Monday, 12 December 2016

Fireside Tales - Luton Library

There's been a lot of interest in December's theme for Books Unlocked. This is Luton's "Fireside Tales" display

Friday, 2 December 2016

Books Unlocked Winter Reads

December sees a Winter's Reads promotion look out for this display at Bedford

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Books Unlocked 20th century fiction

I hope you have been enjoying the fabulous display at Bedford which celebrates twentieth century fiction.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Books Unlocked - 20th Century Fiction

In looking at 20th century fiction LRSE has tried to identify at least one title from each decade of that century. Enjoy the displays at Luton and Bedford and maybe borrow a few of the suggested titles.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Books Unlocked - Second Hand book giveaway

Second hand book giveaway
Luton Library
Wednesday 9 November 2016
16.00 – 17.00

Come and get a bit of light reading for a winter’s night

Monday, 10 October 2016

Books Unlocked - Black History Month

October is Black History Month. For this year’s theme is about tackling conscious and unconscious bias, with messages from the Equality and Inclusion Champion; Lord Herman Ouseley and the creator of the 100 Great Black Britons list; Patrick Vernon going some way to show the effects of just how damaging bias against BAME communities truly is.
We have the opportunity to recognise the sporting greats from within our community who represented us and Great Britain at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio. Older sporting heroes of old are remembered too and the iconic moments that surround them, such as the iconic image we were presented with on the podium at the 1969 Mexico games.
2016 has also been a year of loss and we take a moment to remember “Mr Windrush” himself, Sam King, Muhammad Ali and the musical icon that was Prince.
Learning Resources celebrates inclusion with this month's displays at Luton Campus Library and Bedford Campus Library. Take a moment or two to look at the diplays and maybe borrow a book or two.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Books Unlocked September - Luton Library Display

The 12 most famous banned books of all time includes: Animal Farm and Catcher in the Rye

This month's banned book display at Luton Library demonstrate some of titles that have been banned and why - in a very discrete way!!

Books Unlocked - Banned Books Month

The start of the main academic year sees our Banned Books promotion. Although the Banned Books campaign is an American theme the titles that have been banned recently - and not so recently say a lot about our society.

Banned Books is tagged as a promotion as Celebrating the Freedom to Read.

The frequently challenged books list on the American library Associations website is primarily about current children's books
We compile lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. The top ten most challenged books of 2015 include:
  1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).
  3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
    Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.
  4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
    Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).
  6. The Holy Bible
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint.
  7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
    Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).
  8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
    Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  9. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.
  10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).

Monday, 22 August 2016

Reading fiction is good for you

Find out more about the benefits of reading quality fiction

Friday, 22 July 2016

Books Unlocked Bedford's July displays

Bedford Library - praise for staff

After completing 4 years there is no doubt that this library is the 'Jewel in the UoB's crown. The staff have always been very helpful and professional

Many thanks for your kind words. I hope you have the opportunity to continue using the library as an Alumnus

Books Unlocked July - Summer of Sport

This month's Books Unlocked theme is Sport. With so many sporting activities on our televisions Learning Resources celebrates all things sporting

Friday, 3 June 2016

Summer Reads - Bedford display

If you are on Campus please take the opportunity to browse the Summer Reads display at Bedford. It has plenty of suggestions for books to read over the summer and offer you an inviting summery space - even when the weather isn't very obliging - to choose your favourites.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Summer Reads - The Island

The Island by Victoria Hislop

Aptly named for a summer read – ‘The Island’ immediately conjures up images of sun drenched beaches and glistening seas. Spinalonga? The Island in question however is not fictional; it’s a real place with an intriguing history: Greece’s official national Leper colony until 1957.
The main character Alexis, an educated young woman, is at a crossroads in her life and decides to delve into her family background to see if the past can influence her decisions in the future. She discovers a tale of sadness and hope, family tension and dramas; more importantly, why her mother was always reticent about talking about her background.

A book with two stories, equally fascinating and captivating – well worth packing in your suitcase!

