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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

Do your bit to bring ‘Peace on Earth’ by having a low-Carbon Christmas.

The Christmas period is arguably the most polluting 3 days of the year, as people go all-out to make it special, buying extra food, gifts and decorations.  It is estimated that each household produces an extra 5 sack-fulls of rubbish and each person emits approximately 650kgs of CO2 emissions (which is about the weight of 1000 Christmas puddings!)[1]

How you can help:

  1. DIY decorations – make your own Christmas decorations or Christmas crackers to give the holiday a personalized touch and avoid mass produced unnecessary waste.
  2. Make/reuse/recycle Wrapping paper – avoid glossy or glittery paper as this cannot be recycled
  3. Reuse Christmas cards as gift tags next year or make them into your own
  4. Consider sending digital greetings
  5. Carbon-conscious travel – avoid air travel if possible, car share
  6. Reduce food waste – plan your meals, allow people to serve themselves (leftover food on plates gets binned), other leftovers can make another meal
  7. Share the day – reduce energy consumption by heating only 1 house, cooking one meal
  8. Consider using LED lighting and on timers or solar powered to reduce energy consumption – this can save up to 90% of your energy bill!
  9. Be conscious of the kind of tree you have. Consider a tree with roots that can be replanted (a reduction of approximately 80% CO2e), ‘rent’ a tree that is sustainably sourced or ensure it is disposed of correctly.  If you go artificial, ensure you reuse it for more than 5 years to reduce the carbon footprint.
  10. Wrap up rather than touching the thermostat and save on your heating bills
  11. Gifts – avoid ‘throw-away’ items, give with thought and care! Consider gifting experiences instead of items, or give a ‘useful’ gift on the recipient’s behalf to a developing country.
  12. Do a reverse advent calendar – aim to ‘gift’ something to someone every day, this could be your time, food bank donation, money or toys to a local charity…


Habits become traditions!

[1] Britons seek greener Christmas and a planet-friendly new year | The Independent | The Independent

Further Reading




Useful Hacks for a Zero Waste Christmas | CDA Appliances


The Library is launching a new literacy competition this week to run along side their ‘Low Carbon Christmas’ theme.

Most of us are familiar with the traditional carols that are sung around this time of year in the run-up to Christmas but don’t you think the lyrics are a bit old fashioned?

We want to ‘recycle’ them! Keep the tune, change the words… Does Santa still travel by sleigh? Does Rudolf now use an LED light?

Please send your new lyrics to curve@barnsley.ac.uk by the 15th of December.

The best re-writes will win an exclusive Library travel mug designed by our very own Amelia Gedney and hopefully shared during the Christmas Market event.

The beginning of October marks National Libraries Week, a week dedicated to the general awesomeness of libraries and celebrating everything that the library service has to offer.

This year, 2023, the theme is changing to Green Libraries Week and looking at ways libraries help with sustainability and climate change.

Did you know that your library plays a vital role in combating the issues of climate change?

1. Generating Awareness

Libraries are a trusted place to find information about ANY topic and a great place to educate the community about environmental issues.

2. Free Resources for All

The library doesn’t discriminate and aims to provide free access to information to any member of college who needs it by being a warm and friendly environment.

3. Sustainable Resources

From electronic resources, the printers defaulting to double-sided printing and the simple fact that a single book can be shared by many, the library services reduce the need for paper and the negative impact paper production has on the environment.

4. Keepers of History

Libraries hold archives containing a vast range of information from the past; a fantastic resource to learn from and plan for the future.

5. Hubs of information

EVERYTHING around you was once just a thought. Reading feeds your imagination, encourages you to think laterally and may just inspire you to find solutions to our current climate crisis…

6. Plants!

You may have noticed an influx of plant-life within our library lately. Not only are plants great for the environment and the air quality, the colour green has a calming effect creating a relaxing working area and contributes to our mental health and wellbeing.

7. Community

Libraries are hubs for community action – a warm and welcoming environment that can cater to a variety of needs and users and be used as a central area to focus and coordinate activities/events from. They also often update their collections resulting in a continual resource of books to recycle into new and exciting projects!

Book Recycling ideas

It’s always an idea to donate your unwanted books to a local charity shop or library, but if it is really beyond repair why not have a go at some book crafts?

Seed Bombs – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSb7XgO4-Ug

Honestly Modern List of crafts – https://www.honestlymodern.com/sustainable-craft-ideas-creative-things-to-do-with-old-books/

Book Flowers – https://www.instructables.com/How-to-Make-Book-Page-Flowers/

Further Reading

The Wakelet below has loads of interesting links and articles about the importance of libraries and the environment.


Are you the next Neil Gaiman or J.K. Rowling?

Creative Writing competition

We have some winners!

Thank you to everyone who submitted entries to our creative writing competition, we were incredibly impressed with the standard and creativity. Unfortunately, College was only able to submit 5 entries to the creative writing project being held by the AoC, and after much deliberation we selected the five below. Each winner received a £10 Amazon voucher and has been submitted to represent the College with a chance to appear in an online anthology for all to see.

Update: The AoC have been in touch and informed us that ALL of our entries will be published in the online anthology this summer.  A huge congratulations to our writers!  

Congratulations to our five winners!  You can read their pieces below:

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: 21st November 2023

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