GUEST POST – OFF THE SHELF

Off the Shelf poster

Hi! I’m Caitlin, a final year law student and law library aide – and by now I’m used to the stress of exams and deadlines.

I tried the ‘poetry-pick me up’ after going into the common room for a revision break.

I stumbled across Sue (@kind_curious) in the Law School Student Common Room, where she asked, ‘do you want a poem?’. Not really knowing what to expect, I had to overcome a bit of social awkwardness! I was surprised by Sue’s passion and love of poetry, which was clear in the way she spoke about how she’d used poetry in the NHS before and it was what she enjoyed most.

I was asked questions about my current stress levels and how I was feeling with exams, and how I dealt with stress. I told her that when I get stressed I talk even more than usual, which for anyone who knows me sounds like I’m going at a million miles an hour, and she suggested something that would relax me.

I laughed as I saw no signs of chocolate or Netflix – my usual go to relaxation strategies.

Instead she said I needed something like a lavender bubble bath – again I saw no sign of a bubble bath in the Law School and I’d yet to find one in the Dungeon.

She picked out two poems that would make me feel like the relaxing in lavender: she suggested ‘Sonnet’ by Elizabeth Bishop and Shennagh Pugh’s ‘What if This Road’.

What if this road reminded me of Robert Frost’s ‘A Road Not Taken’, and was great for me as a an indecisive person. It was matched perfectly to the questions that Sue had asked me, as I read it as a  ‘roll with it’ approach to life, which is definitely needed to cope with exams and deadline stress.

The second poem, Bishop’s ‘Sonnet’, had great visualisation techniques, almost like a meditative poem – which was spot on to turn off the stress and slow everything down!

The experience was a great switch off from deadline stress, and a great use of the 10 minutes which I’d usually scroll through twitter or Instagram. It was something different, and really quite unique and relaxing, which I would definitely recommend to help have a break from any exam and deadline stress!

2020 Reading Challenge

Not one for New Year’s Resolutions? Well, how about a challenge?

Why not try a 20-minute-a-day-reading-for-pleasure challenge?

Pick something from the Law in Literature and Medicine in Literature collections, something from the Philip Robinson Library, or your own book shelves, and start today!

We all know that reading for pleasure is a good thing – pleasure is good! But it’s good for de-stressing, positive wellbeing, conversation, imagination, empathy, a break, engagement… READaxation! Don’t just take my word for it, click HERE for research by The Reading Agency.

Of course, if you read more than 20 minutes then… YES!

Share what you’re reading with your friends and family, colleagues and fellow students, comment on here, or even the social media world – #ReadingChallenge.

Crafts at Christmas

Dates of Crafts at Christmas events

December. A time for fighting over the last Quality Street, consuming a glut of mince pies and wearing your gaudiest Christmas jumper (or is that just us?)  If you need a distraction from the fact that you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet (still just us?), our Crafts at Christmas events are for you.

The Library’s Crafts at Christmas events have been running for the past four years now and have always been popular. The emphasis has been on recycling unwanted items, such as withdrawn books, old music scores and off-cuts from our bindery. We’ve made everything from paper wreaths and hanging heart decorations, to book trees created from old prospectuses.  This year, you can decorate a bauble, make some bunting or create a 3D card.

The baubles are provided by Robyn Hare, the University’s Glass Blower (yes, the University really has a Glass Blower!). You can see her at work in the video below.

In previous years, we’ve held these events at the Philip Robinson Library and the Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms, but this time we’re holding sessions at three of our libraries. So, you can join us at the Walton Library, as well as the Philip Robinson Library and Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms. There’s no need to book, just turn up, bring your imagination and help us raise money for the ‘If You Care Share’ Foundation. We look forward to seeing you! 

OFF THE SHELF – National Poetry Day

Off The Shelf

National Poetry Day marks its 25th anniversary this year with a mass participation campaign that highlights poetry’s power to harness the truth about life.

In commemoration of the event, Teaching Fellow Sue Spencer will be returning to the Law Library and Walton Library to take poetry off the shelf and share some meaningful conversations about the truths that really matter.

Drop in for a one-to-one chat and she’ll offer a listening ear and a poem to inspire, soothe and comfort you!

Wednesday 2nd October, 3-5pm
Law Student Common Area, Newcastle Law School

Thursday 3rd October, 4.40-6.30pm
Walton Library, Newcastle University Medical School

No appointments necessary.

Brought to you in conjunction with the Medicine in Literature and Law in Literature Collections.

190th Anniversary of the Natural History Society of Northumbria

Pink and purple wildflowers in a fieldToday celebrates the 190th anniversary of the founding of the Natural History Society of Northumbria, (NHSN) a local voluntary organisation that encourages and supports research in Natural History via lectures, field outings, education courses and publication of scientific papers.  The Society also established the brilliant Great North Museum: Hancock, which continues to house its fascinating Library and Archive collections, both important resources for the study of natural history in the North East of England.

NHSN Library

The Library, also established in 1829, holds a wealth of material on natural history, with coverage including flora and fauna, ornithology, geology, ecology, the history of natural history and biodiversity.  Here you’ll find the latest field guides for birds, plants, mammals and insects from around the world alongside regional, national and international journals and books about ecology, zoology, botany, ornithology, entomology, geology and conservation. The Library is open to everyone, but membership is required for borrowing books.

NHSN Archive

Meanwhile the Archive holds thousands of artworks, photographs, letters, diaries, and notebooks covering all aspects of natural history, zoology, botany and geology.  It also includes internationally important material, notably the original watercolours, pencil drawings and proof engravings by Thomas Bewick, the Northumbria-born naturalist and wood engraver.  Archive material is available to view by appointment only.

For a taste of what the collections have to offer, you can visit the Society’s newest exhibition: ‘The Beauty of Plant Science’, on display in the NHSN Library.  Curated by postgraduates at Newcastle University, the exhibition presents colourful botanical illustrations alongside myths and poems to show how Science and Art coexist:

You can also find a sister exhibition, ‘The Beauty of Insects: Seeing Art in the Entomological World’ on Level 2 of the Philip Robinson Library: