Open Days

A post by Faculty Librarian Ben Taylorson

Welcoming and introducing people to the University Library during open days is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job. It’s always nice to see so many prospective students (and their families) coming onto campus for the first time, and looking to get a feel for both the university and the city. And being able to offer them guidance, information and – in some cases – reassurance (“don’t worry, you won’t have to read all of the books!) is particularly satisfying.

Earlier this month Durham hosted a couple of open days which were easily the biggest since Covid stopped such things. As always seems to be the case on open days, the sun was shining and Durham was looking particularly welcoming as 1,000s of people descended on Durham to take in as much as they could in the few hours they were here.

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Delightful dogs visit the Billy B

Promoting student wellbeing is always high on the agenda for us (see previous blog about self-care and wellbeing 😊). Particularly during Easter term, where pressures, anxieties and stress levels increase for many, thanks to the impending exam and assessment period. Planning study time, revision, getting enough sleep, eating well, taking breaks – all massively important but we know that sometimes, it can feel quite overwhelming to fit everything in.

To try and help with this, we’ve developed a schedule of wellbeing events and activities throughout May, kicking off with a visit last Wednesday during Deaf Awareness Week from the wonderful Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

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International Women’s Day 2022

Yesterday was International Women’s Day! This year’s theme was #BreakingTheBias and we wanted to explore and celebrate this concept in the Library by highlighting some of the inspirational women who are featured in our collections.

With our beloved mascot Billy Bee leading the helm, we took a dive into the many thousands of books here at Billy B and picked a selection of amazing female authors, scientists, medieval mystics, and poets!

#BreakTheBias
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Don’t judge a book by its cover – go on a Blind Date with a Book

Trying to find a new book to read isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. Of course, you can easily take to the internet, searching for leisure title inspo, but inevitably you find yourself getting lost in the long lists of recommendations online. You spend all your time trawling through the titles, debating between this one and that one before realising the spare time you once had has now slipped away, resulting in you making your own list of ‘books to read when I find the time.’ Ironic, don’t you think? (Alanis Morissette classic – couldn’t resist!)

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On the first day of WellBEEing @dulib shared with me…

Feeling festive and being acutely aware of the stresses and uncertainty the festive period holds for many this year, we embarked on a wellbeing campaign for December, named ‘12 Days of WellBEEing.’

Read on to find out more (and check back next week to hear about Library and Collections Staff own ’12 days of Christmas’ festive challenges…

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The Bill Bryson comes back to life

As the country moves slowly back to normal, and pubs, shops, and hairdressers reopens their doors – so has the Bill Bryson Library building! A small team of staff  have been working hard onsite to provide users with the resources they need through Scan and Deliver. If, however, you would like more than one chapter of a book then over July we launched three new and alliterative services: Click and Collect, Browse and Borrow, and Stay and Study.

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An Audience with Bill Bryson

On Wednesday 29th January, we welcomed acclaimed author and former Chancellor Bill Bryson back to the Library that bears his name.  Bill hosted a Q and A in Small Island Coffee which, fittingly, was named after one of his books, Notes from a Small Island.  He has been quoted as saying,

“I couldn’t believe that not once in twenty years had anyone said to me: ‘You’ve never been to Durham? Good God, man, you must go at once! Please – take my car’.”

We were delighted to welcome Bill back to the town he so loves!

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