and non-fiction books that have been donated by staff and students who no longer want them but really want to share the pleasure of reading with others. Library colleagues set it up and I now have the pleasure of taking it on.”

Where is the Book Exchange?

“You can find it on the right hand side, immediately on entering through the Mary Seacole Library security gates. It has recently been relocated to this position to ensure more people see it, and get to enjoy the collection. Over the summer the books have been reorganised by genre and the collection was expanded.”

How can reading help with people’s mental wellbeing?

“It has been shown that reading can provide relaxation, motivation to learn, knowledge of other cultures, improvements in self-esteem, reduce symptoms of depression, increase empathy, improve communication and also help with creativity and imagination.”

The types of books in the Book Exchange?

“All sorts. Romantic fiction, historical fiction, crime, mystery, thriller, assorted popular fiction…lots.”

If I want to borrow a book from the Exchange what do I need to do?

“Just take a book off the Book Exchange shelves if you fancy it. You don’t need your borrower card. Just take it away. When you finish with it simply hand it in at the Library Helpdesk or place it on the Book Exchange shelves and staff will sort them.”

Can anyone donate books they’ve finished with?

“Absolutely. All books are welcomed. Just bring them to the Help Desk in the library or pop them on the Book Exchange shelves.”

What are your hopes this year for the Book Exchange?

“For students I really hope taking time away from studying, (where possible), to read a book on a completely different subject, will help to benefit their mental health and wellbeing in general. A lovely bit of down time.”

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So, if you want to relax, get back in to reading, or maybe be adventurous and try a new genre, then come on down to City South. Grab a free book today and take yourself off to a different world for a little while…. Happy reading! Happy improved wellbeing!

Check out the Reading Agency too for more information about reading well for mental health.

^Posted on behalf of Fid Bleasdale, Library Advisor

Don’t just eat your GREENS, work amongst them too!

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We have all heard about the health benefits of green leafy vegetables on our bodies but did you also know that surrounding yourself around green leafy plants can also have health benefits on our bodies too? Numerous scientific studies have shown that just adding some green indoor plants to a workplace environment can bring major positive benefits to workers. Maybe we should consider adding some green indoor plants to our workspace at BCU.

 Here are the top five benefits that ‘Greening Up’ indoor workspaces can bring:

  1. They can decrease stress. The colour green is believed to have a relaxing and calming effect on humans, which can help bring down work related tension, anxiety, anger and hostilities, which all helps to lift workers’ spirits and makes a happy working environment for everyone. https://www.verywellmind.com/color-psychology-green-2795817

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BCU Harvard Style in EndNote

Library staff have worked with colleagues in IT, Centre for Academic Success and staff at Clarivate Analytics to add the BCU Harvard Style to EndNote reference management software.

This means students and staff can now select BCU Harvard as an output style from within the desktop and web versions of EndNote. An EndNote plugin for word processing software will then allow users to produce reference lists and bibliographies automatically in the format used by the University.

If you want further information about BCU’s referencing guidelines visit here.

If you want training on how to use EndNote Web, IT offer workshops, check out their schedule for further details.