World Book Night

The display team have been busy preparing promotional material for the upcoming World Book Night 2017 (WBN) celebrations.  As this annual event held on the 23rd April falls on a Sunday this year we will be celebrating with activities in all site libraries during the week that follows the event.  The April edition of the newsletter out today gives further details on what is happening as follows:

From Monday 24th April to Friday 29th April you are invited to join us in the following activities to celebrate WBN:

  • Book swaps available all week
  • Free lucky dip available on Tuesday and Thursday mornings between 10:00 and 12:00

Prizes include books, mini puzzles, bags, pens and Haribo sweets!

WBN Banner

In addition to this we have been browsing through, reading and writing reviews on some of our most recent additions to our library leisure reads.  We hope these entice you to read the books or browse the library catalogue/visit the library to discover the choice of books we have on offer.  I can recommend the quick read collection which are just the right length to fit in during breaks from study.

This nicely leads into the first book review written by Hayley.

The Muse By Jessie Burton

This novel is composed of two stories.  The first is set in London in the year 1967.  Odelle Bastien is a budding writer from Trinidad who takes on a new job as a typist at Skelton gallery, where she encounters a rather unusual painting.  The second of the stories is set in southern Spain in 1936 where Olive Scholes and her family have come to reside.  This is where the secrets of the unusual painting that Odelle encounters in 1967 are revealed.

In 1967 Odelle tries to unravel the mystery that surrounds the painting, and the owner of the piece (named Lawrie), is a man that holds a few secrets to his past.  In her quest she looks for answers to questions regarding the painting:

  • Just where did Lawrie get it?
  • Why does Odelle’s employer and new found friend Marjorie Quick seem very disturbed by it and why does it bother her so much?
  • Why does the gallery owner Edmund Reede seems to want the world to know about it?

Back in 1936, Olive has dreams and ambitions of her own to paint and wants so desperately to fulfill these desires, but doubts the reaction of her art dealer father Harold Schloss.  Her mother, Sarah, is a recluse and when two seemingly helpful strangers enter the Schloss family home Olive is captivated and her life goes spinning out of control.

The painting brings the two stories together with devastating consequences on the lives that it touches.  A lovely pacey page turner of a read.


We have also set ourselves the challenge of writing some book reviews on our Twitter page.   The current one to get us started is on ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn.

Easter Opening Hours

We have posted the all-important opening hours for the Easter holidays on posters in each site libraries, on our Twitter page and on the Library Moodle page but if you have not yet had the opportunity to see them, here is a summary.

Ilkeston and Broomfield hall libraries – Closed

The Roundhouse Library – open – W/C 10th April 08:30 – 4:30 Monday to Thursday only. JWC library – open – W/C 10th April 08:30 – 4:30 Monday to Thursday only
W/C 17th April 08:30 – 4:30 Wednesday to Friday

Please note that all libraries are closed from Friday 14th to Tuesday 18th April.

Money Matters – studying at university

All of our site libraries currently have displays on the theme of ‘Money Matters’.  These will be particularly helpful for students planning to go to university and looking for information on money and finances whilst there.  The displays incorporate:

  • signposting to library resources offering information and advice
  • money saving tips
  • some pause for thought on what students/young people spent money on.

Money Matters BroomfieldMoney Matters IlkestonMoney Matters RoundhouseMoney Matters JWC

All library resources included in the displays are available to loan as well.


March Catch Up

To coincide with the start of Spring – the month symbolising new beginnings-we are starting our blog with a catch up in the form of a summary of some of our most recent developments since the beginning of the academic year.


September 2016

jwc-library-study-tablesAdditional study space
Part of the regular behind the scenes tasks that the library carries out is a review of its stock.  As we have a current book stock of 41,622 books, located over four sites, this is not for the faint-hearted.

As a result of this year’s review a larger space has been created at the Joseph Wright Centre library for quiet study and use of laptops (and personal devices).

Library pocket guideslibrary-guide-handouts
This month saw the introduction of our coloured pocket guides to
coincide with the start of the new academic year. These contain information on using the college IT systems, library resources and internet safety with the aim of promoting student confidence in these areas.

Copies of these are available in your site library as well.


lapsafeOctober 2016

New laptops
During the October holidays all the laptops currently in the LapSafe at Broomfield Hall library were replaced with upgraded ones that offer the same specification as the desk top PCs.                  


November 2016

Reading Ahead Challenge 2016/17 reading-ahead
November saw the launch of the 2016/17 Reading Ahead
challenge which encourages you to read six books between January and June 2017.  All participants get certificates for taking part and completers may receive key rings, bags, book marks and pens in addition to having their names entered into a national prize draw for a trip to London or an e-reader.  We have had 196 students sign up so far and 3 completers.


