Library raises money for Children in Need

Hi, I’m Cara, the systems librarian. This is the story of my happy mistake…

The day started much like any other – my alarm went off and I dragged myself out of bed. I was due to spend the day working at the library at South Leicestershire College, our partner college. Over there, staff are encouraged to wear pyjamas for Children in Need. I thought I’d join in with the spirit of things and left the house in the morning wearing my jimjams. Due to a last minute staff shortage, I didn’t quite make it to SLC and instead spent the day in the Nuneaton library at NWHC. Over here, Children in Need is celebrated in different ways, meaning I was the only person in the whole college wearing pyjamas. I’m sure you can imagine how I felt – pretty silly to say the least!

With the help of Louise from the reprographics department, we managed to turn my embarrassment into a positive. We found a collection tin and whipped up a poster. By the end of the day, £13.90 had been donated in the library. Plus, my story generated more than a few laughs throughout the day.

It was lovely the way people pulled together. A big thanks to everyone who donated money. £13.90 and a lot of laughs – not bad for a mistake, eh?!



Library goes green!


Nuneaton Reception

Nuneaton Reception

It was great to see so much interest in the upcycling displays that library team made for Green Week. How exciting to see just what amazing things can be made from items that would normally be discarded and possibly end up in landfill.

Cara and Fran reused old books, maps and magazines to create the pieces that are on display in the reception areas of Nuneaton and Hinckley campuses.

Items on display at Hinckley

Items on display at Hinckley

Thanks to the members of College staff at both sites who helped us organise these displays, and thanks for all the positive feedback we’ve received too! It’s been a pleasure contributing to the college’s Green Week in this way.

More images of our folded book art are available at the college’s Pinterest library board. If you’d like to make some pieces of your own, please see our previous post about the library’s Green Week display.

College Library supporting Green Week

1College Library Crafters have been at it again! This time it’s to support the college’s Green Week (31st March – 4th April 2014).

Cara and Fran have been busy making all sorts of interesting items by recycling out-of-date maps, old books and magazines.
Take a look at the exciting displays in reception at the Nuneaton and Hinckley Campuses where you will find folded book art, bowls and flowers.

Here are some links to various sites and blogs to get you started if you’d like to have a go yourself:

Book Art
Sly booka rama jamma
Kate’s creative space
Frugal upstate

2Paper Flowers
A law student’s journey
Dream a little bigger

Paper Bowls
Crab and fish

Crafts journal
Looking through the March issue of Crafts journal, I noticed an article, The Book Club, on page 41. It features several artists who are taking part in an exhibition Beyond the Book and shows some inspiring pieces based on print. Worth a look if you get the chance! (Crafts journal is kept at Hinckley campus library and back issues may be borrowed for one week.)

A day in the life of the library: part 7

This is part of a series of posts offering a behind-the-scenes look at library work. A day in the life of the library team!



At the helpdesk

Name: Cara Clarke
Job Title: Systems Librarian


The day started with attendance at a training session entitled ‘working with tablets’.  Although I am already comfortable with using iPads, I made some handy notes about new ways to utilise the library’s tablets; an app which allows the creation of documents and a nifty piece of kit which allows you to plug a USB stick into an iPad. Both of these would benefit the library so they were quite exciting discoveries!

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Library Staff Help Decorate Church Christmas Tree.

Church Tree

Photo by Jackie Kowalewski, taken from the College Facebook page with permission of the Marketing Department.

Earlier in December, Systems Librarian Cara Clarke and Learning Resources Assistant Fran Heap made handmade Christmas decorations to give to Hair and Beauty Quality Performance Leader, Jackie Kowalewski. Jackie submitted a tree on behalf of the College for St Mary’s Church Christmas Tree Festival, in Hinckley.

Cara made baubles and Fran made bunting (upcycling pages from an old paperback). The decorations were much admired and the tree was among 60+ others on display at the annual event.

Staff Conference

Some of the team tuck into samosas and pakoras from a local delicatessan

The Library team spent the college’s Staff Conference days doing various activities:

There were several peer-led sessions for the team including chapatti making by Zaheda Dadabhai, origami cards by Katie Hayes, Turning Point by Fran Heap and Hama beading by Cara Clarke. The team also had a guided tour of the library at De Montfort University which generated lots of new ideas.

The highlight of the library team’s Staff Conference activities was an equality and diversity themed tour of Leicester’s Golden Mile. Members of the library team had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture by browsing fabric and jewellery shops, eating locally produced cuisine and also trying on Asian style outfits.

Librarians Ihar and Cara model Asian outfits

Librarian study visit to Poland

 An account by Systems Librarian Cara Clarke about the study visit she attended recently:

Study visit participants at the entrance of Warsaw University Library

During May 2012, I spent a week in Warsaw, Poland, on a Transversal study visit. The visit was funded by the EU and focused on ‘new media in education and the professional development of librarians’. Each year, hundreds of places are offered on study visits through the Ecorys / Transversal programme. To qualify, participants must live within an EU country and work in adult education. On this particular visit, there were 13 participants from Iceland, Spain, Italy, France, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Aruba, Bulgaria, Romania and the UK. The types of libraries represented included college, university, medical, school, public and national.

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Blogs – do you have one?

The library here at NWHC has had an active blog since February 2010. Along with our Facebook page, we find it a useful method of communicating with learners, disseminating information and sharing news.

Blogging is growing in popularity and is now a recognised communication tool utilised by many; it is incorporated in various courses taught within the college (HND Art and BA Early Childhood Studies) where learners are expected to create and maintain blogs as part of their portfolios. In addition to this, the library facilitates an information skills session entitled ‘blogging for teaching and learning’, as well as offering a similar staff-only session as part of the college’s annual staff conference.

Several members of the library team maintain personal blogs relating to libraries and information science. Please feel free to browse them and leave comments:

College Librarian Ihar Ivanou – iLibrarian’s joys and toys
Systems Librarian Cara Clarke – Behind the bookshelves
Graduate Trainee Sam Philips – Blogging to success

Librarian to attend Polish study visit

The library is celebrating after Systems Librarian Cara Clarke secured a place on a study visit to Poland in May 2012. The focus of the visit is ‘new media in education and professional development of librarians’ and will be based at the renowned Computer Assisted Education and Information Technology Centre in Warsaw.

Cara will be one of fifteen librarians from EU countries attending the week-long visit. It will strengthen college links with external partnerships and improve the knowledge-base of the library team. This is an exciting opportunity to absorb information and share good practice with the aim of providing an improved service to our learners; who knows what new initiatives the library will introduce after the visit!