Readability – Amazing new website for internet accessibility!

Try this one at home!  It’s so good – both for far-sighted old grannies and and anyone who has a hard time concentrating through a bombardment of pop-ups and flashing lights on-line.  All you have to do is to load the above link into your favourites, pre-selecting a number of viewing options (typeface, line-width and size of font).  Then, once on a site that you find ‘unreadable’ for any reason, open your Readability favourite.  Presto!  The website you are on will be transformed into a really easy-to-read document – suited to your own needs – not those of the web designer.

Using Digital Images in Teaching and Learning

The University of Reading has developed this online guide to using images in assignments and presentations which students and staff might find useful.

Julian Roland, Learning Resources Manager

Learning Centres Easter Opening Times

The Breakspears Learning Centre will be open every weekday of the Easter Holidays (other than Good Friday and Easter Monday) from 10am to 5pm.  The Tressillian and Deptford Learning Centres will be closed throughout the holidays.  We will return to normal hours for the start of the Summer Term on Monday 20th April 2009. 

Julian Roland, Learning Resources Manager

Fantastic new image database

Staff and students may like to try the following site which is a database of over 100,000 copyright cleared images that can be freely used in presentations and assignments.

Julian Roland, Learning Resources Manager


Real Life for Reading Week



In real life we engage with important issues and we want to bring some of those issues into focus during reading week, too.  What is important to you?  Perhaps it is it fighting discrimination as a member of a gay or an ethnic minority community.  Perhaps it is bringing awareness to global issues such as the collapsing economic outlook or the ongoing wars in the Muslim world.  Perhaps it is something much closer to home – dealing with your parents’ divorce or your sister’s drug problem.  A good way to get to grips with some of these issues and events is to read all about them.  Understanding an issue is the first step towards overcoming it.  Pick up a good autobiography and you will realize that even for celebrities life is not all glamorous premieres and slick photo shoots.


To celebrate reading week we will be running a number of events:


  • The highlight of the week is that Kenny Baraka will be performing in the Learning Centre on Wednesday 25th February at 1.30, and later running a workshop for selected students.


Kenny Baraka is a phenomenal poet and a bard, a travelling musician and a griot (a West African poetic tradition).  Although born in Eritrea, he was raised in New York and now lives in London, working as a teacher, lyricist and song writer.  As a NYC high school teacher, Kenny taught English, History and World Politics to some of the city’s most underprivileged students and young offenders. He has recorded and performed with Omar, Tippa Irie, Supernatural, A Tribe Called Quest, DeLaSoul, Rodney P and Burning Spear.


  • There will be prize draws on Thursday 26th February, with prizes (a book of your choice) donated by The Book People, who will be displaying their stock in both the Deptford and Breakspears Learning Centres that day. There will be also be a competition (closing Friday 27th February) to match the staff person to their favourite book, with a prize of a Waterstone’s gift voucher.


          Challenge yourself to read six books by June and get a certificate of achievement from the Learning Centre.


Come to the Learning Centre during Reading Week, from the 23rd to the 27th of February.  We will be celebrating “Real Life” and all the types of reading that contribute to our lives, every day.  This includes newspapers, Facebook chat or Ebay adverts for cars on the internet – even British rail timetables and the menu in the cafeteria.