We care book image

April 30, 2018, by Katherine Beers

Library play it, watch it, pause it – make the most of your study time in libraries

Play it, watch it, pause it. It’s peak library time both in terms of study productivity and numbers of people in the libraries. We’ve introduced some new initiatives into libraries that offer some quiet distraction for those of you who are spending more time with us and perhaps feeling more stressed out than usual. In this blog:

Play it – old school gaming and craft activities 

Library gamesAll of our libraries will have a games and crafts box available for anyone to use when you need to take a break and let your brain refresh. The ‘old school’ style activities include the following:

  • Bit of fun with Library jigsaws
  • The art of distraction and concentration –  playing cards and some rules around how to play patience or solitaire drawn from our Willughby Games collection in Manuscripts and Special Collections (MSC)
  • Colour your cares away with colour therapy –  large scale collaborative colouring or smaller scale individual sheets. Using our MSC images of the Laxton maps or the cartoon series from John Doyle
  • Get creative  –  make yourself a bookmark, no need for corner turning here, and  googly eyes galore!

There are some great mindfulness apps available on the Counselling webpages which can be downloaded on most Android or Apple phones/tablets.

Watch it – Documentary screenings informing you about stress management strategies 

We will be screening some documentaries (and a bit of comedy!) which offer advice on how to turn bad stress into good stress, helping you to achieve your best at this important time. Show times in the Hallward screening rooms will be every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon 1.30-2.30. Don’t worry if you can’t make those screen times, all of the resources are available to view on BoB or Kanopy at any time via NUsearch.  To find out a bit more about the range and types of documentaries and films available in library collections, read our blog.

  • Wednesday 9 May and Saturday 12 May 1.30-2.30
    Channeling Stress for a Competitive Edge, Part of the series: How to make stress work for you  (Kanopy) 30 minutes-  performance stress can help you to perform at a higher level –  if you know how to control it.
    Good Stress Helps you to Handle All Stress, Part of the series: How to make stress work for you (Kanopy) 30 minutes – learn to use stress to strengthen your resilience.
  • Wednesday 16 May and Saturday 19 May 1.30-2.30
    The truth about stress – first shown BBC1 Scotland 10 May 2017. A 60 minute programme exploring stress and coping mechanisms, discovering whether stress can in fact be good for us and turning it into a weapon rather than a woe.
  • Wednesday 23 May and Saturday 26 May 1.30-2.30
    Why reading matters  – first shown BBC4 16 February 2009. A 60 minute programme telling the story of how modern neuroscience has revealed that reading unlocks remarkable powers.
    There are leisure reading books available in Hallward and James-Cameron Gifford Libraries on our free Bookcrossing shelves, or you could borrow a book from our Leisure Reading collection.
  • Wednesday 30 May and Saturday 2 June 1.30-2.30
    Trust me, I’m a Doctor Mental Health Special –  first shown BBC2 9 November 2017. A 60 minute programme featuring Michael Mosley running an experiment to find the best way to beat stress –  mindfulness, yoga or gardening.
  • Wednesday 6 June  and Saturday 9 June 1.30-2.30
    The IT Crowd, Calamity Jen  – More4 7 January 2018. A 30 minute comedy set within an IT department, offering a light hearted look at the ‘Reynholm Industries’ war on stress.
    Parks and Recreation, One in 8,000 –  Dave 10 July 2016. A 30 minute comedy set in a Parks and Recreation department in Pawnee Indiana. Showing how Leslie and Ben deal with the news that they are expecting triplets (spoiler alert!!!).


Pause it – take a break and refresh

We’ve changed our clear desk policy to enable you to leave your belongings for 30 minutes without losing your study space. Our ‘room to study‘ flyers are available in all libraries throughout our 24/7 opening periods, if you complete the back of the flyer letting us know when you will return from your break we will make sure that your space is kept for you.

Whilst taking a break why not enter our #Lovelibraries photo competition open until 13 May.

Study Anywhere will run as usual and make study spaces around the University available, if we are full or your prefer to study nearer to your department or in halls.

HealthyU pop up stress stalls

HealthyU stalls will be visiting George Green Library on Tuesday 15 May, 10am to 1pm  and Hallward Library on Wednesday 16 May, 10am to 1pm, with lots of helpful take away resources, advice and of course some freebies.

More information about Studying Effectively and successful revision strategies is available in the following places:

All activities are drop-in so no need to book. If you aren’t sure about where to find the games areas in libraries please ask one of our library staff. Enjoy and share your thoughts using #Libraryplay with @UoNLibraries on Twitter. 

Library gaming - image of books


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