Showing posts from December, 2014

Four rules for creating effective (and beautiful) PowerPoint Presentations

How good are your presentation and PowerPoint skills? Academic Liaison Librarian Ned Potter shares some hints and tips on how to make yours pitch perfect.
Creating and delivering presentations well is an increasingly key skill, both while you're at University and afterwards. You may have to present in seminars, and you may have presentations involved in your assessment - and many job interviews now have a presenting element.

With that in mind, it's useful to know what works and what doesn't in terms of creating an effective set of slides. Engaging slides make a huge difference in how much the audience remembers from your talk, and how responsive they are during it. Yet most PowerPoint presentations are awful.

This is easy to address when you know what matters and where all the useful resources are. One of our Academic Liaison Librarians has created this guide to the four most important rules for creating effective presentations, to help you out – check it out below:

The 4 …

Celebrating the York City Art Gallery donation.... with more art!

Stephen Town continues his Night Shelf donations with a bumper collection of titles from the history of art.
Last week we welcomed York City Art Gallery staff and the Friends of the Gallery to a reception celebrating the donation of the Art Gallery’s book collection to the University Library. This has already been reflected in previous blog posts, but it has provided me with the opportunity to continue my own donations through a gift of five art history works from my own collection.

I hope that the books I am donating this week will supplement, in a small way, the acquisition of this substantial and rich Art Gallery stock. I accept that this is not really night shelf material, but Christmas calls for something special and personal, and for a combined gift to cover the weeks until I return in January.

One of the perceived difficulties for a relatively young University is to amass collections of the depth and breadth of more longstanding foundations. This is particularly true in the his…

L.S. Lowry in the Library's Art Gallery Gift collection

More gems unearthed in the Art Gallery Gift collection
We have now added over two and a half thousand items to the Library's stock from the York Art Gallery gift collection. Among my favourites are a collection of books detailing the works of Lancashire-born artist L. S. Lowry, best-known for painting industrial and urban landscapes of the North-West of England.

Lowry worked as a rent-collector in Manchester, wandering the streets he was fascinated with the urban world around him and its inhabitants. Many of his city landscape pictures featured crowds of enigmatic figures, barely distinguishable from one another, and reflected the complex and unresolved relationship between the people and the city. The image below, called 'Old Property', is a typical example of his style. The painting can be found on page 17 of A memorial exhibition of paintings & drawings by L. S. Lowry, R.A., 20th May-3rd July 1976Lefevre Gallery, 1976.

Other scenes featured desolate wastelands; p…

A History of South Africa

For his fifth donation in this series, Stephen Town travels to the beautiful plains of South Africa to discover the turbulent past of a developing nation.
Welsh, F., A History of South Africa, in the University Library at Q 68 WEL

Those of us who grew up in the late sixties and early seventies tended to be clear on our view of South Africa. As a child Cape Town was one of the places I always wanted to go to, based on pictures of that spectacular setting of mountain, city and sea in my father’s photography books. As a liberal minded campaigning student however, South Africa was not a place one could contemplate visiting under the apartheid regime.

It was therefore an immense pleasure and privilege to have been in South Africa again last week, to deliver a paper at the 75th Anniversary celebrations of the Library and Information School at Cape Town University, and to renew acquaintance with colleagues from Universities and libraries across that country.

The nation’s transformation has b…

Bah humbug! Using ECCO and EEBO to uncover a time when Christmas wasn’t so merry...

Kirsty Whitehead, Academic Liaison Librarian for History, Archaeology and the Centre for Medieval Studies, explores seventeenth century attitudes to Christmas with two of our electronic resources.
Imagine how different this time of year would be without Christmas. In the seventeenth century Christmas was, as it is now, a big event: an important religious festival but also a chance to unwind by indulging in eating, drinking, dancing, singing, and all round general excess, of which unfortunately the Protestant Puritans disapproved. This contributed to a deep religious divide which subsequently led to civil war, and in 1649 the Puritans took control of government and, whilst in charge, abolished Christmas. Fortunately, when Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660 all legislation banning Christmas was dropped, allowing Christmas to be celebrated once again with renewed enthusiasm.

Our electronic resources such as Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) and Early English Books O…

Introducing Mobile Device Management

Pritpal Rehal investigates what mobile device management could offer the University.
One of the biggest IT demands over recent years has been for more and more access to wireless connectivity across the University estate. This has been fueled by the fact that many - possibly most - of us are adapting a mobile way of working.

Laptops, mobiles and tablets have become a part of our lifestyle. An important tool, they hold our personal data and become (to some) an extension of who we are. Just like your house or car keys, if you lose your mobile, panic sets in... you start checking your pockets, coat, man bag, your pockets again your coat... ahhh - you know the feeling.

Many of these devices are University owned, as well as (wait for it... another IT acronym) BYOD (bring your own device). So what's the problem? Is there a problem? What are we trying to solve?

We've worked hard to develop and improve our IT Services Desktop PC platform, to provide a fully managed, adaptable and agi…