December 2016

Online journals

This month we added the Phillip Allen Review archive collection (dated as far back as 1993) to our Library Moodle page.  Once on the page simply click on the buttons in the order shown by the arrows to reveal the list of journals available.  Then use the search facility to get searching for information on the topic you


January 2017nursery-world-moodle-button
Nursery World became the latest addition to our list of online journals.  As it has only recently been added you can be one of the first to take advantage of this fantastic free resource.  From the Library Moodle page follow the same route as shown above until you reach the Nursery Would button.


Visit us again soon to find out about current and upcoming events as well as book reviews on some of the most recent addition to our collection of fiction reads.

The Disappearance of Tom Pile By Ian Beck – Review by Hayley

An engaging mystery is written in the pages of this story. Tom pile is a farm hand and in the 1890’s he disappears without a trace. Forty years later during World War One he reappears in almost the exact same place he disappeared.

There were strange lights that appeared before Tom’s disappearance and again before his re-appearance and a special branch in the army that investigate paranormal activity is sent to investigate.

This supernatural read is lovely against the backdrop of World War One, as it adds further mystery. Is there really supernatural beings involved or is it Germany? The book is written nicely and has photos and secret files embedded through the telling of the story.  A lovely read but did leave me with questions still wanting to be answered.


Deadlands By Lily Herne – Review by Hayley

We start this story in Cape Town, ten years after the apocalypse and the War raged. Human survivors and our main character Lele tries to survive in the new city where they are protected by the Guardians who help control the dead population outside of the city. Who are these Guardians? And who are these Resurrectionists who worship the Guardians?

There are a few bands of rebels who along with Lele try to fight and unravel the mysteries of living in this changed world. Can Lele find truths to the questions and trials she is presented with and just what is the meaning behind the Lottery? Where do the teenagers go who have been picked? And just how do the Guardians control the dead?

This story has elements of Julianna Baggott’s  ‘Pure’ series, Suzanne Collins’s ‘The Hunger Games’ series and Veronica Roth’s ‘Divergent ‘series all with a backdrop hint of Robert Kirkman’s  ‘The Walking Dead.’

So my kind of story despite sometimes there being clichéd twists.  A pretty good read that definitely has more to come in the Dead-lands series!


Far Far Away by Tom McNeal – Review by Hayley

This book tells the interesting tale of Jeremy, a young man who can hear the voices of the dead, in particularly his constant spectre Jacob Grimm. Jacob narrates the story and we learn that he was unable to pass onto the afterlife.  As Jacob searched for his brother who passed before him he came across Jeremy and vowed to protect him from some unseen yet real looming threat. The story of Jeremy’s trial in the small village of Never Better are linked closely to Ginger, the object of Jeremy’s young yet unsuspecting heart.

 This is the main theme throughout the book and Jacob’s ever increasing sense of doom for these two is weaved nicely throughout, as there is a subtle plot of missing children slowly bubbling away in the background. The many characters we meet, the sheriff and deputy, the mayor, the baker, the waitress and ‘crazy lady’ add to the mystery of the missing children and the question ‘Is Jeremy’s fate connected to these missing children?

 The whole feel of this story resonates like a fairy-tale with references to Grimm’s fairy tales woven in.  Despite the fact I thought it took a while to gather pace, the mystery unfolds with surprisingly satisfying ends, but still leave some questions lingering.


Blitzcat by Robert Westall – Book Review by Hayley

This book was originally published in 1989, but has been reprinted to mark Remembrance Day. Although this story is set in World War 2 we follow the tale of Lord Gort, a black cat whose owner is serving in the RAF.

Lord Gort takes you on a journey to find her owner as she senses when he is near and even when he is far away serving around the world; where she is unable to reach him.

The lovely tale takes you through Lord Gort’s travels, surviving on scraps of food, and her trials in hunting for prey, all the while avoiding the noise and chaos of war, and like most felines she senses when people can be useful as she herself needs to survive.

The events in World War 2 in the story are often detailed and give the reader a sense of what it must have been like to be a civilian during that time.

The people Lord Gort meets often look upon her as good luck (and sometimes bad) but she changes their perceptions and even revives them from depressing situations. This special cat really does change the lives of those she meets for the better.

This heart-warming tale was a surprise read and is a wonderful story for those who love felines. Will Lord Gort find what she is searching for? I shall invite you to read this ‘tail’ of a wonderful cat.