Books Unlocked - Summer Reads

Exams over dissertaions, presentations and assignments all safely handed in? Thoughts turning towards long lazy days in sun? Well this month's Books Unlocked theme is summer reads. Those books you can lose yourself in while sitting in the garden on the beach or even at home. Look out for the displays at the Luton and Bedford. This is Luton LRC's display

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Books Unlocked - Exam de-stress

Lots of advice on BBC web pages on what to eat to help you improve your exam performance here

Seeds and unprocessed nut with lots of water is a good place to start. Learning Resources' Relaxation Stations have recipe leaflets for meal suggestions during the exam/dissertation season.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Books Unlocked - Bedford Library's Relaxation Station

Following the installation of the Relaxation Stations at Bedford and Luton yesterday I am very happy to be able to post some pictures of Bedford's Relaxation Station today. Come and have a look!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Books Unlocked - Exam De-stress

I have been asked what a Relaxation station is well... I could say a lot but as they say a picture paints a thousand words there are some photos of the Luton Relaxation Station below, hope it gives a clear indication of what's available.

Books Unlocked - Exam de-stress

As summer approaches the busiest time of the academic year kicks in. Throughout May Learning Resources will have Relaxation Stations at Bedford Library (ground floor) and Luton LRC (first floor) where anyone can take  some time out to:

  • pop bubble wrap
  • do some colouring in
  • try some origami
  • recipe suggestions
  • graffiti wall for venting and supporting
Why not drop by and have a look?

Monday, 25 April 2016

Books Unlocked - World Book Night Bedford

The World Book Night second hand book give away at Bedford campus went well. Hope our hard working students found some good reads to enjoy after their hand ins and exams

Friday, 22 April 2016

Second Hand Book Giveaway

As part of the World Book Night campaign we are giving away lots of second hand books!

Visit Level 1 Luton LRC - come and have a look and choose a book.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Reading for Pleasure

Reading for Pleasure
A Whole New World by Madisyn Taylor

Each time we read for enjoyment, the empathy awakened within us creates entire landscapes in our mind's eye.

Every book has the potential to touch the human soul deeply, arousing patterns of thought that might otherwise have lain dormant. The pleasure we derive from the written word is unique in that we must labor for it. Other forms of art provide us with stimulus and ask nothing more than our emotional response. Reading is an active pastime that requires an investment of emotion as well as our concentration and imagination. The words we read are merely a starting point for a process that takes place largely within our minds and hearts.

There are few activities as comforting, relaxing, and healthy as perusing the pages of a good piece of fiction or nonfiction. Curling up with a book and a cup of tea is one of the simplest ways we can remove ourselves from the confines of reality in order to immerse ourselves in the drama and intrigue of the unfamiliar. The pleasure of transcending reality is only one aspect of the reading experience, however. Each time we read for enjoyment, whether we prefer the fantastic nature of fiction, the empathy awakened within us by memoir, or the instructive passion of nonfiction, we create entire landscapes in our mind’s eye. The books we choose provide us with the inspiration we need to accomplish such a feat, but it is our own creative reserves that empower us to use our imaginations for this unique and beautiful purpose.

The tales you lose yourself in can lead you on paths of discovery that take you out of your own life and help you see that existence can unfold in an infinite number of ways. You can learn so much from the characters and mentors who guide you from page to page. Your emotions are awakened each time you read, allowing you to become vessels of the passion that pours forth from line after line of print. Ultimately, the books you absorb—those that touch you deeply—will become a part of who you are, providing you with a rich and thrilling world within that you can revisit anytime you wish by simply closing your eyes. If you haven’t read a book for pleasure lately, try and allow yourself the time—you deserve it.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Books Unlocked - World Book Night

Both Bedford Campus Library and Luton LRC have each of the 15 titles for this year's World Book Night available to borrow to read. Look out for the displays on Campus.

Books Unlocked - World Book Night Bedford Library

In anticipation of World Book Night there is a display featuring all 15 titles at Bedford Library

Books Unlocked - World Book Night

Reading for pleasure is a globally recognised indicator in a huge range of social issues from poverty to mental health, yet in the UK 36% of people don’t regularly read (DCMS, 2015).

