A new book display for April concentrating on wellbeing

With exams and deadlines fast approaching Trinity Term can be a very hectic time for students and staff. It’s important to take time for your own wellbeing and many people enjoy reading literature, poetry or non-academic works as a way to take a break.

We have a wide range of titles in our wellbeing collection in the Radcliffe Science Library and have highlighted a few of them in our book display this month. Pop down to the lower-ground floor and check out our display with titles covering a wide range of topics from harnessing the healing power of classical music to escaping escaping into the fantasy worlds of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett to having a chuckle at the idiosyncrasies of British life with the irresistible humour of Bill Bryson (they do say that laughter is the best medicine…).

All of the books in the display are borrowable along with those in the Wellbeing Room. If there are any titles you would like added to the collection please contact rsl-wellbeing@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Photograph of the wellbeing book display showing two rows of books.

Do you prefer to bolster your mental health or read a short story?

Book Display 

Book cover of 'Chivalry' by Neil GaimanGaiman, N. et al. (2022) Chivalry. London: Headline.

Available as a print book from the RSL at shelfmark PN6700 GAI 2022 (WBR)

 

Book cover of 'Heartstopper' by Alice Oseman

Oseman, A. (2019) Heartstopper. Volume 5. London: Hodder Children’s Books.

Available as a print book from the RSL at shelfmark PN6737.O84 OSE 2023 (WBR)

 

Book cover of 'Love in Colour' by Bolu Babalola

Babalola, B. (2021) Love in Colour. London: Headline.

Available as a print book from the RSL at shelfmark PR6102 BAB 2020 (WBR)

Book cover of 'Reasons to Stay Alive' by Matt Haig

Haig, M. (2016) Reasons to Stay Alive. Edinburgh: Canongate.

Available as a print book from the RSL at shelfmark WM171.5 HAI 2016 (WBR)

Book cover of 'Rewriting the Rules' by Meg-John Barker

Barker, M.-J. (2018) Rewriting the Rules: An Anti Self-Help Guide to Love, Sex and Relationships. 2nd Edition. Abingdon, Oxon; Routledge.

Available as a print book from the RSL at shelfmark BF575.I5.B37 BAR 2018 (WBR)

Book cover of 'Soul Music' by Terry Pratchett

Pratchett, T. (2013) Soul Music. New York: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Available as a print book from the RSL at shelfmark PR6066.R34 PRA 2013 (WBR)

Book cover of 'The Road to Little Dribbling' by Bill Bry

Bryson, B. (2016) The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island. London: Black Swan.

Available as a print book from the RSL at shelfmark DA632 BRY 2016 (WBR)

Book cover of 'The Story' by Victoria Hislop

Hislop, V. (ed.) (2021) The Story: 100 Great Short Stories Written by Women. London: Head of Zeus, an Apollo book.

Available as a print book from the RSL at shelfmark PR111 HIS 2021 (WBR)

Book cover of 'The Unbreakable Student' by Nic HooperHooper, N. (2021) The Unbreakable Student: 6 Rules for Staying Sane at University. London: Robinson.

Available as a print book from the RSL at shelfmark WM101 HOO 2021 (WBR)

Book cover of 'Unmasking Autism' by Devon Price

Price, D. (2022) Unmasking Autism: The Power of Embracing our Hidden Neurodiversity.
London: Monoray.

Available as a print book from the RSL at shelfmark HV1570.23 PRI 2022 (WBR)

 

Book cover of 'We're Not Broken' by Eric Garcia

Garcia, E. (2022) We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation.
First Harvest paperback edition. New York: Harvest, An Imprint of William Morrow.

Available as a print book from the RSL at shelfmark BF637 GAR 2022 (WBR)

 

Book Cover of 'Year of Wonder' by Clemency Burton-Hill

Burton-Hill, C. (2017) Year of Wonder: Classical Music for Every Day.
London: Headline.

Available as a print book from the RSL at shelfmark ML160 BUR 2018 (WBR)

RSL Wellbeing Programme HT

Wellbeing during your studies can be affected by many things from your workload, to your accommodation to your relationships. The Oxford SU and the Counselling Service can offer help and advice on some of these big issues.

Sometimes just taking a break and doing something you find fun and relaxing can help with your wellbeing, whether it’s talking with friends, taking a walk or just resting. We recently shared a post about our regular wellbeing programme, feel free to drop into any of those events when they are on, like the Nature Walk on Monday 5 February.

We also have a range of special events from free hot chocolate to Craft events for DPhils coming up. Check out what we have planned in the RSL Wellbeing Calendar HT 2024. There’s also information about other wellbeing activities throughout the libraries on the Bodleian Libraries website. Keep an eye on our social media and posters in the library for updates on what’s coming next.

RSL Wellbeing Programme

Supporting the wellbeing of our students is a core part of the role of academic libraries, and one that we feel very passionately about here at the RSL.

Our Wellbeing Room is a welcoming space for students and staff to take a break and concentrate on their wellbeing by doing some colouring, jigsaws, Lego or just relaxing on a bean bag.

