A new voice for our blog today. Harry, one of the Yr 13 boys, shares his thoughts on the library:
The knowledge that can be found in books is the primary source of their appeal, novels are important too but my interest is more often than not directed towards the non-fiction shelves. The library is valuable not only for reading around syllabuses, especially as a first point of reference for individual studies such as history coursework (the stock of Very Short Introductions in particular), but also as a place to generally broaden horizons in a way completely detached from the syllabus. Tim Marshall’s ‘Prisoners of Geography’ for example provides a fascinating interpretation of geopolitics based on a geographic determinism that, while dubious at times, is rather illuminating and certainly thought provoking. The reference section is also important, feeding a fondness for apparently useless facts and obscure information, dictionaries of quotations or subjects as esoteric as the burial places of famous people are always wonderful diversions. Building a wider knowledge and understanding of the world, with history as a main focus, has therefore been the biggest influence that books have had on my life from a young age to now and in the future.
We have 2 e-resource trials running this month so in addition to all the regular goodies you find on the menu, for the next 30 days you will also have access to the entire Philip Allan Review series online archives and Proquest’s UK Newsstand.
Over the past year we’ve seen the PA Reviews become increasingly popular with lots of boys and staff using them. The online archives trial offers unlimited access to all the titles – not only the ones we already subscribe to* – so whole classes will be able to work from the same material simultaneously. The content of these magazines is aimed at A-Level study and includes exam tips. They are well worth a look.
UK Newsstand is a huge, searchable database of daily national and local newspapers and magazines. Helpful search functions like a date-range slider and source exclusion options mean you can make your research efficient and effective. All the major dailies are available from UK Newsstand, including The Guardian and The Times. This is ideal for anyone looking for information on current affairs topics, perhaps for an essay, report or maybe a forthcoming class debate.
You can find the links and login details you need for these resources on the eResources page on MyDulwich. Any questions, just come and see us in the Wodehouse Library.
*Available in the Periodicals Room in the Wodehouse Library: Biological Sciences Review, Chemistry Review, Physics Review, Economics Review, Politics Review, RS Review, Hindsight, Wideworld, Modern History Review, English Review.
John Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten, has implored the UK to value its libraries and urged everyone to show their support on National Libraries Day, Saturday 7 February.
Lydon has recorded an audio message to mark the annual national celebration of libraries and library staff. In it he credits libraries and librarians for his recovery from memory loss after contracting meningitis as an eight year old.
The recording will be available to listen to from Saturday 7 February via the National Libraries Day website.
Details of nationwide events are posted to the National Libraries Day online event map and people can show their support in person by joining a local event or by simply visiting their library during National Libraries Day week. Supporters can also share stories, messages and library ‘shelfies’ online and on social media.
First introduced in 2012, National Libraries Day is designed to say a collective thank-you to librarians and library staff everywhere and to raise awareness of the valued services they offer. Last year thousands of people took part in over 600 events and many public figures including well-known authors, illustrators, MPs and musicians sent messages of support.
Blogging like this is new for us here in the Wodehouse Library and one of the reasons behind it is to let you know more about what the Library is for and how you can make best use of it.
Firstly, the Wodehouse Library is here to support literacy and learning.
We have the 42 and 66 reading lists to which all Middle and Upper School boys are introduced at the start of Michaelmas term each academic year. Both lists offer a range of books to challenge, stimulate and encourage boys to enjoy reading as a leisure activity. New fiction titles are added throughout the year and we’re happy to take requests from boys and staff so that you can always find something you’ll enjoy.
As well as the packed fiction shelves the Wodehouse Library offers non-fiction in support of every subject taught at DC. Subject reading lists are available and library staff are always on hand to help with discovering texts that will provide not only the key information needed for exam success but also those which extend the curious, offering that little something extra that might impress at a university interview.
With the internet available so readily it can be easy to overlook the reference titles that are on hand but our reference books offer a swift option for gathering facts and figures without fuss. We keep back issues of key journals too, whilst all the current editions are on the shelves in the Periodicals Room, you can retrieve interesting articles from the back issues very easily.
Having mentioned the internet above it’s worth knowing too that through the Wodehouse Library DC boys and staff have access to some wonderful online resources, such as Britannica Online and JSTOR, as well as online access to many of the print titles in the Periodicals Room. The beauty of using these e-resources is that they offer a taste of the independent learning that many DC boys will experience at university, including gaining familiarity with citation and bibliography styles.
We’ll delve deeper in to more of what the Wodehouse Library has to offer in subsequent posts on this blog but we hope we’ve whetted your appetite here.