European Day of Languages

european day of languages

As today is European Day of Languages, what better time to let people know of some of the fantastic services offered by the University’s English Language Support Service.

The English Language Support Service offers a range of high quality English language support to home and international students who are already studying at university, as well as to international students who wish to study at Loughborough University. They offer a broad range of workshops throughout term time, as well as online courses and support available via the Library’s own ‘Get the Know How: Skills to Succeed’ Learn module LBA001.

The European Day of Languages is the result of the success of the European Year of Languages hosted in 2001, jointly organised by the Council of Europe and the European Union, was successful in involving millions of people across 45 participating countries. Its activities celebrated linguistic diversity in Europe and promoted language learning. The Council of Europe subsequently declared a European Day of Languages to be celebrated on 26th of September each year.

The general objectives of the European Day of Languages are:

  • Alerting the public to the importance of language learning and diversifying the range of languages learnt in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding.
  • Promoting the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe, which must be preserved and fostered.
  • Encouraging lifelong language learning in and out of school, whether for study purposes, for professional needs, for purposes of mobility or for pleasure and exchanges.

To find out more, visit the campaign’s website here.

Play Loughborough!

market townLoughborough University’s very own arts collective Radar will be issuing an open invitation to everyone in Loughborough this Saturday (22nd August) to join in with a unique day of public game-jamming on a theme of contemporary topics.

Create online games for the health and prosperity of everyone in Loughborough… or to start a total catastrophe… It’s your choice.

Take up the challenge of answering questions about your town through conversation and drawing and see your ideas turned into interactive online games. Artist Ruth Catlow, who co-devised the Play Your Place concept, will lead the day and help the imaginative citizens of Loughborough to develop a collective vision for a richer, emancipated life for the town.

The event takes place in at the Market Town Corner in the Carillon Court Shopping Centre in the heart of Loughborough town centre between 10am to 5pm, and is open to all – young and old alike. No booking required at – just drop by and join in!

For further details visit the Radar Market Town page here:

Sock Gallery Open Exhibition 2015

open 15

Loughborough Town Hall is currently hosting its fourth annual Open Exhibition in its Sock Gallery exhibition space.

The Open Exhibition offers the opportunity for local artists both professional and amateur to apply and exhibit two-dimensional work ranging from paintings, photographs, drawings, original prints and mixed media work in a professional gallery.

The exhibition is running from the 8th August – 6th September and many of the wall pieces are for sale. Sock Gallery is free to enter and is open Monday – Saturday from 9am – 5.00pm and when the venue is open for shows.

Animal Tales at the British Library

blFrom Aesop’s Fables to Ted Hughes’s Crow, the stories we tell about animals are often stories about us. A new exhibition, Animal Tales, begins at the British Library today which goes on the trail of animals on the page, asking why they have come to play such an important role in literature for adults and children alike.

From the earliest marks made by humans in caves to the modern-day internet full of cute cats, animals have been enduring media stars. Symbols of the sacred or the profane, the domesticated or the ferocious, animals have always fed our imagination helping us to make sense of the world and ourselves. Inspiring writers, poets, scientists and artists through the ages, a library can become the largest zoo in the world when you begin to track down the creatures lurking among the pages on the shelves.

Animal Tales explores what wild – and tamed – creatures say about us when they take on literary or artistic form and displays richly illustrated editions of traditional tales, from Anansi to Little Red Riding Hood. And be closer to nature with a soundscape based on the Library’s collection of sound recordings, with illustrations and poems by Mark Doty and Darren Waterston.

The exhibition is free to attend, and runs until 1st November. Further details can be found on the British Library site here.

E.L. Doctorow 1931-2015

15213777537_345c43d100_zThe award-winning American historical novelist E.L. Doctorow has died, aged 84.

Born in 1931, Edgar Lawrence Doctorow began his literary career as a script-reader for Columbia Pictures, and his first novel, Welcome to Hard Times, published in 1960, was inspired by the many western stories he had to read in this time.

He gained widespread critical acclaim for his fourth novel Ragtime, which won him the first of three US National Book Critics Circle Awards in 1975. Billy Bathgate (1989) and The March (2005) also received the award. In total Doctorow wrote ten novels, four of which were filmed. Ragtime was also successfully adapted as a stage musical in 1998.

We have copies of several of Doctorow’s novels in our literature section on Level 2, including Ragtime, of which we also hold a copy of the 1981 Oscar-nominated cinema adaption among our DVD collection in the High Demand section.

You can also find out a lot more about his life and works by visiting Literature Online, our popular English & American literature database which covers over 300,000 works of poetry, prose and drama from the 8th to the 21st century.

E.L. Doctorow at the PEN American Centre Literary Awards 2014, courtesy of Beowulf Sheehan, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.

Cricket, Lovely Cricket

9443235195_d706454c0d_kCricket fans rejoice – it’s an Ashes summer again, when England and Australia join battle in one of the oldest and most hotly contested sporting contests in the world.

We’re already two matches into the five Test series, and the play has proved scintillating; England gained an early advantage through a comprehensive 169-run victory in Cardiff, but then the Australians came roaring back this last weekend with a stunning 405-run annihilation at Lord’s – with a day to spare as well. With 3 Test matches remaining, everything is well set for another enthralling series.