Photograph showing four students sitting at a table completing a jigsaw puzzle.

photo (c) John Cairns

We have regular activities taking place to help student wellbeing.

Daily activities:

  • Quiet Time: 4-5pm in the Wellbeing Room
    We dim the lights and play calming nature videos for you to enjoy peace and quiet.
  • Drop in sessions: 2-4pm in the Wellbeing Room
    Your time to try any of the activities on offer, including jigsaws, reading, origami, knitting and more. The room will never be booked at this time.

Weekly activities:

  • Lego Lunch: Wednesdays 1-2pm in the Wellbeing Room
    You bring your lunch, and we provide the Lego. Eat, chat and create!

Monthly activities:

  • Nature Walk: First Monday of the Month 1-2pm. Meet in the Wellbeing Room
    Join us on a gentle nature walk around some of the University Parks.

We also have special activities taking place throughout the year, in cooperation with our University Partners and special guests! So far these have included themed crafting events (with snacks), some lovely therapy dogs, origami and more!

Photograph showing two students sitting on the floor stroking a golden Labrador Therapy dog.Keep an eye on our blog for updates on upcoming events, and follow us on Twitter/X @radcliffescilib.

If you have any suggestions for wellbeing events please let us know by emailing rsl-wellbeing@bodleian.ox.ac.uk, or replying here.

Winter Mental Health Display 2023

We know that winter and the holidays can be a challenging time for people. Although for some people it is “the most wonderful time of the year”, this isn’t the case for everyone. It can exacerbate existing mental health issues and lead to feelings of loneliness. However, there are resources to help. We have some links below to the Student Welfare pages and the Student Counselling service. You can also pop into the Wellbeing room in the RSL and try out a weighted blanket, some knitting or read a book. We have a collection of novels, poems, wellbeing books and more in our Wellbeing collection. All of the books in the collection can be borrowed.

We have also put together a book display covering topics of mental health and winter blues. The digital display is here on our blog and the physical display is located in the Radcliffe Science Library, in our breakout space downstairs. Stay warm and take care of yourself physically and mentally over the winter period.

Continue reading

Book recommendations for EDI and Wellbeing

As part of the Radcliffe Science Library (RSL) refurbishment we are planning several new developments for when the library reopens for Michaelmas Term 2023.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion projects

Silhouttes of many diverse faces layered over each other in a variety of colours.As part of its actions for supporting an inclusive culture the RSL is working on diversifying its portraiture and creating a space where everyone feels welcome, valued, and respected when it re-opens in Summer 2023. You can still contribute suggestions for our inclusive portraiture list. See our previous blog post for more details.

Wellbeing room

Close up photograph of colouring in page with a heart at the centre. There are four different colouring pencils in the cornerOur wellbeing room will be a space to promote wellbeing, relaxation and mindfulness. It will have comfortable furniture and a relaxing environment. The room will contain, games, crafts and books to help with your wellbeing. See our previous post for more details.

Book recommendations

Close up photograph of book with pages folded into a heart shape.For both our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) collection and our Wellbeing collection we are looking for recommendations. We want you to have access to the books and activities that you want and need!

For EDI recommendations, please contact karine.barker@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

For Wellbeing recommendations, please contact rachel.scanlon@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

RSL Wellbeing Room

The Radcliffe Science Library (RSL) will be reopening for Michaelmas Term 2023 when our refurbishment is completed. Along with reading spaces, group study rooms and individual study carrels there will also be opening a Wellbeing Room, in the RSL basement. These types of spaces are becoming more popular in libraries in recent years, especially since Covid. As well as this there will be nature imagery in the room, along with jigsaws, games, crafts and sensory toys, particularly useful for neurodiverse people.

The purpose of wellbeing spaces is to promote wellbeing, relaxation and mindfulness as such the room is being designed with soft furnishings and calming colours that evoke comfort. We plan to have a range of different comfortable seating from sofas to armchairs to bean bags. We also want the space to be flexible so that the furnishings will be easy to move.

Two green arm chairs with a small table in front

Some possible armchairs

Within the room we will have a selection of reading materials that we hope you’ll enjoy reading. Topics will include wellbeing, Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI), fiction, graphic novels and more. We are buying books now so if you have any books you would like to recommend for the wellbeing room please contact rachel.scanlon@bodleian.ox.ac.uk or for EDI recommendations please contact karine.barker@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

The RSL have some great and exciting plans but the most important aspect of this space is getting input from the MPLS and MSD community. We’d appreciate any feedback but particularly from any student or staff who are responsible for wellness. We have already reached out to some colleagues but we are eager to hear a range of viewpoints.

PLans of the RSL Wellbeing room

These are our plans for the room. There’s a sofa in the corner (c-51) arm chairs at the front (c-18) and a table for games and crafts (T-21)

We’re are particularly interested to hear of any activities or events you would like to run in the Wellbeing room or any evnets you would like the RSL to host.

So if you have any book suggestions, ideas for activities or any thoughts on the room in general contact rachel.scanlon@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.