World Book Night brings together a powerful collaboration of national partners – publishers, printers, distributors, libraries, booksellers, private donors, trusts and foundations – to inspire more people to read. Thousands of volunteers share their love of reading by giving out books to people in their communities who, for whatever reason, don’t read for pleasure or own books. National, regional and local events up and down the country celebrate the difference that reading makes to people’s lives.

World Book Night is celebrated on 23 April and run by The Reading Agency.

Because everything changes when we read.

World Book Night was first celebrated in the UK and Ireland in 2011 on 5 March. In 2012 it was moved to 23 April, the international day of the book and, probably, the birth and death date of William Shakespeare. It was also celebrated in the USA and Germany.

World Book Night was conceived of by Jamie Byng, MD of Canongate. It came out of a round table discussion at the Book Industry Conference in May 2010, the purpose of which was, quite simply, to imagine a way to encourage more adults to read. The chair of the discussion was Julia Kingsford, who went on to be World Book Night’s Chief Executive, and one of the participants was Ursula Mackenzie, Little, Brown CEO, who became a trustee.

The name took its lead from the well-established and successful children’s reading celebration in UK and Ireland called World Book Day. So as day is for children, then night is for adults and night is also when we traditionally think about celebrations.

In 2012 and 2013 World Book Night was celebrated in the USA as well as the UK and Ireland and almost 50,000 people gave a million books away in three different countries.

In late 2013 World Book Night became part of The Reading Agency and is now run as a Reading Agency programme as part of its work to inspire people to take up reading and celebrate the difference that reading makes to their lives.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Shakespeare Insults

The following list of insults from Shakespeare's plays may seem a bit out of date. Can you think of any present day equivalents?

Shakespeare Insult 1 – The Two Gentlemen of Verona
“Thou subtle, perjur’d, false, disloyal man!”
Shakespeare Insult 2 – As You Like It
“Thou art like a toad; ugly and venomous.”
Shakespeare Insult 3 – The Tempest
“Thine forward voice, now, is to speak well of thine friend; thine backward voice is to utter foul speeches and to detract.”
Shakespeare Insult 4 – Measure For Measure
“Thou art a flesh-monger, a fool and a coward.”
Shakespeare Insult 5 – All’s Well That Ends Well
“A most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality.”

Shakespeare Insult 6 – Cymbeline
“Thy tongue outvenoms all the worms of Nile.”
Shakespeare Insult 7 – Henry IV Part 2
“You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!”
Shakespeare Insult 8 – All’s Well That Ends Well
“Methink’st thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee.”
Shakespeare Insult 9 – The Winter’s Tale
“My wife’s a hobby horse!”
Shakespeare Insult 10 – Troilus and Cressida
“Thou art as loathsome as a toad.”

Shakespeare Insult 11 – Macbeth
“Go, prick thy face, and over-red thy fear, Thou lily-liver’d boy.”
Shakespeare Insult 12 – Henry IV Part 1
“Thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch!”
Shakespeare Insult 13 – Henry IV Part 1
“That trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with pudding in his belly, that reverend vice, that grey Iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years?”
Shakespeare Insult 14 – Henry IV Part 1
“You starvelling, you eel-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, you bull’s-pizzle, you stock-fish–O for breath to utter what is like thee!-you tailor’s-yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck!”
Shakespeare Insult 15 – Henry IV Part 1
“Peace, ye fat guts!”

Shakespeare Insult 16 – Henry V
“There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune.”
Shakespeare Insult 17 – Richard III
“Thou poisonous bunch-back’d toad!”
Shakespeare Insult 18 – Richard III
“Thou art unfit for any place but hell.”
Shakespeare Insult 19 – Hamlet
“Thou are pigeon-liver’d and lack gall.”
Shakespeare Insult 20 – All’s Well That Ends Well
“Your virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese.”

Shakespeare Insult 21 – Henry V
“Thine face is not worth sunburning.”
Shakespeare Insult 22 – As You Like It
“Your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after voyage.”
Shakespeare Insult 23 – Henry IV Part 1
“You are as a candle, the better burnt out.”
Shakespeare Insult 24 – Hamlet
“If thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them.”
Shakespeare Insult 25 – Measure For Measure
“Thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade.”

