“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
As librarians, we tend to agree with Groucho Marx’s oft-quoted remark about the medium of television – even in the digital age, we still love a good book – but there is no denying that television is still one of the world’s biggest phenomenons – and is likely to remain so for long years ahead.
And so it was in 1996 that the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21st November as World Television Day, in recognition of the increasing impact television has on decision-making by bringing world attention to conflicts and threats to peace and security and its potential role in sharpening the focus on other major issues, including economic and social issues. It is not so much a celebration of television as a communication tool, but as a symbol for communication and globalisation in the contemporary world.
We hold a huge range of books about every aspect of the medium among our collection, from historic studies to the nuts-and-bolts of television engineering and broadcasting. We also provide access to a number of very popular online resources all about television, most notably Box of Broadcasts (BoB), from which you can not only catch up with the latest episodes of your favourite shows, but also easily create your own clips from TV programmes, and create useful playlists of clips to refer to at a later date for further study or research. And if you’re more interested in more vintage television, try dipping into the British Film Institute’s archives in BFI Screenonline, where you can watch old episodes of classics like Doctor Who, Fawlty Towers, and even University Challenge!