The joy of being (told you are) right

It feels good to be told you are right, even when you are wrong.  When no-one knows enough facts, it all becomes a whole heap of fun.  The solution might be to slow down and start to explore the fantastic complexity of political reality and realise that no-one really knows what is to be done for the best.

Read the full article by Pulitzer prize winning journalist Elizabeth Kolbert.

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Better emails

email marketing photoA recent study published by email software provider Boomerang highlighted some ways that might increase the success of emails you send asking for a response. While the sample was small and we only hear from the self-selecting sample who responded, who made up a little under half of all those surveyed but it raises some interesting observations.  Click on the link above or “Read more” below for details.

Read more ›

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CILIP present “Working with Ministers”

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP SE in Hants & Wight regional sub-branch) invite you to an evening talk “Working with Ministers”, a light-hearted look at the work of Government ministers. Rescheduled from Thursday evening last November, it is now due to be held at 7.00 pm on Thursday, 30th March 2017 in the University Library.

This talk would be of particular interest to anyone considering a career in politics, the civil service or library and information management.  The event is free but please email Sue Graham ( to book your place.

Posted in Librarianship Tagged with:

The polar bears made me do it…

Students at another university have for decades complained about the painting of polar bears savaging the sinister blood red sails of a wrecked ship that stares down at them from the exam room wall.  They claim it has caused all students who sit directly before it to fail.  Urban myths have arisen about students who were driven to suicide (apparently in the exam room – and no, this never happened) but only after scrawling “the polar bears made me do it” on their exam paper.  Well, it’s one step up from the inky hand print and “I am a fish” of Red Dwarf fame.  If that reference eludes you, watch the pilot episode of Red Dwarf free on BoB.  Many other good things are also available to view for free.  

The real mystery is why the university never took it down or moved it to another location, preferring instead to cloak it in a flag to protect the terrified exam candidates from its malign influence.Happily, no-one has yet claimed that staring into the benign if beady eyes of our resident penguin has led to mesmeric episodes of wanton madness.  It is hard to see what effect Pablo could have other than an urge to conscientiously recycle or to eat more oily fish.

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Still with eyes fixed on the horizon

Even now we are not standing still but instead continually acting on student feedback, big and small, from offering a paper clip recycling box beside the reservation collection point to inclusive gender neutral toilets.

We welcome you to join the long tradition of students who have helped shaped our Library by completing the National Student Survey if you are a final year student or posting your suggestions on our Online Suggestion Box and telling us how we can make the student experience even better.

Posted in About your Library Tagged with:

Penguins of science and honour

From energy diagrams in particle physics to the “penguinone” of aromatic chemistry fame, and the physics of penguins’ redecorating the areas surrounding their nests so neatly they can be seen from outer space by passing satellites. Oh, and according to Wikipedia, there is a king penguin in Edinburgh Zoo, Nils Olav III, who holds a knighthood from Norway and is Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian King’s Guard.  One wonders if the original penguin was a compromise candidate.

From book publishers and supermarkets to gas suppliers and even your local library, penguins have held a certain fascination for many people.  Unconventional yet relatable, friendly yet fish obsessed, they are undoubtedly one of the better loved animals on Earth.

Click here for full details, including the origin of the ‘super-penguin’ or click here for the story of Nils Olav III.


Image: (cc) Quilbert – own work derived from a LaTeX source code given in (slightly modified), photgograph (cc) Pygoscelis papua.jpg by Stan Shebs, CC BY-SA 2.5

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Mintel error

The Mintel database is currently showing an error message. We have reported this to Mintel and we hope to have it up and running again soon.

Update, 13/02/17: Mintel have advised us that this is because of a caching issue. To solve this, when you get the error message, change the URL to and you should be on the Mintel home page and logged in. You should only have to do this once per computer.

If you have any queries, contact the Library.

Posted in Known Problems

Available here and away

You are working harder than ever before and we are working hard to make sure you have everything you need, including 24/7 Library opening, round the clock telephone and (from 1st April, no fooling!) online chat support and simpler ways to get full access to all our resources, such as the Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Web Proxy Service for those who have to study from the workplace.

Distance learner with a laptop working at home“Sometimes seminars aren’t useful and I feel … I could be doing useful work in the library instead.”


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Turner & Paige no.62 Feb. 10th 2017


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Colour yourself happy every half hour

coloured pencils

If you are finding life a trifle stressful, two highly prized strategies are to take a break to drink water and exercise (for which Spinnaker Sports Centre is just across the road) and to switch your focus to something completely different, if only for just a few minutes at a time every half an hour.

This celebrated approach of focusing on something specific for 25 minutes then taking a five minute break to focus on something else, like colouring or origami, helps you to concentrate and retain facts.  Colouring has become popular in recent years as a way of focusing and calming the mind by giving it a task that requires continuous gentle concentration.

Why not combine the two – set your timer for 25 minutes and then spend a few minutes colouring or shading in your favourite Library colouring book entry.  We have a few available in the Atrium, although we have yet to step up to full production, but you can download as many colouring sheets as you like from our Library guides.  Remember to share your results with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. 😉

Click here to download your very own stressless Library colouring book.

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