Shakespeare Insult 26 – All’s Well That Ends Well
“A most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality.”
Shakespeare Insult 27 – All’s Well That Ends Well
“Methink’st thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee.”
Shakespeare Insult 28 – The Taming Of The Shrew
“Come, come, you froward and unable worms!”
Shakespeare Insult 29 – Macbeth
“Thou cream faced loon”
Shakespeare Insult 30 – Henry IV Part 1
“Thou art as fat as butter.”

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Books Unlocked March 2016

This month's theme is Shakespeare week 14 – 21st March and National Poetry day on 21st March.

What Shakespeare have you read, seen on stage, watched as a movie?

What poetry have you read?

If you have any reviews for the blog please share, or email Look out for the displays at Luton LRC and Bedford Library

Monday, 22 February 2016

Books Unlocked: Snuff and Temperance

From the author
One piece of advice given to authors is to write about what they know. I am not sure I was aware of this when I created Snuff and Temperance. But I have somehow followed the suggestion anyway, consciously or otherwise. While Luton is my home town and I have lived and worked here for most of my life, it may not be the Luton that you, as a potential reader know. Even amongst fellow Lutonians, we may have shared the same space, time and oxygen but your town may look, feel and smell differently to mine. So this is not an attempt at a definitive description of living in this corner of Bedfordshire or an attempt to capture the ‘real’ Luton, whatever that may be. Rather, it is a set of fictions that I have put together over the years for my own entertainment and, hopefully if you have a read, yours too. 


Monday, 1 February 2016

6 Book Challenge - Luton Display

6 Book Challenge

The Couples - a review

The Couples by Forrest Dunbar reviewed by a member of staff

A clever piece of characterisation, if somewhat stereotypical. We are introduced to three sets of neighbours, two distinguished by their religion: Catholic and Jewish and the third main couple, Clifford and Christine.
We follow their lives through suburbia, Christine a psychiatrist, who has recovered from illness to recommence her home counselling, is neighbour, friend and counsellor to the other two women in the novel, Lydia a menopausal woman who is married to a stingy, unappreciative Jewish husband. Sarah, who is living with her devout Catholic boyfriend. For obvious reasons she feels neglected and unloved. Clifford and Christine, however have a successful loving relationship. They try their best to support and generate goodwill between the three sets of neighbours putting up with their nuances.
The farce unfurls and we are faced with some very comedic situations, relationships become tense and strained, with a smattering of infidelity. With an overall undertone of goodwill, I laughed out loud on several occasions!

A competent first attempt at comedy by someone so young. Three cheers for Forrest!

6 Book Challenge - The Couples

My name is Forrest Dunbar and I am currently studying English Literature on the Bedford Campus. Reading and writing has always been a main passion of mine, I could not visualise what a world would be like without fiction… Well I could, it would be unimaginatively boring and dull like the TV show Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

In September, 2013, my siblings went back to school and suddenly (for a change), I had the house to myself. This was a blessing as it finally gave me a chance to write something. Firstly, I write in an unconventional way. I write about whatever enters my mind at that current time, if what I am writing seems interesting I pursue it but if I get bored quickly and I have no motivation to continue, I scrap the story and start again. When I started The Couples everything seemed to fall into place; the characters developed their own personalities, making the writing aspect for me enjoyable. When I got so far into the book that is when I stop and plan what lies ahead for the characters.
Nothing greatly inspired me for the characters; they just formed in my head. I have always been fascinated by relationships and extreme stereotypes; I particularly had great fun caricaturing the ridiculousness of extreme stereotypes, it makes good comedy.

I have future novels in mind that have inspired me from certain situations and events but there will be more to say once they materialise.

6 Book Challenge - Bedford Library Display

You can see that the display has suggestions on what to read for the 6 book challenge and a suggestions box for anything you always wanted to know about the library but didn't have the time to ask. Answers will be posted on next month's blog.