‘The Ashes’ derived from a term used in mock obituary written in the Sporting Times newspaper when Australia beat England at the Oval in 1882, stating that “English cricket has died, and the body cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.” The following year England toured Australia and beat them, and England captain Ivo Bligh was presented with a small urn reputed to contain the ashes of the ball used by the English in the victory – and dubbed by the Australians as “the ashes of Australian cricket”. Thereafter, every Test match series between the two countries has been a contest to win or retain those Ashes. To the beginning of 2015, Australia hold a narrow advantage over England, by 32 series victories to 31 (with five drawn), with the Australians winning 126 individual matches to the English total of 103.

Loughborough University has a proud cricketing tradition itself – its male and female MCCU teams regularly win trophies – and can count several alumni from their ranks who have gone on to play international and Test cricket, including Sam Billings, Monty Panesar and Nick Knight.

We have a broad range of cricketing books on our shelves in the Library, including the controversial autobiography by former England captain Kevin Pietersen in our Leisure Reading collection upstairs on Level 4, and Scyld Berry & Rupert Peploe’s intriguing account of the story behind the genesis of the Ashes, Cricket’s Burning Passion: Ivo Bligh & the Story of the Ashes, which you can find among our other cricket history books downstairs in our sports section on Level 2. Why not have a browse?

The Ashes Urn image by David Holt, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.

Colours of Summer Exhibition

colours of summer

If you’re enjoying the summer but the heat of the sun is a bit much for you, a new exhibition at the Loughborough Town Hall by local painter Lyn Armitage allows you to enjoy the splendours of the season indoors.

Colours of Summer is a collection of paintings that encapsulates the promise of Summer. Lyn leaves the dim darkness of Winter to travel to the freshness of newly planted and emerging early gardens and then onto the tropical colours of hot summer borders. From small pots of Auriculas to fields of flowers, her paintings sing with vibrant colours and the textures of plant life. This passion for flowers is reflected in a sympathetic blend of light and colour which she imbues in her paintings. Lyn creates loose, sensitive watercolours which, alongside spontaneous and strong acrylic canvasses, capture a sense of immediacy and isolate an unforgettable moment in time.

The exhibition is situated in the Balcony Gallery at the Loughborough Town Hall and runs until 26th September. Admittance is free.

Trying to Grasp the Sun at the Loughborough Town Hall

trying to grasp the sun

A new solo exhibition by award-winning artist Mark Sheeky begins in the Loughborough Town Hall’s Sock Gallery this July.

Trying To Grasp The Sun is a journey, an examination and exploration of mastery in art, and the psychology of creativity. Arturo the white mouse is your guide in this exhibition of oil paintings and hand-crafted cabinets and surrounds that pull you inexorably from sleep to wakefulness, confusion to clarity, from darkness into light.

The exhibition runs from 2nd July to 1st August. The Sock Gallery is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm and while the Town Hall is open for shows and events. Admittance is free. For further details visit the Sock Gallery webpage here:

Magna Carta (An Embroidery) at the British Library

blA unique new work of art by Turner Prize nominated artist Cornelia Parker is unveiled in the British Library today to accompany their Magna Carta: Law, Liberty & Legacy exhibition.

Fabricated by many hands, from prisoners and lawyers to artists and barons, Magna Carta (An Embroidery) replicates in stitch the entire Wikipedia article on the Great Charter as it appeared on the document’s 799th anniversary in 2014. The Wikipedia article regularly attracts more than 150,000 page views each month and is constantly being amended by users of the website as the debate about Magna Carta and its legacy ebbs and flows.

One of Britain’s most celebrated artists, Cornelia Parker works in a variety of media and is well known for her sculpture and installation in which she transforms ordinary objects into compelling works of art. Magna Carta (An Embroidery) has been commissioned by the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford in partnership with the British Library and in association with the Embroiderers’ Guild, Fine Cell Work, Hand & Lock and the Royal School of Needlework.

The work is displayed in the British Library entrance hall and is free to visit until 24th July. For further details visit the British Library website.

The John Ruskin Prize 2015


Budding artists may be interested in participating in this year’s John Ruskin Prize, a showcase run by the Campaign for Drawing for emerging talent and established artists from all reaches of the UK with a top prize of £5,000.

This year artists are being asked to respond to respond to the theme: Recording Britain Now: Society, to re-assess their practice and focus on the prevalent social issues of 2015/16 and to engage with a society in rapid transition.

The winners, alongside 15 shortlisted artists will be included in a high profile exhibition at The New Art Gallery, Walsall in early 2016 closely followed by a London showing at The Electrician’s Shop Gallery set within the unique surrounds of Trinity Buoy Wharf, London. The exhibitions will be accompanied by a series of talks and events linking with the V&A’s fascinating ‘Recording Britain’ collection and all shortlisted artists will be invited to feature on a free online catalogue featuring both collections exploring visions of Britain through to the present day as seen through the eyes of established and emerging UK artists.

In 2012 The Guild of St. George, the charity founded by Ruskin in 1871, renewed its links with the Campaign for Drawing to inaugurate The John Ruskin Prize open to all artists over 18 working in the UK. It aims to uphold Ruskin’s belief that drawing helps us see the world more clearly and be more aware of its fragility. The Prize allows the Campaign to promote and give exposure to the work of emerging artists using a wide range of media and techniques.

For further details about how to enter, visit the Campaign’s website below: