Monday 4/3/19 Leisure reading for all: Gems of the Kimberlin

As part of the DMU Festival of Teaching events students, staff and members of the public were invited to come and explore the wealth of reading available through Kimberlin Library. Refreshments were offered and the chance to chat about books, share thoughts favourite reads. Kaye Towlson and Carol Keddie staffed the event and Ann Collick created the display with books selected by herself, Carol Keddie, Gareth Glover, Chris Peach, Cress Burston and Dips Patel.

Leisure Reading displays in Kimberlin Library

Students attending commented that they had never thought of the library as a place to borrow books for reading other than for their course and were impressed by the wide range of materials available. They said they used to read for pleasure but now focus on their course reading. Some students expressed an interest in “self-help” books, particularly those advising on career success or financial gain. Reads recommended ranged widely from Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman through to the Darren Shan Cirque du freak series.

The session promoted reading as a core skill enabling social inclusion, social justice and civic participation. Leisure reading has a big contribution to make to the development of this essential life skill and has many benefits: academic, social, health and wellbeing. This spoke to the themes of the DMU Festival of Teaching.

Liberate your skills with #DMUWritingpad Swollage

Swollage: SWOT using free association collage


DMU Faculty placement officers enjoyed the opportunity to explore their skills, attributes and aspirations using the #DMUwritingpad technique Swollage. This creative visual technique allows people to approach a topic or area for reflection through the free association collage.  This mode of “SWOT” analysis uses visual materials and metaphor to enable the identification of personal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is something placement students are encouraged to do both prior, during after a placement.

DMU Faculty placement officers “thinking with their hands”

Placement Officers were invited to create a collage of selected images to which they felt a personal collection. They were then asked to annotate those images using words suggested by the image, either metaphorical or descriptive. Once created, a table tour of all the collages ensued during which “post-its” with suggested terms and interpretations of images could be added by all.  Attendees then drew on these images, utilising terms and descriptions to articulate and inspire a personal SWOT analysis using a SWOT butterfly template (

SWOT Butterfly template (

Placement officers found this “thinking through their hands” method to be an “imaginative, fun and relaxing exercise yet insightful and challenging in the right way”. They all envisaged utilising these tools with their students to encourage reflection on their placement journeys. They commented on how this exercise made them empathise with their students and the challenges of self-reflection and SWOT creation.

Swollage table tour

The Swollage workshop was created and delivered by Julia Reeve and Kaye Towlson. #DMUwritingPAD  (n.d.) Butterfly SWOT template [Online image]  Available from:  [Accessed 27/2/19].

LLS Service Standards

Library and Learning Services are committed to providing a high quality customer service. To help us achieve this, we have standards in key areas of service provision which can be found here:

At the end of each academic year we review our service delivery against these standards and compare them to the previous year’s performance and against the performance of other university library services. We have now completed our review of the standards for 2017-18 and the full results are available here:

We use this data to enable us to look at areas that we feel need improvement in order to better meet the needs of our customers. Whilst the data for the Service Standards for 2017 -18 show that we have met most of our Service Standards, exceeded the target in some areas, with improvement from last year in some areas e.g. inter-library loans and responding to feedback. There are two areas where there is a difference between the target and the actual result, specifically standards 4 and 8.

As a result we have taken the following action:

Standard 4: The 20 days target continues to be challenging for most of the year. However, we have introduced shelf ready books which is expected to significantly improve the acquisition time as less staff time will be required once the items have arrived in the Library.

Standard 8: Whilst we have improved our response rate to feedback from 49% to 66% within 10 days, and increased the average (mean) response time to feedback we are still some way from our 100% target. We have therefore made some changes to the way in which feedback is responded to which we expect to improve the response time significantly.

Your feedback plays an important part in our performance measurement: if you have comments on these standards or our service performance, please let us know via our feedback page on our website.

Amanda Holyoak
Academic Team Manager (Service Development and Delivery)

An afternoon of #DMUShelfies: Promoting our leisure reading collection

DMU Staff & Students enjoying our leisure reading collection with a #DMUshelfie

We have had a great time talking to our DMU students about reading for pleasure and well-being, showing them our collection of leisure reading books, extolling the virtues of the wide range of genres: adventure, fantasy, murder mystery, thriller, romance and modern fiction written by authors from around the globe (Kimberlin Colour Full reads).  We enjoyed some great conversations with them about what they liked to read, if they had any favourite authors and if they found time to read during their studies.

One student recommended leisure reading linked to your programme of study, as a politics student she loves to read political thrillers and biographies of iconic contemporary political figures. Others recommended fantasy fiction, thrillers, horror, “chick lit” and classic texts.  The most popular recommendation (3 votes) was A street cat named BOB by James Bowen.

Thank you all for dropping by and sharing your reading stories and an extra special thanks to all of the #DMUshelfie sharers. We hope you enjoy our Kimberlin Leisure reading collection (Kimberlin Colour Full reads) and why not take a #DMUshelfie of your own. Happy reading!