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Welcome to Trending!  This page has been designed to provide you with further reading materials and links about the topics being promoted and covered in your Library areas.  Want to know more about the origins of Halloween or the importance of libraries in saving our planet?  Wonder no more!  You’ll also find useful guides and templates to help you should you wish to get involved with the Library events and competitions being held throughout the year.

This page will be constantly updated, so please keep checking back for the latest.

Use the tiles below to jump to a specific topic:


Black History Month Save our oceans
Remembrance Creative Writing competition
Myths, Legends and Folklore LGBT+ History Month Once Upon a Time
A library guide to revision Christmas Halloween

Competition Time!

Following the success of their Creative Writing in FE 2023, the Association of Colleges (AoC) have collaborated again with the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) and UAL Awarding body to launch a new initiative: Creative Arts in FE 2024.

This year’s brief:  Create an Aerogram that tells the world ONE important thing.

Before the invention of emails or social media, an aerogram, also known as airmail, was a cheap way of communicating messages across the world; a self contained letter made from one folded sheet of paper.  Carefully consider the story or message you want to say, refining your ‘thing’ to its defined core to communicate it in the most efficient way possible.

The full program brief can be found here: Aerogram-brief

This year the AoC would like you to get creative so have expanded the accepted formats of submission:

You can use any form of writing.  You may like to write a letter, a story, a script, a poem, song, lyrics, a manifesto, a slogan, or even just a statement.  – Maximum of 500 words in a Microsoft Word Document.  Each entry should be named in the following format: ‘studentname_submissiontitle_college’ and contain name, title and college name in the document itself.

You may like to respond visually, using techniques like drawing, painting, photography, printing, graphic design or illustration to communicate your message.  Can you capture the whole message in a symbol or combination of symbols? – Please note: one image per submission, maximum size of 1200 pixels wide and no larger than 1mb.  Each entry should be named in the following format: ‘studentname_submissiontitle_college’

You may like to think in three dimensions, using techniques like paper engineering, pop-up, or sculptural techniques to bring your message to life.  Please submit a digital documentation (e.g. photo, video clip) of the work and name the file in the following format: ‘studentname_submissiontitle_college’

You may like to respond in moving image or sound, creating a short narrative video, capture spoken word, movement performance, or record a song. – One video MP4 file per submission, no longer than 2 minutes long.  If there is any speaking, spoken word or singing in the video, please provide a full transcript and ensure that videos are subtitled.  All audio submissions to be in MP3 format with a full transcript and brief description of the piece.  Video and audio entries should be named in the following format: ‘studentname_submissiontitle_college’

Please ensure that all work submitted is original and not breaking any copyright.

Make your aerogram, seal it, send it to curve@barnsley.ac.uk by Wednesday 1st May 2024.  Every submission must be accompanied by a signed consent form, one per piece of work.

Although the program is not a competition (the AoC want to encourage everyone to have a go), to coordinate the College’s submissions, the Library will select the best entries to win an exclusive Library Travel Mug and be submitted by the College to the ‘Project’, where they may be included in the online showcase and anthology on the AoC’s website and also may be showcased during the AoC’s Annual Conference in November.  Last year each of the College’s submissions were ALL included in the online anthology and two were even printed in a book!


World Book Day

World Book Day is back this year on the 7th of March 2024 and this year the College Library is going beyond the day itself to celebrate all things literacy!

What is LGBTQ+ History Month and why do we celebrate it?

While LGBTQ+ History Month originated in the US in 1994, It began 11 years later in the UK following on from an initiative that was created by a group of teachers. In 2005, educators and activists Sue Sanders and Paul Patrick organised LGBT+ History Month as part of a Schools Out UK project. This is a programme that aims to educate young people about the issues members of the LGBT+ community face and to make schools feel inclusive for everyone, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. The event was held in February to coincide with the 2003 abolition of Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act.

Did you know books are being banned?

In the United States, book bans have plagued school and public libraries, with stories focusing on LGBTQ+ themes being targeted. “Students are upset, especially LGBTQ+ students,” said a Keller Independent School employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of professional retribution.
“They want to see themselves in books, they want to see themselves reflected , and they’re not able to.”

Representation Matters!

Celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month by reading a book featuring LGBTQ+ characters and/or by LGBTQ+ authors. Read and celebrate these stories all year long, not just in February and June!

Why not read more?

Everyone deserves to have the freedom to read. Scan this QR code to see our resources and informational guide.

Save our Oceans

Our Blue Planet

There are so many reasons why we need to keep our oceans healthy.  As well as being home to amazing wildlife, our oceans provide food for billions of people and income for millions.

Our ocean is the beating blue heart of our planet and the largest habitat on earth.  In the race to tackle climate change, the ocean is one of our best solutions and our greatest hope.

There’s more.  The sea also produces around half of all the oxygen we breathe (thanks to phytoplankton, tiny single-celled ocean plants). Not to mention absorbing half of all man-made climate-warming carbon dioxide.

But things are not going swimmingly at sea.  Latest figures show a dramatic decline in ocean health.  The total amount of vertebrate sea life (including fish) has reduced by more than a third since 1970!

Plastic Pollution

Even if you live hundreds of miles from the coast, the plastic you throw away could make it into the sea.

Once the plastic is in the ocean, It decomposes very slowly, breaking into tiny pieces known as microplastics.  This can enter the marine food chain and become incredibly damaging to sea life.

1 in 2 marine turtles have eaten plastic and around 7 million coffee cups have been thrown away in the UK everyday.

What can students do to help?

Green recycle icon

  • Check the packaging on items to see if it can be recycled.
  • Use biodegradable cleaning materials.
  • Remember to turn the lights out when you leave a room.
  • Take public transport where possible to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Buy second hand clothes.
  • Start a conversation: encouraging awareness and education is the best thing you can do.

Education has a highly important role to play in driving the transition to a more sustainable future.

By increasing the quality and accessibility of education and developing people’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards climate change, the world can see more affective and quicker change.

Further Reading


Last updated: 12th March 2024

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