Tech’ top tips – #59. Help to stay safe and healthy

This tip is provided by the Centre for Enhancing Learning through Technology (CELT). The images in this post will expand when clicked.

Repetitive Strain InjuryWorking safely on computer equipment is a good habit to get into. Frequent breaks and knowing how to exercise in-between stints at the keyboard and mouse can help to prevent Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and other ailments associated with using a computer.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidance on how to check that your workstation and the associated Display Screen Equipment is set up for you. It is especially important to check this when moving between public or shared computers to ensure you minimize the risks to you.

The NHS also offers guidance on exercises that can help to prevent RSI in the wrists – click the link below and search for ‘Advanced Wrist Exercises’ to download a .pdf from Oxford University Hospitals.

Tech’ top tips – #38. Wellbeing, a few pointers for you

This tip is provided by the Centre for Enhancing Learning through Technology (CELT). The images in this post will expand when clicked.

While social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends, family and is even used in some contexts for learning; it is important that we are mindful about how we use social media and the potential negative effects on our health.

This article (, March 2016) is particularly interesting as it relates our use of online social spaces to our real-life insecurities and how our online behaviour can court these emotions and feelings, thus leading to a negative effect.

However it’s not all bad news. There are mindfulness app’s that we can install to help track and limit our use of potentially negative habit-forming platforms. There is also lots of advice about being mindful and healthy when interacting in online social spaces. A quick Google search will return numerous sites and articles – here’s a couple of examples to get you started:

Books for the Incurably Curious – a display on life, art and medicine in the Kimberlin Library

In my first professional post as a librarian at the Charles Frears School of Nursing, one of my duties was cataloguing new books. These were mostly textbooks but one day something different arrived on our shelves. It was a memoir by a then little known writer who had worked as a midwife in the East End of London just after World War Two.  While cataloguing this book I was drawn in by the stories of hardship and human warmth and it took rather longer to arrive on the shelves than usual! Little did I know that this was the start of a global phenomenon: it was, of course, Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth.

Our ‘Books for the Incurably Curious’ display

In the years since Call the Midwife came out, there has been a flurry of first person accounts by health professionals – such as This is Going to Hurt by junior doctor Adam Kay and The Language of Kindness by nurse Christie Watson – reaching the best-seller lists. Writer and nurse, Molly Case has an explanation for the recent rise of the medical memoir: “Modern life is so frantic and everybody is so busy clicking things online and rushing around that there’s this collective need for introspection. People want to look inward at their bodies and minds. They want to unpick how society works and find out what makes the people looking after them tick” (O’Kelly, 2019). It may also be that at a time when the NHS is perceived by some to be under threat that the public is seeking to better understand and to celebrate one of the UK’s leading institutions.

Me and Kusama’s ‘Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’

A new display in the Kimberlin Library seeks to explore some of these intersections between health, medicine, literature and the arts. Based around the six books on the shortlist for the 2019 Wellcome Book Prize, all of which are available to borrow, we have extended the theme to include books from our collection and objects from DMU Special Collections. My personal favourite is Life is the Heart of a Rainbow which features the works of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Kusama has a mental health disorder and has suffered from hallucinations since childhood but has used these visual disturbances as an inspiration for mesmerising artworks – many of which famously feature polka dots – over a long and critically acclaimed career.


You will find the display in the Learning Zone on the ground floor of the Library, next to the Leisure Reading collection.


O’KELLY, L. (2019) Molly Case, the NHS nurse who finds poetry on the wards. Observer, 7th April. Available from [Accessed 12/04/19].


Tech’ top tips – #29. Being mindful of impact – yours and theirs

Tech’ top tips – #29. Being mindful of impact – yours and theirs

This tip is provided by the Centre for Enhancing Learning through Technology (CELT).

A cyber bullying survivorA slight departure from the usual tips this week but perhaps one of the most important in the series.

When we use technology, especially in spaces where we can communicate and interact with others, it is important that we think about the impact that our contributions may have on others and how we process content that we see online.

It is all too easy to become embroiled in online arguments, trolling and to become a victim of such online abuse and we must ensure that we at least know where to get help if this happens.

Using technology can make us feel as though we have a shield or some sort of invincibility due to the asynchronous and often anonymous nature of online discussions but technology can be a platform for bullies and their victims.

Often, we can be exposed to content that might affect us by accident. We have no control over what others may post or say and they have no control over our actions in online spaces – this means we can feel the negative effects without being the victim of targeted/malicious posts; and we might negatively affect others if we don’t think about our own actions and posts.

If you feel as though your wellbeing and mental health are affected by your online interactions (either directly or indirectly) please talk to a trusted friend or colleague or book a DMU SPA appointment. It is easy to become affected without realising it and regular breaks from social media along with developing an understanding of how we process and internalise information we see online can help us to equip ourselves with the resilience and courtesy required to cope with 24 hour access to online information and interactions.

Photo credit: HelliTuexenArt CC BY-ND 3.0

Hot Tap Update

Hot Tap Update

Hot Tap Update

The Library is committed to providing instant hot (boiling) water to library users. We know how popular this service is, and since introducing this service in September 2016 we’ve spent over £7k in maintenance and physical updates to keep this running 24/7.

Unfortunately, the Zip tap in its original 2016 format created issues  – it wasn’t tall enough for larger cold water containers and the soak away beneath it was not suitable for draining cups. The result of this was a lot of excess water and damage to the counter top from water ingress. We replaced this original installation in November 2017 with a ‘new and improved’ hot tap station that featured better drainage for the Zip tap and a brand new sink and cold water dispenser for bottles.

Sadly the current tap station and cabinet has also succumbed to damage caused by high levels of use and water ingress from frequent spills. Most recently, Zip tap control circuits have been damaged by water.

The Library has gone back to first principles with Estates and a plumbing specialist. We’ll be installing a more robust “Mark 3” sink and wall mounted tap unit and a separate drinking water fountain and bottle filler in the near future, date TBC. In the meantime, Estates are working to seal and make safe the existing unit in the hope that a service can be reinstated. UPDATE 16/4/19: Service with the existing Zip tap has been reinstated

We apologise for the interruption of service, but we are committed to reinstating safe hot water provision in the near future.

First incarnation awaiting update

Current incarnation on launch in December 2017


Study smart with Library and Learning Services

Reposted from DMU Hot Topics

Study smart with Library and Learning Services

With revision underway and final assessments approaching, DMU Library and Learning Services (LLS) want to help you study smart and stay healthy during this critical time of the academic year.

library main

Look out for the Library Night Trolley from 8pm until late Sunday to Thursday, dispensing FREE hot and cold drinks and fruit to help you refuel while studying at night during the exam period. The friendly Night Trolley staff can take time out to chat to you and offer guidance and support on healthy study.

From 1 to 5 April, LLS is running a series of free workshops on exam and assignment success covering subjects such as using evidence, referencing, critical writing and much more. You can find out more and book here.

Thanks to your feedback, they’ve also been working to make the Library an even better space to use:

  • The Law Library and Eric Wood Learning Zone will be open 24/7 until the end of term. Following the Easter break they will be open 24/7 again until the end of the exam period

  • Laptops are now able to be loaned for three hours rather than two

  • 20 additional PCs have been added to the Eric Wood Learning Zone

  • More whiteboards have been bought for Kimberlin Library

  • 110 more silent study spaces on the Lower Ground and Second Floor of Kimberlin Library

Some top tips for beating digital distraction

Did you take part in the university’s Digital Detox a few weeks back? Did you enjoy it? Did you find that you felt better for using social media less or were more productive?

Social media icons in a circle with the word Help written in the middle

Regardless of whether or not you took part many of us feel ‘addicted’ to our phones or social media sites and feel that we are less productive than we were before. If this is you then you may find these tips and ideas for improving productivity or limiting social media use helpful:

  • Scare yourself with how often you check your phone! The Checky Phone Habit Checker ( will tell you how often you check your phone in a day and the idea is that this new awareness will allow you to change your habits (if you wish).
  • If you find yourself following links from one blog post to another and suddenly finding there’s no time to finish your assignment try using Pocket or These allow you to easily save content from websites, apps etc. into one space so you can read it later.
  • Block distracting websites – The Forest App encourages you to focus and not be distracted by ‘blacklisted’ websites (you choose these) by growing a tree that will die if you visited a banned website. It takes 30 minutes to grow a tree, can you do it?
  • There are some productivitytechniques that you might find helpful, such as Eat that frog! or the Pomodoro technique


These are just a few ideas that you might find useful to help you beat digital distraction and become more productive!